School of Business Alumni Ambassadors
Aalto University School of Business Alumni Ambassadors participate actively in our School's alumni activities. They act as messengers for other alumni and introduce our School's activities to their networks. One of the most important task of Alumni Ambassadors is to share stories with the younger generation of students about the toolkit our School provides for working life purposes.
Alumni Ambassadors' activities are coordinated by the School of Business, and the tasks belonging to the role of Alumni Ambassadors may be, among other things, mentoring and participating in career events intended for students. They also give their valuable advice to our School regarding the development of alumni activities.
At the moment, there are approximately 50 Alumni Ambassadors. They represent our School's different study programs and various business sectors. They also represent classes from the 1950s to present day.
You can familiarize yourself with the Alumni Ambassadors through the list below.
- Pekka Ala-Pietilä, 1978
- Riku Asikainen, 1990
- Elina Björklund, 1989
- Emma Böös, 2005
- Bernardo Clementino, 2010
- Olli Copeland, BScBA 13
- Jaakko Eteläaho, 2002
- Anu Haverinen, 1995
- Katariina Helaniemi, 2009
- Markus Helaniemi, 2009
- Arto Hiltunen, 1976
- Matti Honkala, 1972
- Miikka Huhta, 2009
- Niklas Huotari, 2010
- Susanna Hyppönen, 2007
- Kari Janhunen, 1965
- Norbert Juhász, 2010
- Annika Jyllilä-Vertigans, Aalto EE 2014
- Mikko Kosonen, 1978
- Katja Kääriä, Aalto EE 2004
- Michelle Lam, 2012
- Juuso Leivonen, 2001
- Elisa Liekkilä, BScBA 8
- Riitta Lumme-Tuomala, 1979
- Timo Löyttyniemi, 1982
- Tatu Mäkilä, 2003
- Riikka Nieminen, 2013
- Kristo Ovaska, 2004
- Sami Pauni, Aalto EE 2013
- Sampo Päällysaho, 1992
- Emilia Rantala, 2006
- Pekka Rantala, 1986
- Rilana Riikkinen, 2013
- Minna Rissanen, 2011
- Mia Sirkiä, 1994
- Terttu Sopanen, 1990
- Mika Suortti, 1984
- Le Thuy, 2013
- Daniel Tuori, 1983
- Juho Tuovinen, BScBA 4
- Salla Vainio, 1988
- Petteri Vartiainen, 1993
- Sirpa Widomski, 1964
- Kaisa Vikkula, 1980
- Maarit Vilen, 1996
- Pirjo Väliaho, 1975
Alumni Ambassadors' alumni stories
School of Business Alumna of the Year 2018 Elina Björklund is the CEO of Reima. She has graduated from the Helsinki School of Economics. Before Reima she worked at Iittala.
Alumni Ambassador Olli Copeland: Being active during student life in different types of organizations can make you stand out in a positive way
The School of Business Alumni Ambassadors' youngest member, Olli Copeland urges everyone to make new connections and broaden one's network. "Especially being a part of student organizations is an excellent way to network", says Copeland.
The School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member Jaakko Eteläaho has done a long career as an investment banker among mergers & acquisitions and says that the Finance studies have been extremely useful in his career. In addition to Alumni Advisory Board, Eteläaho has been part of Aalto Alumni Network Board and is also one of the founders of Aalto Finance Alumni association. “I encourage all alumni to be active alumni, as it is a lot of fun and widens one’s perspectives.”
Alumni Ambassador Katariina Helaniemi: The School of Business degree gives you the possibility to go everywhere, as long as you are ambitious and daring enough
“You should definitely take the kind of courses that really interest you, since that is what motivates you the most”, says the School of Business alumna Katariina Helaniemi.
Alumni Ambassador Markus Helaniemi: It is important to read a lot and follow the news outside your own expertise area
“Thanks to the business studies, I now understand the customers and corporate challenges better and I know how to be of better use to the customers”, says our Alumni Ambassador Markus Helaniemi. “Besides having the business expertise, common knowledge and wide understanding on the world and societal aspects should be emphasized.”
Alumni Ambassador Arto Hiltunen: Consider your study time to be more than just acquiring knowledge from books and lectures
Our Alumni Ambassador Arto Hiltunen reminds that all kind of work experience, especially the summer job experience during the studies, has an effect on the career in the future. "Being active is one of the key factors", says Hiltunen.
"Accept the job when offered, and don’t be too picky in the beginning", says our alumnus Matti Honkala to the current students.
“I applied to the Aalto University Mentoring Program, and I’m glad I did, since it benefited me a lot!” says the School of Business Alumni Ambassador Miikka Huhta. He emphasizes that the Mentoring Program is a good chance to get peer support from the other mentees.
‘It’s worth following your own interests and enthusiasm, because then there’s a better chance of really becoming good at something.’ says Niklas Huotari, a new School of Business Alumni Ambassador and the CEO of aTalent Recruiting.
Alumni Ambassador Susanna Hyppönen: You can always change the direction and make new choices later on in your career
“Developing the resilience to adapt to possible changes and being ready to continue learning also after the graduation are huge assets in the working life”, reminds our alumna Susanna Hyppönen.
Alumni Ambassador Kari Janhunen: I was encouraged to go and work abroad because of internships spent abroad
Internships abroad spurred our alumnus Kari Janhunen to seek work abroad. He has spent 20 years of his work career abroad in different positions within international finance.
The School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member Norbert Juhász studied in International Business and CEMS MIM master’s programmes. Aalto student community, business case competitions with fellow students and the possibility to study and live completely in English in Finland are very memorable to him. “Being an alumnus means being part of a community and being part of a shared history with that community.”
