How did Corona save my time management?

Covid-19 is obviously the “hot potato” among the most highlighted topics globally due to its range, scale, and severity of impact. Without a doubt, the pandemic has caused numerous downside effects and disruption to everyone’s daily routine, regardless their nationality, status, and profession. Working remotely or working from home (WFH) is one of the noticeable effects caused by Covid-19 and it is triggering a controversial discussion on whether if this is an efficient working method. Personally speaking, after more than two months of working intensively from my “home office”, I have definitely seen both the pretty and ugly faces of this practice.

The pretty thing that can firstly be spotted from WFH is definitely the travel time cut-down.

During this time, I don’t need to get up super early to get ready for school or work. Especially, it saves me more than 1,5 hours per day commuting back and forth between my apartment and Hanken, which is a very big deal.

Plus, I received an offer to a part-time consulting project and a full-time summer traineeship at UPM. In the normal case, I must decide which one should I let go and which to stick around. However, under the circumstance of Covid-19, I only need to wisely divide my time schedule so that the work-study-life balance combo will be maintained. Eventually, I can also work double jobs and study at the same time without having to drop anything even though the workload is super crazy for me.  

On the ugly side of things, concentration is undoubtedly the ultimate enemy of WFH. Although I have an awfully load of work burdening my shoulders, it is quite challenging for me to keep my head on the ground and focus on my work. Distraction comes from all directions such as social media, Youtube, online shopping, bed (obviously) and whatever you name it which seriously undermine my productivity and efficiency. Longer working days is inevitably as the result of the two untamed beasts named “Distraction” and “Bad time management”. Furthermore, without any face-to-face communication and interaction, it became a nightmare to seek for help in case of emergency, regardless the nature of the problem (whether if it’s work or study-related).

So, learning from both good and bad experiences mentioned above, I would like to share with you some pro-tips that I’ve found particularly and (partially) helpful for me to stay positive and effective during this period:

1. Train your thoughts

As Eckhard Tolle simply put it: “The primary cause of happiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking”. Try to focus your thoughts and energy on the brighter side of any events that occurred throughout the day.

2. Set up a feasible and reasonable working timetable with mini goals along the day.

This might sound like an absurdly obvious and non-special method, but I bet not many people do it anyway. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely crucial. Even if you won’t be able to cross every goal that you’ve set earlier off your to-do list and follow your timetable in a strict manner. But at least, at the end of the day, you’ll realize what you’ve missed and need to be done in the following day and more importantly, how did you let that goal slip. A small self-reflection will naturally occur as a side effect of this activity, which is super good sign for incremental self-improvement.

3. Take a look at applications that can assist your working and boost up your brain activity level

Try, for example,

– Pomodoro app that enhances your concentration by setting up reasonable work-break interval (25 minutes of working will be rewarded by 5 minutes of break; after 4 mini-breaks you’ll get a long 15 minutes break). Believe me or not, this mechanism is incredibly helpful for your productivity and working efficiency.

– Brain boost applications that keep your brain going and trained throughout the day with quick, mini-puzzles such as Elevate, Peak, or Math Riddle (this one is a bit heavy on Math problems if you’re into it like me).

– Listen to concentration, deep focus music to get your mind focused on the task you’re executing.

4. Set up a “Love yourself” including:

  • Eat healthy, always prepare healthy snacks,
  • Intake sufficient amount of multi vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients,
  • drink enough water,
  • do more exercise, go outside for at least half an hour per day, and
  • interact with your beloved ones more often.

I hope that this blog will be relatable to you in some ways and be useful for your WFH routine. Now, enjoy the lovely sunny summer. A truly “thank you” for having spent time on this little blog post of mine 😀

Course review

Hi guys!
What’s up? Hanh’s back everyone! How’s life in quarantine going? Hope that everyone is doing super well 😀

I figured that no one has ever described a course in detail ever before in a “non-course syllabus” way or depict how exciting a course can get in previous blogs. A thought flashed through my mind saying that why not try to create a course review just like a product or movie review, right? At the end of the day, many of us would be puzzling with a question: “Is this course worth the time to invest in?”. So, in today’s blog, I would like to share with you about my amazing and practical experience attending a project course at Hanken, namely Project Course in CSR and Humanitarian Logistics. This course is actually a compulsory for those who pursuing their Master Degree in International Strategy & Sustainability and Humanitarian Logistics program. However, this is open to other students in other faculties as well, if someone is eager to contribute to the good of society through a meaningful project. Stated a quote directly from the course syllabus, which I found quite true for myself:

“The aim of the course was to immerse the students in questions related to CSR by analysing and solving real-world problems provided by case organisations and then presenting the results in class. Among the cases were questions regarding the CSR of family-owned businesses, producing videos about sustainability and CSR and making guidelines about CSR for startup companies.”

