School of Business Alumni story: Anna Pakkala
Who are you? What and when did you study at Aalto University School of Business?
My name is Anna Pakkala, and I graduated from the School of Business in spring 2018. I completed the Master’s degree in Creative Sustainability at Aalto. I did my bachelor’s degree earlier abroad and worked for five years before returning to studies.
What has been important or useful during your studies?
Cross-disciplinary study groups have created an important base for those encounters that I have now in my everyday work. The Aalto-wide courses and groups teach you to better comprehend different viewpoints of different people, especially from different study backgrounds. The situation is the same in the working life: there are different viewpoints of different corporate units, stakeholders and enterprise sectors.
You act currently as the Head of Sustainability at Slush. How did you end up working at Slush and why? In your opinion, how is Slush relevant to students?
I first started at Slush as a volunteer in the sustainability team in 2016. I had just moved back to Finland and for the first time in Helsinki, and had already worked as a volunteer in different events for over 10 years. I saw the volunteering as good way to learn more about Slush as an organization, and also to meet new people and gain more work experience.
In addition, I have always been interested in entrepreneurship, and I came to study at Aalto with the strong idea that this path will somehow lead me in starting my own company. In 2017, I was again a volunteer in Slush’s Global Impact Accelerator program, and this year I work as the Head of Sustainability for the whole year.
This all describes well how Slush is relevant to students. Even as a volunteer, you gain lots of experience, as you see how a big organization is run. I wish that even more young people would see entrepreneurship as a considerable career path, because now, more than ever, we need people who can solve even the toughest challenges in the world with new and innovative ways.
What would you do differently in your studies?
I would be more involved in the events where I could talk to for example the company representatives or visit the companies. As a student, you can contact almost anyone, ask for their advice or hear stories about their career. Obviously, you can do the same in the working life, but during the studies, there are so many opportunities for this that you should really take an advantage of them!
However, I would not be too stressed about being involved in everything. Surely it is wise to create networks with different people and organizations, but sometimes it is OK to say no and have a quiet evening at home.
Get to know Anna Pakkala’s career path more closely on LinkedIn.