Sari Nevanpää, who graduated from the Master's Degree Programme in Marketing in summer 2019, received a Dean's List award last week. This award can be given to recently graduated Bachelors and Masters of Science in Economics and Business Administration who have completed their degree with excellent grades and within the normative length of studies. The award was a pleasant surprise to Sari Nevanpää.
‘It’s wonderful to receive such a recognition for the work done for one's studies.’
Quick launch into an international career
As soon as autumn arrived, Sari Nevanpää began working in Lidl's International Trainee programme, which, thanks to its diversity, is an excellent choice for a recent Business School graduate.
‘During the programme, I will work both in the various departments of Lidl's Finnish headquarters and in different shops in the field. During the field period, I’ll have a chance to get acquainted with the tasks of the salesperson, the shop manager and the area manager, and finally the operations of the distribution centre. Right now, I'm performing a field period in Jyväskylä in Central Finland,’ Sari Nevanpää says.
‘For the last six months of the eighteen-month programme, I will be working in Germany. After graduating from the programme, I will be employed in the digital team at the Finnish headquarters, responsible for, e.g., Lidl's online shop.’
Through the University of Tampere to Aalto
Sari Nevanpää completed her Bachelor of Science (Economics and Business Administration) studies at the University of Tampere, from which she graduated in spring 2016. After a student exchange period in the United States, Sari decided to apply to the Master's Programme in Marketing at Aalto University.
‘I value the education I received at the University of Tampere and I enjoyed my time there. However, I decided to apply to Aalto's Master's programme, since the international atmosphere and the versatile offering of courses in marketing at Aalto attracted me. I considered it wonderful that I was able to choose between different courses within my major subject and thus build a degree that felt like my own. Of course, Aalto's reputation as a high-quality university also influenced my decision to apply to do my Master's studies specifically at Aalto's School of Business,’ says Sari Nevanpää.
‘As a minor subject, I took Aalto’s Information Technology Programme (ITP) and I believe that, in addition to my M.Sc. (Econ.) degree, the project experience I gained during this programme might have been a factor that contributed to my rapid employment. At Lidl, the digital team is responsible for the implementation of various projects, so the project experience will certainly be useful in my future job.’
Genuine interest in the courses and spacing out of studies and work explain the success in studies
The grounds for being granted the Dean's List award are a rapid pace of studying and good grades. Sari Nevanpää explains how she succeeded in combining fast studies awarded with excellent grades with work.
‘What lies behind my success in my studies is probably the fact that I was genuinely interested in the courses I took, and this gave me perseverance to take the trouble of doing my studies. It was important to me that I was able to study what I’m interested in and select the courses accordingly,’ she explains.
Sari Nevanpää recommends working during studies. Her way of combining studies and work was to space them out.
‘I divided the studies and work into separate periods. For example, when I completed the ITP programme in summer 2018, instead of having a summer job, I worked from January to May in the spring semester. At least for me, spacing out was a good way to go, as it allowed me to give more to both work and studies, one at a time. I’m happy that the spacing out tactics succeeded, as the work experience gained gave me an advantage when applying for my first job.’
The favourites: corporate cases, Career Services – and the thesis!
Sari Nevanpää appreciated the way Master's courses allowed the students to develop new kinds of solutions to different business cases, to operate in a genuinely international environment, and to continuously challenge themselves and their own thinking. Master's studies at Aalto provided good tools for operating in today's business world, where adaptation to change and the development of new kinds of solutions are constantly present. It was a small surprise how nice Sari felt about doing the Master's thesis.
‘In my Master's thesis, I studied everyday consumption and consumer relationship to possessing things, and the context of my thesis was Moomin mug collectors. I liked very much interviewing the collectors, and I thought it was wonderful how freely my thesis advisor allowed me to take my thesis in the direction I wanted. My thesis process culminated in an opportunity to present my findings at the headquarters of Fiskars, the producer of the Moomin mugs and, furthermore, I learned that my thesis is being used as a foundation for a scientific article!’
Sari Nevanpää wants to give a special recognition to the Career Services of the School of Business.
‘They gave me assistance with polishing my CV and considering my future career options. It’s wonderful that the school provides not only the studies but also support in the transfer to working life.’
Increased flexibility would speed up studies
The development proposal Sari Nevanpää would like to give regarding Master's studies at the School of Business is increased flexibility.
‘Today, it is very difficult to find employment without work experience gained during university studies. Therefore, many people work a lot while studying, and this can delay their graduation. To make it easier to combine work and studies, studies could be developed in an even more flexible direction.’
If anyone is considering the possibility of applying to Aalto's Master's degree programmes, Sari Nevanpää encourages them to go ahead and apply.
‘If you are interested in an international environment and what Aalto's Master's programmes have to offer, you should definitely apply. I feel that Aalto's Master's studies have given me excellent foundations from which to launch a working career both in Finland and abroad. In addition, if you are changing the place of study, there is no need to fear not finding friends in the new seat of learning. I myself found like-minded people who are nice company both in class and at leisure at events and in courses during the very first few weeks of my studies,’ Sari Nevanpää says.