Alumni Ambassador Annika Jyllilä-Vertigans: Developing the skill to learn new things is the most important aspect in working life
Our alumna Annika Jyllilä-Vertigans completed EMBA degree in Aalto University Executive Education as she felt the need to deepen her knowledge in the ever-changing working life. At the same time, her professional and personal networks have broadened.
Alumni Ambassador Mikko Kosonen: Knowing people widely from different sectors benefits you in the future
President of Sitra and School of Business alumnus Mikko Kosonen challenges students to plan their studies well. ”Tackling different challenges demands cooperation between the public and private sector, and it is no more enough to know only your own field well”, advises Kosonen.
Alexei Koveshnikov, who is our alumnus and Associate Professor in Management and Organization at the School of Business, became also a member of our School’s Alumni Advisory Board in fall 2020. He encourages students to obtain meta-skills and meta-competences, which are invaluable in today’s business life.
Alumni Ambassador Katja Kääriä: In the future, we will need even the most surprising study combinations
Having studied throughout her working life, our alumna Katja Kääriä encourages everyone to acquire interdisciplinary knowledge for the future. "It is important to look at things from different perspectives. New things give energy and development ideas for work", Kääriä emphasizes.
Alumni Ambassador Juuso Leivonen: Hobbies and working at a student union have marked a strong start to my career
The Secretary General of the Association of Business Schools Finland, our alumnus Juuso Leivonen created a job out of his study-time activities at the student association.
Our alumna Elisa Liekkilä takes part in the School’s ARENA Career Fair on November 14 as the company representative of Tieto. “At the ARENA Career Fair, one can search for inspiration, knowledge, support and advice by getting to know different companies”, says Liekkilä.
Alumni Ambassador Timo Löyttyniemi: More important than getting good grades is to be eager to learn a wide range of things
Timo Löyttyniemi, who worked as the Vice Chair of the Single Resolution Board in Brussels from 2015 to 2019, underlines the ability to change in today’s working life. “’Agility’ is a good term to describe the true way of working amidst all the changes”, says Löyttyniemi.
Currently, Löyttyniemi is the CEO of The State Pension Fund of Finland (2020).
Alumni Ambassador Tatu Mäkilä: I can warmly recommend entrepreneurship, if you are interested in taking small risks
Entrepreneur, our alumnus Tatu Mäkilä wants to support fresh entrepreneurs and help students to reach for their dreams.
"To me, being an alumnus means giving back, and thus, I am very pleased to help", says Mäkilä."
”I have always grasped the opportunities when facing them – I have not always known where they will take me or whether it is 'the one', but I have gone forward”, says the School of Business Alumni Ambassador Sami Pauni.
Our alumna Emilia Rantala became accidentally part of one of the very first Aalto-level study projects at the newly formed university. Aalto on Waves took her from Lisbon over the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Brazil, and brought along a broad network and many new friendships.
Alumni Ambassador Minna Rissanen: Aalto University enables countless study combinations, and that is how everyone can find their own thing
Ambitious Minna Rissanen has gained a huge advantage from the interdisciplinary programs at Aalto University, and encourages current students to take on new subjects, also outside their own degree.
Alumni Ambassador Mia Sirkiä: You should always navigate according to your own passion and interests
“For me, choosing the major subject was very difficult, as I did not want to delimit any options at the time when I was interested in many things”, reflects Mia Sirkiä, the School of Business Alumni Ambassador. She encourages students in similar situations: ”Think about your own interests and navigate according to those. True passion will lead to prosperity!”
Terttu Sopanen, a Senior Consultant at Brunnen Communications and a School of Business alumna is glad to be working in the field of communication: "We help our customers to be more impressive and to make results that are more visible."
‘An internship is an effective way to find the career that makes you tick’, recommends Le Thuy, Information and Service Management alumna, who works as a strategy consultant at August Associates. As of this fall, she is also a School of Business Alumni Ambassador.
School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member Pasi Torppa studied Accounting in the School of Business and has done a long career in management consulting. Currently, he is a private investor and a board member or chairman in several companies.
Alumni Ambassador Daniel Tuori: I encourage everyone to think already during the studies what is it that you want to do later on in your career
The School of Business alumnus Daniel Tuori encourages students to use all the opportunities that the School offers to meet the alumni and company representatives during the studies.
Alumni Ambassador Juho Tuovinen: Studies at the School of Business gave me confidence to reach for my own goals
Juho Tuovinen has already worked in many international positions. He advises students to think carefully about their own interests when applying for the jobs in their industry.
Alumni Ambassador Oskar Vahervuori: Student activities affected significantly me becoming the person who I am today
“In the 1980s, the studies and academic life were separate from the business world, which was a disappointment for me. Now, the times have luckily changed and it is great to follow the dynamics of different Aalto University units. There are so many good things going on at the campus, and it seems to me like they have Slush every day”, says our alumnus Oskar Vahervuori.
‘The School of Business gave me a lot, most importantly my best friends,’ says Vainio, who is the CEO of the law firm Fondia.
Alumni Ambassador Petteri Vartiainen: It is important to acknowledge your personal set of values and be ready to hold on to them
“Interaction always plays a key role at work, regardless of the task”, says the School of Business alumnus Petteri Vartiainen.
Alumni Ambassador Sirpa Widomski: The studies in the School of Business have strengthened my abilities and self-confidence
Aalto University School of Business alumna Sirpa Widomski appreciates the broad expertise and networking opportunities granted for the students in the Aalto University.
“As an alumna, I have the possibility to stay connected and up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of business studies and future prospects”, says our Alumni Ambassador Maarit Vilen.
Xiang Ye encourages students to create networks and emphasizes the importance of continuous learning.