School of Business

School of Business alumni stories

On this page you can find School of Business alumni stories. Our alumni share their professional journeys and give advice and tips regarding working life. In addition, they reminisce about their time as university students. As the articles have been published during different years, some of the alumni may have changed their work position. 

The stories have been sorted based on the alumni's majors. The newest publications are placed first in the major groups. 

Management and International Business

School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member's story: Norbert Juhász

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.”

Norbert Juhász, member of the School of Business Alumni Advisory Board

School of Business alumni story: Julia Österlund

School of Business alumna Julia Österlund studied two different majors at school and thinks that the diverse studies benefit her in her current job: ‘It is also great that I can combine everything I have studied at school - marketing, communications, information technology and calculus.’

Julia Österlund, School of Business alumna in School of Business alumni story

School of Business alumni story: Anne Tolonen

Our alumna Anne Tolonen always knew she would go to work abroad after studies. After spending over 5 years abroad in different management positions, she has learnt to appreciate inspiring and caring leadership manners.

School of Business alumna: Anne Tolonen

School of Business alumni story: Essi Raitala

Diverse career opportunities and varying tasks got our alumna Essi Raitala interested in a career in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Currently, she is on her first posting at the Embassy of Finland in Nairobi.

School of Business alumna Essi Raitala

School of Business Alumni Stories: Katariina Koskelainen

Katariina Koskelainen studied in the School of Business during the years 2008–2013, leadership and management as her major. She works currently as a Senior Consultant at CIVITTA. We asked Katariina to share her insights on working as a consultant and how to pursue a consulting career.

School of Business alumna Katariina Koskelainen

Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen

The Ambassador of Finland to Israel, Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen, is an alumna of the School of Business. As a student, she set her sights on becoming a citizen of the world and she has stayed the course ever since.

Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Mia Sirkiä

“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!”

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Mia Sirkiä

Alumni Ambassador's story: Miikka Huhta

“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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Miikka Huhta

School of Business Alumni story: Niklas Karvonen

Several different experiences and occasions from Aalto University have affected the employment of the School of Business alumnus Niklas Karvonen, who worked as a Business Design Manager at 16Lab in Tokyo in 2018-2019.

Currently Karvonen is working at a Tokyo-based coding bootcamp Code Chrysalis as a Marketing and Community Lead (2020).

School of Business alumnus Niklas Karvonen

School of Business Alumni story: Anna Pakkala

Anna Pakkala was the 2018 Head of Sustainability at Slush. At the moment, Pakkala is working as a Brand Manager at Compensate (2020).

School of Business alumna Anna Pakkala

Alumni Ambassador's story: Juuso Leivonen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Juuso Leivonen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Elisa Liekkilä

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Elisa Liekkilä

Alumni Ambassador's story: Terttu Sopanen

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."

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Terttu Sopanen

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Tatu Mäkilä

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."

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Tatu Mäkilä

Alumni Ambassador's story: Susanna Hyppönen

“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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Susanna Hyppönen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Mikko Kosonen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Mikko Kosonen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Emilia Rantala

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Emilia Rantala

Alumni Ambassador's story: Minna Rissanen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Minna Rissanen

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Sirpa Widomski

Aalto University School of Business alumna Sirpa Widomski appreciates the broad expertise and networking opportunities granted for the students in the Aalto University.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Sirpa Widomski

Accounting

School of Business Alumni Advisory Board member's story: Pasi Torppa

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.

Pasi Torppa, member of the School of Business Alumni Advisory Board

School of Business alumni story: Sakari Saarela

Our alumnus Sakari Saarela, who works as a M&A advisor in an investment bank in London, emphasizes the importance of his study time friends and mentoring in helping him to gain preparedness for working life and to proceed to interesting work assignments in his career.

Kauppakorkeakoulun alumni Sakari Saarela

School of Business alumni story: Ilkka Siitonen

School of Business alumnus Ilkka Siitonen encourages students to participate in the events organized together with different companies. “In those events, you get to meet the employees face-to-face and ask them about their job.”

School of Business alumnus Ilkka Siitonen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Emilia Rantala

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Emilia Rantala

Alumni Ambassador's story: Matti Honkala

"Accept the job when offered, and don’t be too picky in the beginning", says our alumnus Matti Honkala to the current students.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Matti Honkala

Marketing

School of Business alumni story: Julia Österlund

School of Business alumna Julia Österlund studied two different majors at school and thinks that the diverse studies benefit her in her current job: ‘It is also great that I can combine everything I have studied at school - marketing, communications, information technology and calculus.’

Julia Österlund, School of Business alumna in School of Business alumni story

School of Business alumni story: Noora Kinnunen

School of Business alumna Noora Kinnunen found a job in her own field already during her studies with the help of Aalto’s job portal. She encourages students to take advantage of the services at Aalto and for example take part in the Aalto Talent Expo recruiting fair at the end of October.

Kauppakorkeakoulun alumni Noora Kinnunen

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Markus Helaniemi

“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.”

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Markus Helaniemi

Alumni Ambassador's story: Juha Aarvala

Our Alumni Ambassador Juha Aarvala has been working in the field of medicine for over 20 years. He shared his career story with us and gave some advice for the current students: “Your activity during the studies counts a lot, in addition to the networks and being resilient. The true value of networks is something you should never underestimate! Thus, visit different events, meet new people and learn new things through them.”

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Juha Aarvala

School of Business Alumni story: Niklas Karvonen

Several different experiences and occasions from Aalto University have affected the employment of the School of Business alumnus Niklas Karvonen, who worked as a Business Design Manager at 16Lab in Tokyo in 2018-2019.

