Alumni and students discussed career paths, work and studies at a Group Mentoring event organised by Aalto University School of Business on 18 November

Group mentoring events have been organised several times, but this was the first in which students were given the opportunity to exchange ideas in small groups remotely over the Zoom platform with alumni who have worked in different types of companies at different kinds of jobs, while taking different career paths. This time the discussions in the event’s three different group mentoring groups were led by alumni who have studied Strategy, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, or Creative Sustainability.

‘At the event I was interested to hear about the thought process that the alumni had pondered when making their career moves. A focus of attention in the discussions was the importance of understanding one’s own needs and interests – that it is good to do things that one likes to do. It is not necessarily a good idea for people to do what they assume that they must do based on another person’s success, for example’, says Atte Sallinen, who studies in the Information and Service Management master’s programme.

Continuous learning is a necessity in today’s working life

Discussions in the breakout rooms of the Zoom platform were various, and topics discussed included stress management and prioritisation skills at work, recruitment processes and corporate cultures of different companies, combining work and free time, entrepreneurship, and different kinds of career plans.

‘I think that the event was very well organized, and it was great to hear other alumni’s stories as well. In my group, we discussed barriers for international students in the Finnish job market – however, fortunately the situation has improved a lot for international students compared to what it was five years ago, I think. I also encouraged the students to consider management consulting as a career option, as it is, though competitive, very open to international talents’, says alumna Giao Le.

In the discussion of career plans, many participating alumni emphasised that there is no need to find just one single thing to do for work; nowadays many have many different interests, and careers can take several different horizontal paths instead of following a straight line. What is most important is to be open, curious, and interested in learning new things. Indeed, continuous learning is one of the most important skills in today’s working life.

‘It has been great to see that career and mentoring events can for sure be arranged remotely as well. Although remote events involve challenges, we are very happy at how well this event worked, and how active the discussions were. A warm thank you to all alumni and students who participated in this event! We received good feedback from the event’, says Tanja Makkonen, Senior Manager for Career Services at the School of Business.

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