The first-year School of Business students received tips from alumni to support the major choice

Alumni gave tips to first-year students, the mursus, to support their choice of major at Meet Your Community event on April 7, 2022.
Opiskelijoita Kauppakorkeakoululla. Kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Unto Rautio
School of Business students. Photo: Unto Rautio.

Aalto University School of Business organizes annually Meet Your Community event for the first-year bachelor's students as a part of their curriculum. The aim of the event is to support the students' decision to choose a major and at the same time introduce the students more closely to the School of Business community and especially to alumni.

The event was held virtually on April 7th on the Zoom platform. The event included a short info session from Tanja Makkonen, Senior Manager at Career Services in School of Business, an alumni panel discussion led by Fiona Jokivuolle, Specialist in Alumni Relations at the School of Business and finally group discussions by major with students and alumni. The students chose two different major groups, where they got to hear tips from the alumni as well as ask questions.

The students received information about the School of Business graduates in working life, as well as tips on what to keep in mind when choosing their own major.

‘In addition to the choice of major and minor subjects, there are many other things that affect the employment at the time of graduation. Typically, business graduates are well employed. However, it is important to choose the major that interests you most and that you find most meaningful. Work experience as well as internships in one's own field during the studies, networks, ability to communicate your own skills and other things are important in terms of employment,’ Makkonen explained.

Alumni tips for students

One alumnus/a from each of the seven bachelor's major subjects participated in the panel discussion. In the group discussions, two alumni from each major answered students' questions and shared their experiences about studies and career.

In the panel discussion, our alumni Julius Kontiola and Aki Putkiranta recommended exchange studies for everyone - the exchange was a fun and exciting experience for them. Vilma Lauslahti also recommended student exchange and told that an internship in a company helped her further employment in the same company. The internship clarified her thoughts about what she wanted to do after the studies, and it gave her concrete experience from working life and new perspectives for master's studies as well.

When asked about the most important things that our alumni had acquired from their studies in the School of Business, the alumni mentioned e.g., the ability to adopt new skills, which has been very useful in consulting work. The alumni said that they gained a good self-confidence for learning new things, and that they were able to perform in more challenging working life situations as well. In addition, communication courses were considered very important.

My minor studies have also been important for my career, and I warmly recommend taking company case projects during studies.

Minna Rissanen, School of Business alumna

What influenced the alumni's choice of major?

Mikko Heiskanen once considered between law and business, but he ended up studying business and business law at the School of Business, because there he could also take sales and marketing courses that were interesting to him. For Ossi Niemelä, accounting was a natural choice, as he had always liked working with numbers. He also feels that accounting gave capabilities to diverse work assignments.

Vilma Lauslahti considered for a long time between finance and accounting and eventually decided to take finance as a major and accounting as a minor. She thought that finance would provide a broad vision and a good background for the future, and she is still pleased with her choice of major.

Tommi Aarnio, chose economics because he was interested in societal questions and wanted to understand the big picture, both on micro and macro levels. From the studies, he acquired good tools for thinking and understanding various phenomena, which has been useful in his career. 

Aki Putkiranta followed his heart in choosing his major. He had been interested in technology from an early age - but not so much about how it works, but what you can do with it - and therefore chose information and service management.

Julius Kontiola chose marketing because he felt that it did not limit his options for future career path and jobs too much. Working in marketing requires a broad understanding of society, culture and business, and the broadness of his studies has been very beneficial in his positions related to e.g. brand building, marketing communications and advertising.

Minna Rissanen chose management studies because she was interested in organizational psychology and human interaction. ‘Ideas are often created in human interaction and in how people communicate with each other. I pondered between management and finance, but I chose management as my major because for me, the numbers have never been the greatest passion, even though they are needed in my current job as well. My minor studies have also been important for my career, and I warmly recommend taking company case projects during studies.’

The students gave good feedback on the event and the alumni’s tips. Some students hoped to have the possibility to participate in more than two group discussions and longer time in groups.

Career events and sustainable career design

During the academic year, the School of Business and Aalto students have many opportunities to meet alumni at various events. In School of Business for example there will be a Welcome Evening for new master's students in the fall. 

In addition, the new Aalto University Career Design Lab helps both students and alumni to design a meaningful and sustainable career based on the values of equality, sustainability and well-being. Workshops for alumni can be found at Aalto Alumni Circle (log in required).

School of Business alumni who participated in the Meet Your Community event:

Management and International Business

  • Minna Rissanen, Senior Service Designer, frog
  • Julius Hurri, Talent Manager, Netlight Consulting


  • Eeva Aaltonen, Senior Brand Marketing Manager, Rovio
  • Julius Kontiola, Director, Marketing & Advertising Services, Miltton 

Information and Service Management

  • Aki Putkiranta, Emerging Business Developer, Cargotec


  • Tommi Aarnio, Senior Analyst, Nordea
  • Sara Hellemaa, Financial Specialist, Ministry of Finance


  • Vilma Lauslahti, Corporate M&A Analyst, Fortum
  • Mikko Malinen, Assistant Manager, KPMG Global Strategy Group


  • Ossi Niemelä, Business Development Manager, Mehiläinen
  • Jenni Wilen, Senior Audit Associate, PwC Finland

Business Law

  • Mikko Heiskanen, Director, Tax Services, Rantalainen 
  • Lotta Hankimo, Indirect Tax Manager, EY

More information:

Tanja Makkonen
Senior Manager, Career Services
[email protected]

Fiona Jokivuolle
Specialist, Alumni Relations
[email protected]

Career Services for School of Business students

Aalto University School of Business Career Services offer a wide range of services to our students.

Aalto University School of Business offers wide range of career services for our students

School of Business Graduates in Working Life

Aalto University School of Business Career Services follows the career development and labor market situation of School of Business graduates.

Opiskelijoita käytävällä. Kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Aino Huovio

For School of Business alumni

The School of Business alumni community offers possibilities for lifewide learning, networking and contributing to our School's mission: Better Business - Better Society. Join our alumni community!

Better Business - Better Society seminar in December 2019, School of Business alumni networking after the seminar

Share your experiences with the students

As the School of Business alumnus/alumna, you have the opportunity support our current students in their studies and transition to the working life through mentoring and career events, for example.

Three students of the School of Business studying together. Photo by Unto Rautio.

Services for employers at the School of Business

Through us you'll reach business students in various ways. We, for example, publish employers' job adverts, mediate recruitment messages and organize career events & fairs.

Four people sitting on a bench outside a Building with large glass windows and a School of Business logo. People are laughing.
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