Currently Karvonen is working at a Tokyo-based coding bootcamp Code Chrysalis as a Marketing and Community Lead (2020).

School of Business alumnus Niklas Karvonen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Daniel Tuori

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Daniel Tuori

Alumni Ambassador's story: Katariina Helaniemi

“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.

Kauppakorkeakoulun Alumni Ambassador Katariina Helaniemi

Alumni Ambassador's story: Mikko Kosonen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Mikko Kosonen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Arto Hiltunen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Arto Hiltunen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Pirjo Väliaho

”For a fresh graduate, getting a first permanent job at an advertising agency was a dream come true”, reminisces our alumna Pirjo Väliaho.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Pirjo Väliaho

Alumni Ambassador's story: Xiang Ye

Xiang Ye encourages students to create networks and emphasizes the importance of continuous learning.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Xiang Ye

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Sirpa Widomski

Aalto University School of Business alumna Sirpa Widomski appreciates the broad expertise and networking opportunities granted for the students in the Aalto University.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Sirpa Widomski

Finance

School of Business alumni story: Arno Paula

School of Business alumnus Arno Paula started his own company together with two friends. Their company Ambronite tries to help people achieve permanent change of lifestyle by developing drinkable meal replacement.

School of Business alumnus Arno Paula

Alumni Ambassador's story: Maarit Vilen

“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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Maarit Vilen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Kari Janhunen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Kari Janhunen

Economics

School of Business alumni story: Göksu Sarigöl

Our alumna Göksu Sarigöl did an internship during her studies through the School of Business Internship Programme for foreign students. ‘I was lucky that the School of Business Career Services helped me in this part of my career.’

School of Business alumna Göksu Sarigöl

Alumni Ambassador's story: Timo Löyttyniemi

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).

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Timo Löyttyniemi

Alumni Ambassador's story: Kari Janhunen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Kari Janhunen

Alumni Ambassador's story: Petteri Vartiainen

“Interaction always plays a key role at work, regardless of the task”, says the School of Business alumnus Petteri Vartiainen.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Petteri Vartiainen

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Sirkka Hämäläinen

The former Bank of Finland Head Sirkka Hämäläinen emphasizes the importance of extensive, high quality common knowledge in working life success.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Sirkka Hämäläinen

Elina Björklund

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.

Elina Björklund

Information and Service Management

School of Business Alumni story: Li Xu

Li Xu applied for the Master’s Programme in Information and Service Management at Aalto University School of Business partly due to her job requirement. The studies supported her career, and later also helped her proceed towards her dream job at Valio in China.

School of Business alumni Li Xu on her motorbike in China.

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Elvira Vainio

”It is never too late to study more and try new things – I am a good example of that! I studied logistics, but in the working life I realized that I’m more interested in both business and human resources, and so I ended up doing what I do today”, says our alumna Elvira Vainio, who worked as a HRD manager at Veikkaus from 2017 to 2019.

Currently, Vainio is working as a coach at FAB Monday, a company founded by her (2020).

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Elvira Vainio

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Eero Nummela

“Use the good opportunities to grow your networks during the studies”, advises our alumnus Eero Nummela. “Having a comprehensive and versatile network is an asset for an employee, but also the employers appreciate it.”

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Eero Nummela

Alumni Ambassador's story: Olli Copeland

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Olli Copeland

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management

Jamila Awadh: Multiculturalism helps to establish business contacts

Business studies at Aalto complemented Jamila Awadh’s previous studies and experience. Studies led to her current position as Business and Marketing Director at Polar Glucan.

kuva Jamila Awadh

Business Law

School of Business alumni story: Essi Raitala

Diverse career opportunities and varying tasks got our alumna Essi Raitala interested in a career in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Currently, she is on her first posting at the Embassy of Finland in Nairobi.

School of Business alumna Essi Raitala

Alumni Ambassador's story: Arto Hiltunen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Arto Hiltunen

International Business (Mikkeli campus)

School of Business alumni story: Mikael Lauharanta

School of Business, Mikkeli Campus alumnus Mikael Lauharanta appreciates the nature of studies in the BScBA Program: "It’s a fast paced program that prepares you well for the working life and all the challenges it might throw at you."

Mikael Lauharanta is a School of Business, Mikkeli Campus alumnus and co-founder and COO of Smarp

Alumni Ambassador's story: Elisa Liekkilä

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Elisa Liekkilä

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Eero Nummela

“Use the good opportunities to grow your networks during the studies”, advises our alumnus Eero Nummela. “Having a comprehensive and versatile network is an asset for an employee, but also the employers appreciate it.”

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Eero Nummela

Alumni Ambassador's story: Olli Copeland

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Olli Copeland

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Juho Tuovinen

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Juho Tuovinen

Aalto University Executive Education (MBA)

Alumni Ambassador’s story: Sami Pauni

”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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Sami Pauni

Alumni Ambassador's story: Annika Jyllilä-Vertigans

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Annika Jyllilä-Vertigans

Alumni Ambassador's story: Katja Kääriä

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.

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Katja Kääriä

Alumni Advisory Board members

School of Business Alumni Advisory Board 2019. From the left: Ingmar Björkman, Jonna Söderholm, Mika Raulas, Juho Tuovinen, Terttu Sopanen, Elisa Liekkilä, Jaakko Eteläaho, Elina Björklund, Pasi Torppa, Arttu Aine, Norbert Juhász, Niklas Wasenius and Emilia Nevalainen.

Alumni Advisory Board

Alumni Advisory Board discusses policies related to the School's alumni activities, external relations, and fundraising.

School of Business
Alumni of the School of Business
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