There were 16 projects, with various participating companies ranging from UPM, Fazer, or even Hanken itself to MSF or UFF in total for this year. Each student is free to choose and apply for three projects in descending order of interest based on the informed project topic (Freedom of choice is always a smart strategy to execute, especially on students :D). According to the application preference of the candidate for the chosen projects, the organizational and academic mentors will pick out the most suitable candidate for the project. As a creativity and curiosity-driven type of person, the idea of designing a museum content about natural disaster for Heureka – a Finnish science museum immediately captured my attention and I decided to go for it.

Over the course of the project extending from the beginning of P3 to the end of P4 in Spring semester, I was assigned to a team of 4 and we worked closely with Heureka on the project. Briefly describing about my project, Heureka is planning to create an exhibition about natural disaster and resilience in which will be consisted of four experience rooms illustrating the effects of the disasters and 4 interaction rooms allowing the visitors to interact with the content embedded in the exhibit. In this stage of partnership, we were tasked to create research-supported ideas for the interaction rooms of the exhibit, each relating to one of four natural disasters which can either be floods, storms, bushfires or earthquake. Throughout our project, we were able to produce more than 20 in-depth ideas for the interaction rooms based on the theory of disaster relief operations and game design. It was incredibly fun brainstorming the ideas with the team and presenting them to Heureka museum designers 😀

Attached herewith are the footage of our meeting sessions at Heureka. Very informal and exciting atmosphere. Every time meeting with Heureka, we were filled with joy of exploring the museum.

more exciting to hang out at the science museum as a course field trip??? At the end of the project, one of my teammates was highly inspired by the topic of the exhibition and is planning to cooperate with Heureka for his Master thesis. Heureka’s staffs are extremely intrigued by this idea, of course!

All in all, it was a super fun experience. Great teammates, interesting topic, and a great opportunity to networking and establishing professional contact to kickstart one’s career. What else can I for? Highly recommended for those who are hesitated or wondering if choosing this course is a wise decision!

Learning through doing – practical study cases

Undoubtedly, one of the best things in studying at Hanken is its closeness to the real business world.

In the previous post I promised to tell where to find the Finnish business representatives, but the good news is that at Hanken everything is already done for you  – professors often invite representatives of Finnish and international companies, and we get insightful stories about how business works and what challenges arise in the companies’ daily life. Eventually, you get a task to find the solution for some outlined problem, which should be feasible in practice, as well as grounded in studied theory. In this way, theoretical and practical approaches are blended in classes so organically, that it makes you feel valuable problem solver for the world challenges (no less :)).

Thus, for instance, during my first semester at Hanken, in teams of 5-6 students, we made the following exciting projects: development of sustainable brand management for Valio, design of customer and service strategies for Fiskars Group, development of digital service solutions for KONE, project on CSR and some others.

Customer journey

In all these projects my favorite parts are initial brainstorming and getting feedback from both business scholars and practitioners – especially when it is provided together with coffee and cookies in a beautiful office of company’s headquarter :))

Since for me it is important to see the relevance of gained knowledge, the application of new skills to practical business cases is a good motivation. Obviously being a great training for the skills of team working, time management and critical thinking, you feel that this approach to study definitely prepares you for the working life.  

Besides courses, Hanken offers other events and programs, aiming to set the bridge between student and professional life. Among them: companies’ fairs and business breakfasts, where you can meet people from business and learn what skills you should gain to become an attractive employee; CV-checking, interviews, case challenges and so on.

Also, for accelerating cooperation between international students and companies, some special initiatives are organized. One of them is the HankenHIT (Hanken International Talent) – initiative that helps students to set meaningful connections with companies in Finland through mentorship, internship, thesis-writing and other forms of communication. So, this is a great opportunity for both sides – for companies to work with international talent with a fresh look, and for students to get valuable corporate experience, or even find employment for the future. You can take a look at one of the stories of excellent connection here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQo7eXLG7LI.

In turn, I also got lucky to become a mentee in the mentorship program called EntryPoint, organized by Helsinki Chamber of Commerce. My mentor is a Finnish entrepreneur and he is helping me a lot with his experienced look and advice on business and life in Finland. What is also important, mentorship brings a lot of fun to both sides, and can be easily adjusted to more informal communication style. For instance, last time with my mentor we went to play bowling, and after that had a productive discussion in a pizza-bar 🙂 Currently, we keep in touch through video-conferences, continuing to share some thoughts, and for me it is valuable to feel that this connection will continue even after official end of the mentorship program. In the photo below me and my mentor Atte are at the kick-off of the EntryPoint program.

