Student Antti Regelin: Aalto encourages us to be creative and bold

‘Well, one thing I’m certainly not going to study is technology,’ said Antti Regelin while still in upper secondary school. Things turned out differently though, and he ended up studying automation and robotics.
Antti Regelin/ automaatio- ja informaatioteknologia/ Aalto-yliopisto /image: Ira Matilainen
Antti Regelin studies in the School of Electrical Engineering. He moved all the way from Rovaniemi to Otaniemi’s Teekkarikylä Student Village, and now he can’t imagine studying anywhere else. Image: Ira Matilainen/Aalto University.

How did you end up studying automation and robotics?

When I was in upper secondary school, I wasn’t interested in studying technology. First, I thought I would apply to study medicine, because my friends who were interested in natural sciences seemed to be applying for that. While in the army, I worked in flight intelligence, and I got the opportunity to work with many different devices and systems.  At that time, I started thinking that I could use my science expertise to do something different to just studying medicine.

Having become interested in technology, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to study at Aalto University. It seemed to me that the Otaniemi campus was a kind of creative hub, and the Teekkarikylä Student Village seemed like a truly unique place.

As someone from Lapland, I wondered if Aalto would be too difficult for me, and how I would manage in the technology sector. I had lived abroad already during upper secondary school, so luckily I had the courage to go for it!

What is everyday student life like?

I like Aalto because this is a place where technology, economics and art and design are linked together, and students here are encouraged to be creative and bold. This is also a really cool place, and there is always something crazy and interesting going on.

Student life here is genuinely enjoyable, and sometimes it is even painful to see that there are so many interesting activities going on but just not enough time to participate in everything. I'm involved in guild activities, and I would encourage everyone to do the same. Guild activities provide unforgettable experiences and a sense of community, which is difficult to find in other life situations. It is also great to be part of traditions that are older than many of the universities in Finland.

What has been the most interesting course?

I have been satisfied with the teaching, and I like how we are encouraged to be brave and try out different things. One unforgettable course was the first year Electrical Workshop course, in which we built different electronic devices in groups containing students from different fields. As a course project, my group built a working mini electric car which operates using Bluetooth. In the project, I worked particularly on the electrical and software aspects. The course taught me how to program and to not be afraid of cables, electrical components and minicomputers. It was a really fun project!

Other memorable courses have included the mathematics course on matrix calculation and the second-year Signals and Systems course. Ah yes, and of course Esa Saarinen's amazing Philosophy and Systems Thinking course!

What does the future look like for the technology field?

The future of the field is in general looking very good for both masters of engineering and experts in automation and robotics. The figures on finding employment after graduation are top-level, and I have noticed that companies are interested in us even while we are still studying. There are enormous opportunities in technology, and in the future, I will certainly find it difficult to decide where I want to work because there will be so many interesting opportunities.

However, I know at least that in the future I would like to use my work to build a better world. It is important for me that I would get to do my part in tackling climate and energy problems. I look forward to what the future will bring, and right now I would not want to be studying anywhere else except here.

For general upper secondary students who are considering their options for the future, I would say it’s important to be bold in thinking about your future – don’t close the doors without having thought things through more deeply. Be brave! 

Read more: Studies at the School of Electrical Engineering and our English-taught Bachelor's Programmes

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