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School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member's story: Jaakko Eteläaho

The School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member Jaakko Eteläaho has done a long career as an investment banker among mergers & acquisitions and says that the Finance studies have been extremely useful in his career. In addition to Alumni Advisory Board, Eteläaho has been part of Aalto Alumni Network Board and is also one of the founders of Aalto Finance Alumni association. “I encourage all alumni to be active alumni, as it is a lot of fun and widens one’s perspectives.”
Jaakko Eteläaho, member of the School of Business Alumni Advisory Board

When and what did you study at Aalto University School of Business?

I studied in the School of Business during the years 2002-2006. I studied Finance as my major. 

In which positions have you worked in your career?

I have done a long career in investment banking, in mergers & acquisitions and capital market transactions. I started as a summer trainee at Alfred Berg in their Corporate Finance team in 2004, and I continue to pursue this track. Alfred Berg company was a part of the Dutch bank group called ABN AMRO, which was acquired by Royal Bank of Scotland during the financial crisis. In the end of 2009, I moved to Nordea to the Corporate Finance team, where I worked for almost 10 years in different positions. I started at my current job as a Managing Director at Danske Bank’s Corporate Finance team in August 2019. Thus, I have worked as an investment banker for over 15 years altogether. 

In what ways have the studies been useful for your career? What is the significance of the major subject?

The Finance studies have been extremely useful in my career. In this field, it is very important to understand how businesses and financial markets operate. Furthermore, the decision-making research is emphasized in the fields of Finance and Microeconomics: mergers and acquisitions are complex decision-making processes. Therefore, it is important to broadly understand the thoughts, objectives and motives of the decision makers in the M&A negotiations. 

In addition to the fact that my wife has also graduated from the Aalto University School of Business, the other networks and friends that I have made in the School are valuable in many ways. We continue to meet regularly both in working and private life. I have for example got the honor to act as the best man for many of my School of Business friends. My own best man was also a friend of mine from the School as well as some of my children’s godparents. Therefore, ‘Kauppis’ – the School of Business – and my old school mates continue to be a very fixed part of my life. 

Share something memorable from the time when you were studying.

Luckily not all the things have stayed memorable in my head… I cannot mention only one memory, there are so many great memories. In a way, one of the greatest things is perhaps that we still meet regularly with my School of Business friend group. 

I encourage all alumni to be active alumni, as it is a lot of fun and widens one’s perspectives.

School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member Jaakko Eteläaho

In what ways should the current students take the changes in the business world into consideration in their studies?

This is a good question. It seems that the cycles are nowadays very short, at least in the financial markets. I don’t know if it is worthwhile to follow everything too precisely – it can be wiser to just focus on the things that are interesting and that one like and get along with. But for sure we all need to follow the big trends and changes in the world on a more general level. 

You are a member of the Alumni Advisory Board at the School of Business. What does being an alumnus mean to you?

In addition to being part of the School of Business Alumni Advisory Board, I have been part of the Aalto University Alumni Network Board, and furthermore, I was one of the founders of Aalto Finance Alumni association. By combining all this, and the fact that I am a regular visiting lecturer at the School, I probably fit in the definition of an active alumnus. All in all, being an alumnus means a lot to me. In my opinion, one can and should be proud of having graduated from the Aalto University School of Business. 

Honestly speaking, our School’s alumni activities are still lacking scale and width compared to many competing schools, which in this case mean corresponding foreign top business schools. But I have to say that our School has accomplished a lot of things in this area during recent years, and we have a great team doing these things at the School! I believe we have now gathered that much steam that the engine won't stop. 

I encourage all alumni to be active alumni, as it is a lot of fun and widens one’s perspectives. Besides, if one can make Aalto University School of Business an even better place with one’s own actions, then also the value of one’s own degree will increase simultaneously. I happily encourage every alumnus and alumna to join the alumni activities. 

Is there something else that you would like to say?

The School of Business and Aalto University are obviously quality labels, and the significance of them cannot be over-emphasized. The Aalto degrees have an exceptional value both in the Finnish society and outside of Finland, and they appear to continue getting more wind beneath their wings in the near future.  

Further information: 

Read more about the School of Business Alumni Advisory Board below!

Check the Aalto Finance Alumni association here.

School of Business Alumni Advisory Board 2019. From the left: Ingmar Björkman, Jonna Söderholm, Mika Raulas, Juho Tuovinen, Terttu Sopanen, Elisa Liekkilä, Jaakko Eteläaho, Elina Björklund, Pasi Torppa, Arttu Aine, Norbert Juhász, Niklas Wasenius and Emilia Nevalainen.

School of Business Alumni Advisory Board

Alumni Advisory Board steering group discusses policies related to the School's alumni activities, external relations, and fundraising. The steering group consists of 10–14 alumni representatives from the various study programmes of the School of Business and from different fields of business. The steering group meets approximately four times per year.

School of Business
In the picture, there are some of the School of Business Alumni Ambassadors

School of Business Alumni Ambassadors

Alumni Ambassadors consist of 50 active alumni, who support our School in developing the alumni activities. In addition, the Ambassadors also serve as a bridge between students, the School of Business and business life.

School of Business
Ulkokuva Kauppakorkeakoulusta. Kuva: Unto Rautio / Aalto-yliopisto

School of Business alumni stories

Here you can find School of Business alumni stories. Our alumni share their professional journeys and give advice and tips regarding working life. The stories have been sorted based on the alumni's majors. The newest publications are placed first in the major groups.

School of Business
School of Business Finance

Master's Programme in Finance

The Master’s Programme in Finance prepares students for various leadership and C-level positions in the world’s top companies, including the most prestigious investment banks and management consultancies. Students selected into the programme share high academic potential, motivation and ambition, making Finance graduates an extremely attractive talent pool for global employers. Their critical and truth-seeking mindset, combined with strong analytical skills help solve global business problems across industries from both strategic and practical perspectives.

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