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School of Business alumni story: Mikael Lauharanta

School of Business, Mikkeli Campus alumnus Mikael Lauharanta appreciates the nature of studies in the BScBA Program: "It’s a fast paced program that prepares you well for the working life and all the challenges it might throw at you."
Mikael Lauharanta is a School of Business, Mikkeli Campus alumnus and co-founder and COO of Smarp

Who are you? What and when did you study at Aalto University School of Business?

Mikael Lauharanta, co-founder & COO of Smarp. I’m a BScBA 9 and we founded Smarp in 2011 with two classmates Roope Heinilä and Tommi Huovinen while still studying International Business in Aalto University. As a safety valve we applied for Master’s programs and I was accepted to the Marketing Program in Aalto but I never started it. At times I second guessed the decision a lot as there are a lot of ups and downs in the startup world but in hindsight it’s easy to see it was the right thing to stick with Smarp.

Why did you want to study business?

I did not have a clear conviction after high school so after I unsuccessfully applied to law school and went to the army, I decided to apply for a business school  since it would leave my options open and give me a good general understanding of the various skills needed to be successful in the business world.

How would you describe the BScBA Programme?

The Programme is intensive but effective and it creates a very close knit community that is as likely to produce friends for life as it is business professionals.

Your best/funniest memory/memories from Mikkeli?

To this date the Summer of 2010 is one of the warmest ever recorded in Finland and I just remember this care-free episode in my life when we would study and go to the beach and swim and have fun for days and it seemed like it would never end and we felt invincible.

Even if you know everything in the world, it is not enough if you don’t know the people who can help you along the way.

Mikael Lauharanta, co-founder & COO of Smarp

How have you found working in a multicultural environment?

It’s one of our greatest strengths as it enriches our thinking, grants more perspective, and enables us to hire talented individuals from all over the world who could potentially struggle to get hired and fit in a more homogenic working environment.

Did you work during your studies? What is your advice for babas interested in working during their studies?

I had a summer job at a bank, which taught me a lot, including that I don’t want to work in a bank. Get an internship at a startup and embrace the chaos or get ready to climb the corporate ladder.

Why should someone pick the BScBA Program?

It’s a fast-paced program that prepares you well for the working life and all the challenges it might throw at you. I especially think the frequent presentations help BScBA Mikkeli students stand out from the crowd in a positive light. Last but not least the program is not too big, which really helps create an amazing team spirit among the students.

 

Further information:

Get to know Mikael’s career at LinkedIn!

Bachelor's Program in International Business, Aalto University

Bachelor's Programme in International Business, Mikkeli Campus

The Bachelor’s Programme in International Business (also called the BScBA Program) provides students with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge to build, develop and lead companies on a global scale. A bachelor’s degree in business with an international focus opens up a wide variety of career opportunities in the private and public sectors, across all industries and continents. If you have global ambitions in any form (e.g. study or work abroad), the Bachelor’s Programme in International Business is for you.

Organised at Aalto University’s Mikkeli Campus, you will join a close-knit community of globally oriented and ambitious Finnish and international students. After the intensive Bachelor studies, including a semester abroad at one of the programme’s many top-tier partner universities, you are guaranteed the study right at a Master’s Programme at Aalto University Otaniemi Campus.

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