Aalto University: New master’s students gathered to network at the Welcome Evening event

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The Aalto University School of Business invited all new master’s students to the Welcome Evening to get to know their community, both peers and alumni, the former graduates of the School of Business. About 150 master’s students participated in the evening and had a chance to hear the alumni’s experiences and tips for studies and career paths. The aim of the event, which took place at the School of Business on Wednesday 31 August, was to encourage the students to network and to offer them a chance to get to know different career paths already in the beginning of their master’s studies.

Jonna Söderholm, Head of External Relations at the School of Business, summarised her tips to the new master’s students as ‘ACT EARLY’. By this she meant that although studying is the primary responsibility of students, gaining work experience is also important, especially at the master’s stage. This applies to international students in particular who may still be looking for their first contact with the Finnish working life. This can be achieved by being active and acting as soon as possible.

‘It is a good idea to take part in career counselling sessions and various career events offered by Aalto University as a whole and by the School of Business. The mentoring programme receives a lot of praise every year, and international students should also apply for the International Talent programme. Both work placements and company projects where you work in teams and under guidance for a company or other organisation have opened many doors to the working life. “NGO projects” is in turn a new opening for projects for non-profit organisations, and you can learn more about them soon. We compile a lot of information and event tips in the Aalto BIZ CareerMail newsletter, which is published roughly once a month by the Career Services.’

Jonna Söderholm also talked about JobTeaser, where students can find suitable jobs and internships. ‘JobTeaser offers an excellent job search channel already during the studies. The service publishes all our career events, and it contains instructions for job-seeking, GoinGlobal and Highered portals to support international job-seeking, company profiles from Finland and abroad as well as appointments for personal job-seeking or career counselling. It is worth checking out.’

Partner company panel: relevance, meaningfulness and joy are essential in work
The active alumni community and cooperation with partner companies are great resources for the School of Business. At the Welcome Evening, a panel of alumni working in School of Business partner companies discussed how to find significance in one’s career. The panel featured Laura Sarkkinen, Communications Manager at Konecranes, Kiara Yliniemi, Analyst at EY, and Nora Immonen, VP at Finavia, who all shared their experiences and thoughts. The discussion was hosted by Maria Karesoja, who is a member of the Executive Board of KY ry (Aalto University Business Students).

For Laura, it is important that she can work on personally meaningful projects. Her most recent themes have dealt with the climate crisis, for example. She has also enjoyed working with various stakeholders. Kiara brought up the opportunity for ongoing learning. It has inspired her, like many others in recent years, as it has become an established part of most people’s careers. Nora, on the other hand, wanted to highlight wonderful people and supervisors, among other things. She values smooth cooperation and helping each other, as do many others.

Of the skills that are valuable to all in the working life, the panellists highlighted cooperation skills. Today, a lot of work is done in teams, so everyone should be open and positive about working with different people. The panellists also emphasised the importance of finishing tasks. First things have to be tackled, then the analysis has to be carried out rather quickly, and finally it must be ensured that the work is completed. There is plenty of information available, so it is also important to filter the relevant information from the huge mass. Furthermore, active communication is essential on many levels, as is being ready for changes.

At the end of the panel discussion, Fiona Jokivuolle, Specialist in Alumni Relations at the School of Business, thanked the panellists for their valuable insights. Then she invited the 25 or so other alumni representing the different major subjects to move to the tables, which had been named after the subjects. It was time for free networking and for the master’s students to exchange experiences and ask more targeted questions to the alumni.

Joonas Karhila was one of the new master’s students at the event. He completed bachelor’s degree studies in economics and business administration at the University of Jyväskylä and is now starting the Master’s Programme in Information and Service Management (ISM).

‘It has been a great event. As I am still a new student at Aalto, it is nice to be able to network with members of the community. I learned that my future career could take me anywhere – the opportunities are plentiful. I also got the impetus to think about my career path, about what interests me and what I like. You just have to be open and curious and seize the opportunities,’ Joonas sums up.

Networking between master’s students and alumni
The Welcome Evening was jointly organised by the Career Services of the School of Business, Alumni Relations and Aalto University Business Students (KY ry). The event has been organised since 2017 and is part of the orientation week. Another event aimed at increasing the community spirit is MYC, Meet Your Community, which gathers together the first-year bachelor’s students, or walruses, and the alumni every spring. All career events for students can be found in the Events section of JobTeaser (requires an Aalto ID).

Last but not least a tip for all Aalto students: In order to receive information from the Career Services in your Aalto email, such as invitations to career fairs, employer events, mentoring programmes, education or career events with alumni, please ensure that you allow the following information to be disclosed on the Sisu website: ‘My contact details and personal data may be used for recruitment purposes.’ The emails always come from the Career Services of Aalto University and the School of Business, and we will not disclose your email address to any third parties.

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