Niina Pitkänen
Department of Information and Service Management

Niina Pitkänen

Aalto Thesis Programme Manager, Work-Life Specialist

Contact information

Postal address
Ekonominaukio 1
Work phone number
050 471 4423


Trust the process. Test rather today than tomorrow.


I am on maternity leave until the end of my current contract of employment (31 December 2020).

Industry collaboration in teaching, external partnerships, project-based courses and challenge-based learning, as well as communication and teamwork (multidisciplinary collaboration especially), are the core areas of my expertise.

Currently, I am managing and developing a newly launched Aalto Thesis - a project-based and multidisciplinary programme for making the Master’s thesis in work-life collaboration. In our programme, a team of 2-4 students from different Aalto schools is formed to jointly solve a multidimensional challenge given by a real work-life Partner.

While working at Aalto, I have also been teaching a few courses about mentoring skills for work-life and business and entrepreneurship in creative industries.

I am an expert in identifying the real needs of stakeholders and finding paths to solve tricky problems. While my educational background is in communications, I truly believe that successful collaboration is based on shared understanding and well-communicated added value.

My passion is to design future-proof education concepts and future-led learning experiences!


Before Aalto, I worked almost for 10 years at the University of Jyväskylä as a Work-Life Specialist teaching and developing work-life oriented courses and learning experiences. I was also leading an extensive initiative to integrate entrepreneurial skills, attitudes, and mindsets to education in close collaboration with the JAMK University of Applied Sciences and Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia. I am an entrepreneurial experimenter also myself: I believe in quick prototyping and real feedback from the actual users or customers when developing new teaching and learning concepts.