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The Life after Graduation career event revealed that our students are social and have good language skills

What am I going to be when I grow up?
The panelists were Doctoral Candidate Katharina Cepa from the School of Business, Customer Analyst Jannika Makkonen from Stockmann, Recruitment & Talent Specialist Joni Mäkinen from Danske Bank, and Alexander Patouchas, who is responsible for recruiting at Supercell. The panel was moderated by Henna Sahlberg, a master’s student of corporate communication and trainee in the External Relations unit.

Students have a lot of questions as their studies near completion and graduation is just around the corner. What am I going to be when I grow up? What do I really want? Where can I find my first job as a recent graduate with a Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration)? How have others managed in the same situation?

When preparing to enter working life with a master's degree, many people are still looking to clarify their career plans. This is why Career Services at Aalto University School of Business organised another Life after Graduation career afternoon for students graduating during the next 1–2 years on 28 March. The event provided them with valuable tips from alumni and employers on work, job applications, and career planning for the time after graduation.

The event began with Michael Ljungqvist from Universum Finland telling students about what the future working life will be like on the basis of recent research results. For example, it is no surprise that problem solving, emotional intelligence, creativity and continuous new learning will become even more important when talking about capabilities.

The research results highlight one feature that distinguished Aalto University School of Business students from students in other Finnish business schools.

‘School of Business students are clearly more confident regarding their own competencies in comparison to students at other schools,’ revealed Ljungqvist.

Sini Kangasniemi from KPMG emphasised the importance of being able to identify personal competence when applying for jobs.

‘Think about the skills that you already have. Communicating about competence gained through volunteer work, hobbies or training is essential in a job application situation,’ advised Kangasniemi. She also suggested that students compile their own SWOT analysis before starting to look for work.

Words of encouragement from panellists – the right job will come up before long

How did students who graduated a few years ago experience the challenges of entering working life, or did those challenges even exist? During the discussion, school alumni and employer panelists Doctoral Candidate Katharina Cepa from the School of Business, Customer Analyst Jannika Makkonen from Stockmann, Recruitment & Talent Specialist Joni Mäkinen from Danske Bank and Alexander Patouchas, who is responsible for recruiting at Supercell, did their best to answer questions and reassure students that the right job will come up before long. The most important thing is to aim for what seems good and right.

‘Companies recruit potential, so first consider your personal goals and what you want rather than trying to meet the expectations of others’, summed up Joni Mäkinen from Danske Bank.

‘Many things in life are the combination of planning, coincidence and the right timing. Although you can’t control all of these things, you do know what you want, who you are and the kind of image you want to present,’ said Alexander Patouchas as he encouraged the students.

Several companies also had stands at the event, and discussion with students was brisk after the panel discussion. One of the companies was School of Business partner company Finnair, which regularly offers entry-level positions to new graduates in, for example, data analytics, digital and finance areas.

‘Aalto University is an important partner for us, because this where we can find the best and most potential talent in Finland,’ said HRD Manager Anni Tommo. When asked why business graduates have made such an impression during recruitment processes´, her reply was clear: ‘School of Business students have international experience, good social skills and a broad network of contacts developed during their studies’

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