"I got everything that ITP promised" says Aalto University Information Technology Program (ITP) alum Quý Phạm
Quick recap of ITP
Information Technology Program (ITP) is an annual Aalto University summer minor program of 24 ECTS. It combines business, design, and technology and hosts students from various fields and countries, making it both international and multidisciplinary. At the core of the three-month program are business projects done in collaboration with real companies.
There are 3 specialization tracks with their respective coordinators: Information and Service Business (ISB), Digital and Intelligent Ecosystems (DIE) and Strategy and Experience Design (SED).
New knowledge, hands-on experience and great people
Once Quý’s exchange got canceled, his summer suddenly freed up. Quý wanted to start his Master’s and apply for a consultancy internship in the Autumn, and was used to summer studies from his time in Mikkeli, so ITP felt like a good choice. He also thought that ITP would be a nice addition for his CV before applying for the internship and a great opportunity for growing his networks.
Quý did his Bachelor minor in the Information Services Business track (ISB) in 2021. The key takeaway from his ITP studies was that Information Services Business was his first touchpoint into the world of IT and information services, as he had the impression that IT was only about coding and programming, and everyone in IT would be very tech-oriented. What he learned was that IT needs diverse people, backgrounds and skills too, as it’s part of the bigger business picture instead of a standalone field. Even if the short time he spent in ITP only scratched the surface o ISB, it still opened many doors for him. Without the knowledge he gained in the Information Services Business track, he probably wouldn’t have even applied for a technology consultant trainee position.
Quý found the business project as demanding and at-times stressful, but highly rewarding. He didn’t have prior experience of working for an actual client. He learned a lot about collaborating with a client and what the work of a consultant could look like. He found communication, curiosity, co-creation and transparency to be very important aspects of client consultancy projects. In addition, he learned how to collaborate in a team more efficiently. His team had some conflicts over the summer, but they worked through them all together. This taught Quý to be more open to being challenged.
The technology consultant trainee position Quý is currently working in felt like a natural continuation from ITP. Quý says that what he’s doing in his day-to-day work is very similar to what he did in the ITP business project. During the interview phase, ITP came up a lot, since a lot of Quý’s knowledge of ISB and consultancy project work came from ITP. Studying in ITP to working as a consultant was a seamless transition. Quý says that he gets to apply all of his learnings from ITP in his current role. He finds curiosity and an open mind towards learning to be the most important qualities of a consultant, since you get to work with a lot of different clients and industries; you’re not going to be an expert in all of them. The process of approaching a new project is the same in ITP and management consultancy: you learn about your client, their needs, goals and industry. Then you combine those learnings to form a solution proposal. Learn and deliver.
Quý Phạm, 2022
"The consultancy trainee position felt like a natural continuation from ITP"
With the pressure of intense studies in ITP, Quý felt a bit intimidated in the beginning of the summer. However, student events brought the perfect counterweight and his perspective changed. He says that the events ITP organized for the students made the summer vibrant as he got to bond with new friends and teammates while having fun. He enjoyed hanging out with peers outside of official ITP events too, for instance he went to an Aalto pride party with friends from ITP and the Asian students of ITP had Asian dinners together. He got to form meaningful connections and memories during the summer.
To summarize, Quý got everything ITP promised: knowledge and practical skills he got to apply in his work, as well as friends and fun. For future ITP students, Quý says to be curious and open to new opportunities. ITP is demanding, but rewarding. The alumni and staff are here for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions. ITP opened a lot of doors for him, it will do so for you too!
Quý Phạm, 2022
Events made the summer more vibrant. I got to form meaningful connections and memories. I got everything that ITP promised!
Quý is an Aalto Mikkeli alum, who's now doing his master's in Finance. He works as a technology transformation consultant trainee at EY.