First-year students had been invited to the Meet Your Community 2.0 event on 8 March to meet and listen to professors, alumni and study coordinators from various departments. The aim of the event was to offer walruses (new Aalto business school students, mursut in Finnish), information to support them in their choice among specialisation area options, currently a topical issue for them.
The opening speech of the event was made by Jonna Söderholm, the Head of External Relations at the School of Business, who encouraged the new students to have a chat with the students with a longer experience in business studies.
– Ask about things which interest you. It certainly will be interesting to hear the profs and alumni tell what they themselves have learnt during their study, about the work they have ended up with and about the importance that the studies have had in their placement in working life.
Jonna Söderholm emphasised also the building of networks, which during studies is at least as important as increasing one's knowledge capital. It pays to participate in the activities of KY (Association of Economics Students in Helsinki) and in subject associations.
Tanja Makkonen, a career and recruiting services specialist, talked about the placement of graduates in working life.
– In 2014, the private sector provided employment to 84% of the graduates. Almost one-third (31%) of the kylteris (Finnish Business School Graduates) worked during their studies in organisations that later employed them after their graduation. Of the students, 79% worked at the time of their graduation. Five years after starting to work, the major portion (94%) of the alumni were very satisfied with their degree from the viewpoint of their work career.
After basic studies, eight specialisation areas are available
In the Finnish-language Bachelor's degree programme, there are eight specialisation areas, of which one is selected towards the end of the first study year. The options are management, accounting, business technology, marketing, finance, economics, communications and business law. Alumni, above all, are the right persons to tell about their experiences of these topics.
Mikko Honkanen, who works in a small IT company, emphasised the important of getting a strong grip on sales in entrepreneurship. According to him, it is advisable to get work experience especially in start-ups to keep abreast with the developments. Kari Janhunen represented business students who had studied in the 1960's. He told he had worked 14 years abroad.
– Cultural differences are great around the world. However, they must be respected even though understanding them is often difficult, Janhunen said.
Stefan Söderström works as a management consultant.
– The grade average and CV must both be good if you want to become a consultant in a large consulting company, Söderström commented on his experience.
Sanna Salo told she had changed her major subject from accounting to communications and now works in a communications company. Salo is pleased with having studied also accounting, although it didn't seem like her cup of tea among the major subjects. It has proved useful at work however, because most clients assume that professionals who have graduated from a business school understand well economics figures. Also Maija Laaksonen, a director of human resources employed in the banking sector, said she had studied accounting. Miika Huhta, who studied management as his major study, works in the human resources field as well.
Juhana Brotherus, who studied economics, works as an economist.
– You are well-advised to participate in the activities of subject organisations because with them you inevitably will learn team and communication skills which are needed in working life, Brotherus encouraged the walruses.
Following the presentation of the alumni, the table was divided in accordance with the specialisation subjects and an informal, animated discussion ensued.
Student Artturi Hannula was satisfied with what the event had to offer and explained that he still was trying to figure out which major subject to choose.
– I obtained concrete information about the contents of the subjects and about what working life is like. After this event, I know better what is thought in various subjects. So the choice is not that difficult, he said.
The Career and Recruitment Services of the School of Business, alumni connections and KY collaborated in arranging the event. Meet Your Community 2.0 is continuation to the corresponding event organised in last autumn. Siiri Salli, who currently works in the external relations unit of the School of Business, acted as the compare of the event organised in KY's Saha premises at Otaniemi Campus.