How would you describe the International Business Program?
International Business Program prepares you for the real business world. Organizations are moving faster, transforming their cultures and changing the ways how they operate. People who are used to study programmes like BScBA programme where things move fast and you need to understand concepts quickly, tend to be more ready for today’s business, its changes and diversity.
And while BScBA students may not be the experts in finance or for example accounting, the assets you gain help transition to become specialized in almost any industry of your choosing.
What is your advice for current BScBA students and recent graduates?
I strongly believe BScBA students are well prepared for the next steps in their studies and career compared to other students. Like many politicians, I like to list things.
The main reasons for this are
- You are more confident – trust in that confidence when it comes getting that dream job of yours.
- You are more prepared for actual work – industries like consulting are all about learning new topics very quickly, applying your existing knowledge and performing with integrity. You learn to work with different people and aim little bit higher. This is what BScBA is also all about.
- You are better speakers – You will see this already during your master’s studies but BScBA studies train you well for getting in front of the audience and deliver your message with confidence and passion. And I can say this with personal experience: that readiness takes in front of interesting people may they be well known business executives or Nordic ministers.
As for my two pieces of advice, I would say the following. Do not compare yourself to others and do not focus on titles.
Just because your peer has taken their career one way, you set your own path to the direction you want to take. Just because somebody else has followed one approach, does not mean you cannot reach the same goal with a different approach.
Also, if you only look at titles you might miss your chance for something incredible. Often what an executive does in one firm equals to what a manager does in another. Focus on impact you can make, and the end results, titles and promotions will speak for themselves.
What would you do differently in your studies?
I would do two things if I was a student today.
Number one would be the opportunity to take courses outside of business to extend my knowledge when graduating. Aalto University offers great opportunities to look for ideas and find areas of passion outside of business. While I would remain business focused, I would probably take some courses in cloud technologies, quantum computing, ethics of AI or cybersecurity leadership for example. These are not necessarily major focus points for future business leaders and experts, but they are becoming more and more relevant regardless of your future role.
Second point would be attending excursions and contacting alumni directly. I am proud to say to some extent you as current Babas are much more mature when it comes to this compared to myself. I would still urge you to directly contact alumni and ask what about companies, possible roles and how to get a chance with the firm. Your alumni are more than happy to help you out!
Your best/funniest memory/memories from Mikkeli?
McFreeriders – I’ll just leave it there.
Why should someone choose the BScBA Program?
BScBA program is a unique opportunity to prepare you for a career that fits you. Historically, BScBA has maintained its status as demanding but preparing. I strongly believe in that. You learn to play hard when needed, but you also know how to take it easy when there is the time for it.
While BScBA might not make you an expert in specific subject areas, it does provide you building blocks which help in setting the direction for the next steps of your path.
The networks you build during your studies will help you. Your fellow students will end up working in different industries, some outside of business altogether. Years later you might run into a person just to find out they are an alumnus like yourself. And you will find fellow ‘Babas’ all around which sometimes jokingly make these situations feel like “us and the rest”.
Find out more about Niko's career path in LinkedIn!