Alumnus Jarkko Larkio: 'My studies involved getting out of my comfort zone and learning a lot about the different areas of chemistry.'
Why did you want to complete a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering?
I got a Bachelor’s degree in analytical chemistry from Metropolia University of Applied Science. After working in labs for about two years, I felt I wanted to deepen my knowledge and understanding in chemistry. After researching the possible options for me, Aalto’s School of Chemical Engineering seemed like the right fit. I decided to apply for the Chemistry major, as it offers a diverse collection of courses to specialise in from organic to inorganic chemistry. My specialisation ended up being inorganic and analytical chemistry.
What was the best thing about your studies?
The best thing about my studies was getting out of my comfort zone and learning a lot of new stuff in different areas of chemistry, some of which I had very minimal previous knowledge.
What course did you find the most interesting?
There were actually two very interesting courses that come to mind: Solid State Chemistry and Materials for Renewable Energy. Both courses diverged from the usual lecture-exam type of teaching, which I found was a breath of fresh air. In Solid State Chemistry, we were introduced to different types of materials, their nanostructures and how the nanostructures are analysed. The course didn’t have an exam, but we were tasked with creating two wiki pages, which I found was a lot of fun. In Materials for Renewable Energy, we were introduced to different challenges that we are faced with when creating materials for renewable energy sources. I found this course very interesting because development of renewable energy sources is becoming more and more crucial.
Do you already have a job after your studies? How did you get it?
Yes. I started working in my current company Vaisala (a Finnish company that develops products and services for environmental and industrial measurement) after the first year of my Master’s studies. I applied for a summer job there and got hired. After the summer was over, I was able to continue working part-time at the same company. I was also able to do my Master’s thesis for Vaisala, as they had an interesting research topic.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have a dream job?
I want to do research and development in a chemistry-related field, possibly something related to material development. My dream job would be doing research and development on a product or a solution that has a significant positive impact on peoples' lives and society as a whole.