School of Business Donor Stories: Roope Rekola
Tell us about you?
My name is Roope Rekola. I got into the School of Business already in 2011, but due to my military service, I didn’t start my studies until the fall of 2012. In my Bachelor’s studies, my major was accounting and as a minor I studied finance. I also did exchange studies at the University of South Carolina in the United States.
In my Master’s degree, I majored in finance, and also completed a CEMS MIM degree. I did exchange studies as part of my CEMS studies in St. Gallen, Switzerland. I got all my courses completed by the end of 2017, but my Master’s thesis remained partly unfinished until I returned the thesis only a few hours before my study right was about to expire, in July 2019. The reason for my Master’s thesis delay was that I had moved to Switzerland in early 2018 to work there. So, writing my thesis alongside with my work did not then progress as fast as I had initially planned. Now, I have been working in Switzerland for already three years, and my plan is to stay here for now.
Your memories when studying at the School of Business?
My student days was a really nice period in my life. I started my studies on the former campus of the School of Business in Töölö, and I completed my Bachelor's studies so that I only took one course on the Otaniemi campus, when the School of Business Bachelor’s program moved from Töölö to Otaniemi in 2015. As for my Master's studies, I completed almost all of my courses also in Töölö campus. For my Master’s thesis, however, I went to visit the new main building of the School of Business in Otaniemi for the first time during my 7th year.
During my studies, the formerly-named TietoEnator Hall in the Töölö main building (which later became the Tieto Hall), which was a computer class, became very familiar to me, and sometimes I would spend the whole night there until the morning to do cases or other exercises for different courses. I remember that no matter what day of the week or time of the week, you did not have to be alone in the class, because there was always someone else also doing course assignments.
The second, even the most important part of studying at the School of Business for me was our student organization KY. Everything that KY did for us students and for our community was extremely important in creating my Kauppis years as they were: The Kauppis years were definitely one of the best periods of my life. I was also closely involved in the activities of KY and its clubs and committees: in the first year I was part of the association for nordic economic students NESUKY and part of the Sports and Wellbeing Committee LiHy. In the LiHy Committee, for example, we launched the Committee's own Adidas college jackets, which have even become like a signature for the Committee, and which were then used in the Committee for several years. After my first study year, I was also involved in several student activities: I was a member of the Aalto University Student Union Representative Council, the treasurer in the board of KY Accounting subject club, part of the maintenance team of the KY Lounge (a student space on the fourth floor of the KY building in Kamppi), a student tutor and the member of CEMS Club Board as treasurer.
Roope Rekola, School of Business alumnus and donor.
I believe that many students will benefit from going outside Finland to see what opportunities the world has to offer.
How have the business studies been useful in your career?
During my first study years, I worked at OP Bank's cash desk, then at Nordea's risk management, and then ended up as a tax consultant for Ernst & Young (EY) in the team of transfer pricing and international taxation, largely because I did my Bachelor's thesis on transfer pricing. After a few years at EY, I went to Germany for an internship for DHL's internal consulting because my CEMS MIM degree included an internship abroad.
I became acquainted with my current place of residence through my exchange studies when I went on an exchange to St. Gallen. My idea at the time was to get to know Switzerland as a country where I could perhaps continue to live. Because the place felt nice, I started looking for jobs in Switzerland towards the end of my Master’s studies. My plan was to move there permanently. Indeed, through the CEMS business partner network, I was able to find an internship first, which later became permanent employment for me in Zug, Switzerland.
In my current job, my responsibility is, in short, to buy energy companies across Europe. I am part of the mergers & acquisitions (M&A) team of MET Group, an energy sector company, where our team is responsible for all the Group’s acquisitions and processes related to them, starting from lead screening to the entire M&A process. At present, my work focuses mainly on renewable energy, in particular wind and solar power plants (Onshore wind and Solar PV), combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT) and natural gas infrastructure, which means gas distribution networks and gas storages. The latest deal I was involved in, was buying gas storage business from Germany.
The most concrete benefit that my studies have given me are the case exercises done at various study courses, and the PowerPoint and Excel skills that I learned from doing the cases – but of course, not forgetting all the subject knowledge that I learned in accounting and finance courses and that I utilize in M&A work in my current job.
What inspired you to donate to the School of Business?
A few things inspired me to donate. First, I feel that I have received a lot from the School for life, and without Kauppis, I certainly would not be in that place in life where I am now, so I wanted to give back to the School, and in this way, enable future students to get as good a study experience as I got.
Secondly, I was a little amused by the fact that I am making a donation to the School, even though at the time of the donation I had not even graduated from the School. The third reason that inspired me to donate, was the slightly futile thought that in the coming decades, if I come to visit the School of Business, I can go and see my own named piece on the Donors’ Wall and think back my Kauppis times, even though I didn’t really study in the new main building of Kauppis in Otaniemi.
Your greetings to the 110-year-old Kauppis?
Keep up with the good work, as before. Also, make sure that students get good opportunities for internationalization, as I believe that many students will benefit from going outside Finland to see what opportunities the world has to offer.
It is also important to maintain close contacts with the student organization KY and the Aalto University Student Union (AYY), as these organizations are a significant resource for students, enabling them to study and enjoy their student days, although sometimes student organization activities may slow down studies a bit.
Your greetings to the current School of Business students?
When I visited the new main building of the School of Business in Otaniemi for the first time and entered these new premises of Kauppis, I was a little jealous of how good the new premises are for the new and current students. My own study time was just at that turning point, where the old students of the School of Business might have had some prejudices against Otaniemi and against the engineering students, but now that Aalto University students are all on the same campus, I think it's absolutely worth taking advantage of all the opportunities for interdisciplinarity.
Our warmest thanks to you Roope for supporting the School of Business and sharing your story with us!
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