The School of Business organises an annual Meet Your Community (MYC) event for first-year bachelor students. The aim of the event is to support decisions in selecting an area of specialisation, while at the same time helping first-year students get better acquainted with the School of Business community. The benches at the Aalto Hall in Otaniemi filled up for one of the meetings of the Opinnot haltuun course, which was held this year on 18 April.
The MC at the Meet Your Community was School of Business student Max Puttonen, who interviewed members of a panel comprising school alumni about their experiences as students - about how they had taken advantage of what they had learned later at work and what kinds of jobs they ended up getting. In addition, after the panel each of the specialisations presented themselves under the leadership of a professor at their own stands.
'The alumni have a very important role at the MYC. They have walked a similar path in their time from studies to work and they are now capable of sharing tips on studies and work. In addition to being information for our students that is worth its weight in gold, this also tends to reinforce the community spirit of the School of Business', says School of Business alumni coordinator Emilia Karlén, who was one of the organisers of the event.
Personal strengths guide selection of speciality
A first-year student eventually has to decide - or is allowed to decide - which speciality would be most suitable for them. Our panellists encouraged students to boldly listen to their own voices instead of those of their friends. What genuinely interests you is usually the right choice. Many had also used a process of elimination for making their choice. 'I started to think about where I would definitely not want to go and what would interest me the least. By eliminating one area after the other, my choice was ultimately quite clear.'
The multidisciplinary character of Aalto University is worth utilising
Although the selection of a specialisation is a powerful guiding factor for studies and perhaps identifies people inevitably onto a distinct path, our alumni encouraged students to select interesting courses from outside their own area as well. Aalto has magnificent opportunities to link courses with their studies that transcend boundaries between schools.
'Today I would add some more technological studies to my School of Business degree. For instance, understanding digitalisation is currently a requirement for almost any kind of job.'
Balance needed between work and free time
No matter if you are a student or already at work, you need to take care of yourself and your own well-being, our alumni emphasise. A suitable amount of exercise, rest, and nutrition is a sure-fire combination that helps people cope. Dealing with social relationships is also an important part of well-being. The alumni encourage first-year students to participate actively in student organisation activities, which help create networks that can last a lifetime. It will probably not come as a surprise to anyone that the First of May celebrations, that are just around the corner, ended up being the best shared free-time memory of their first year of studies.
The panelists were:
Harri Ikonen, Sales Director at WheelQ, Management, 2012,
Aira Seuna, BI Specialist at Tieto, Information and service management, 2016
Xiang Ye, Product manager at Lindström, Marketing, graduated in late 2011
Emma Honkanen, Investment Professional at eQ Asset Management, Financing, 2000
Tuomas Kiviranta, Senior Business Consultant at BearingPoint, economics, 2015
Susanna Salminen, Senior Tax Advisor at EY, Corporate law, 2016