While diving into a jungle of group assignments and learning diaries, fending off deadlines and exams as they whoosh by, can certainly make any student question tearfully their purpose in life, it helps to think of what’s up ahead. The good bits, that is. In particularly the possibilities of what awaits once all this studying is done.
Plenty of people discuss opportunities: the distance you can travel towards your own personal idea of stardom, the CVs you polish regularly and send to potential employers, the entrepreneurial or academic avenues you can explore. Sometimes we hear stories of a one-in-a-million lucky soul that wins the professional jackpot and gets carted off to Google or Stanford, or the incredibly successful CEOs and politicians that graduated from Hanken.
This year’s Becoming a Global Force seminar brought a few notorious Hanken alumni such Hjallis Harkimo and Aleksander Ehrnrooth onto the stage, showcasing examples of people who can objectively be considered successful. What this seminar also did, was highlight the ambition that Hanken facilitates: the simple message that if there’s a certain level of success that you want to achieve, there is no reason you wouldn’t be able to do that.
Becoming Global Force seminar, hosted by Hjallis Harkimo, brought us amazing presentations from Aleksander Ehrnrooth, vice-chairman of Fiskars, Heidi Jaara, founder and CEO of Belmuir, and Risto Siilasmaa, founder and chairman of F-secure.
But when the daydreams of fame and fortune fade a bit, many of us are left with a simple wish: I’d like to work at a place that I enjoy, be financially secure, and stop hating Mondays.
A job? Financial security? In this economy? What are the odds?
Well, Mondays aside, the odds are fairly good, it turns out. Hanken has an open line of communication, not just with current students, but alumni as well. Turns out that 95% of the 2016 graduates found a job within three months after graduation. 78% had jobs even before graduating. 15% are entrepreneurs. However, while numbers tend to look convincing when bolstering up a claim, I decided to look into some information behind these numbers.
The first thing that I realized was the amazing diversity in terms of the careers and companies that Hanken students have ended up at. Account managers, warehouse managers, sustainability trainees, digital coordinators, project managers… It’s evident that while the degree preps you up for a lot of opportunities with business and management in mind, it doesn’t shoehorn you into certain positions; there is no pipeline that says: “you specialized in this, therefore you can only ever become that”.
Further inquiry (I mean, just consider me an investigative journalist at this point) revealed that specific aspects about Haken keep popping up regarding what enhances employability: Hanken’s focus on corporate sustainability and social responsibility, its support to students (e.g. CV workshops, interview clinics, internship grants), the relevance of its courses and the applicability of its research education at work, were consistently brought up in conversation. One respondent even said that he made use of a lunch break once to walk to his job interview nearby, and then come back right in time for his next lecture. If that is something that enhances employability on a general level is unclear, though there certainly are perks to having a campus right in the heart of the city.
What you see when peering out of one of the 3rd floor windows.
I’d like to link the picture above to something symbolic, but it’s just a casual street, very close to one of the key shopping areas in Helsinki (Kamppi). I thought it looked nice. All I can say is that all roads lead to somewhere, and the roads from Hanken can lead to some unexpected, awesome places, all over the world.