Advice to Myself a Year Ago

Hello, it’s Maggie, back with my second post for the semester. As I took my exam last Tuesday in the lecture hall, I was reflecting upon the beginning of the year when I was sitting in the same room during orientation. They overloaded us on information about the year, and I got a bit nervous. I had no idea what was in store for me here at Hanken, and what a year it has been! So here’s a little bit of advice to myself last year at this time as I reflect and look forward to the summer and the second year of my master’s program.

Say yes to everything! You never know where opportunities will lead you, and there are plenty at Hanken. A networking dinner in September eventually led to getting a job in April in a roundabout way. There have been so many opportunities to meet people and learn about different fields over this year. Of course it is impossible to take all opportunities, but certainly do not let them all pass you by.

…Except for when you need to say no. Sometimes I have a tendency to say yes too often until I have taken on too much. This happened to me period 3 trying to juggle too many classes because I refused to let any of them go. While it all turned out fine in the end, I’d certainly recommend learning your limits and forcing yourself to stick to them. Evaluate what you want most out of your Hanken experience and focus on that. 

Try something new. One of the best things I have done this year was to join a friend in her finance class. It was a class called Fintech and Blockchain. Even though I avoided the classes about money in economics, in this class I was learning about cryptocurrencies and the possibilities of Blockchain. The class was difficult, but it was so beyond my previous knowledge that it is certainly the class I learned the most from. Try something new, that is what your elective credits are for.

Get involved. Since I have not worked for this whole year, it was important for me to have something outside of classes going on in my life. While I have pursued some of my own hobbies, I also really enjoyed getting involved in the student union. I joined the Masters’ Committee in December. Masters’ Committee puts on events to support masters students, whether it be social events, work and networking events, or excursions outside of Helsinki. This spring I had the chance to be involved in planning a Game of Thrones themed sitz. Despite the way the show has turned out, I personally believe that our sitz was a big hit. A whole team of us came together to really bring the theme to life, and we had a lot of fun doing it. Two weeks ago I was selected as president from now through December, and I am very excited for the opportunity to be involved in welcoming new masters students to Hanken in the fall.

Learn Swedish. Seriously, studying Swedish has been such a beneficial part of this year. Not only are the classes at Hanken excellent, language classes have been a great break from the theoretical depths of economics. It also has allowed me to learn so much more about Hanken and the student culture here. I attended a dinner at the end of the year where I was the only non-Swedish speaker, but I was impressed with how much I was able to understand that I would not have last fall.

I look forward to meeting any new students who are coming to join us in August. Please feel free to contact me at for any questions you might have about the economics program, or life here in Helsinki. Have a great summer!