Anastasiia and mentor

All in all, I believe that the best knowledge is the one, which you can use in your life, and the best way to gain this is learning through doing, meeting new people, trying new things, working in teams and being creative. If it sounds good for you, you’re definitely a good match for Hanken and Finland 😊

If you have any questions, drop me a line at anastasiia.strokova@student.hanken.fi

Going for a PhD after Master’s in Economics?

I am an Economics master’s student at Hanken, I want to pursue PhD after this, and I want to ultimately go into research. In this post I am going to walk you through why I chose Hanken over some other great Universities and what Hanken offers me for my future goals.

I completed my Economics Bachelor’s degree at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, which was one of the best Arts colleges in India. Thereafter, I applied to various colleges in Europe for my master’s degree and I got offers from some notable ones namely LSE, IHEID, SSE and Boston University, but all were with partial or no scholarship. I also got an offer from Hanken at the same time and I was excited to know that Hanken was offering me the premium scholarship which covered all costs.

At this point I was in a fix. I really wanted to attend LSE or IHEID because, obviously, they have name & fame. But I couldn’t afford to pay that much money for a two years’ master’s degree. I was even considering taking out a loan to fund my studies. But at the same time, I felt like I would be under a lot of financial burden which I didn’t want when I was studying. After a lot of thinking and discussion with my family, I decided to entirely drop the option of taking out a loan. It was hard, and heartbreaking, especially after I had received the whole welcome package from LSE by post.

It seems here like I was only interested in attending LSE, but honestly at that time, I had heard about a few colleges which were famous and that’s what I thought was right. I hadn’t thought much about the perfect fit for me and other very important aspects like, individual attention, research output (since I wanted to go into research), and location and social life. I am someone who likes peaceful and clean environments and I enjoy individual attention in classes. I am also someone who would perform much better in the absence of any kind of external stress, be it financial or social. This is when I realized that going to Hanken was a great idea because many of its characteristics like location, staff to student ratio and notable research output were exactly what I was looking for in a school.

I decided to research more about Hanken. To my utter surprise, I found out so much more about Hanken that I had not read before. Hanken was ranked 5th in the global U-Multirank university 2016 rankings because of its research output, outperforming 1300 other universities from Europe and the US. This was possible mainly due to Hanken’s continuous encouragement of its top researchers to publish in top journals and to cooperate internationally. Hanken ranks very well on citation rate and top cited publications. What this means is that Hanken’s researchers’ publications have been cited many times in top universities’ research, especially Ivy League universities. It also has a good rank in international joint publications. There are only two European universities among the top 10 measured according to top cited publications indicator. One of these is Hanken, which again proves the high quality of the research conducted at Hanken.

When I arrived at Hanken, I expected a lot of difficulty in terms of settling down and getting used to the course structure and the teaching method here. However, again to my elation, everything went smoothly like a charm. The Master’s committee was very approachable, the professors were helpful, and I was walked through the initial settling down so that I would be able to start studying for my courses immediately. I took some courses at Aalto from the Helsinki GSE (available to all Hanken students) and I really liked those courses because they were practical. In the next period I took all the courses from Hanken and they were research oriented and I liked the difficulty level. They weren’t easy but at the same time if one attended the lectures and worked on the assignments regularly, they would be able to complete it well.

The courses at Hanken, including the courses available through Helsinki GSE, are of a very broad range such that one who has a research interest would be able to perform as well as someone who wants to go into the corporate field. However, since I took mainly those courses which catered to my interests, I can talk about those. I took some microeconometrics and labour economics courses during my second semester and I loved their course structure. We were expected to read and review various research papers, which expanded my knowledge base and prepared me for my own journey towards my Master’s thesis and eventually PhD. We were also expected to write our own papers on some selected topics. I thoroughly enjoyed this process and would recommend this to everyone, irrespective of their future goals after Master’s.

Apart from the good quality of courses, I also have access to the vast libraries of all the three universities: Aalto, U Helsinki and Hanken since I was a GSE student. These libraries give me access to top online resources, for example the American Economic Review and JSTOR, for free and I could access hundreds of thousands of research papers and journals from my home.

 At Hanken, I’ve met wonderful professors who are very keen on helping students understand concepts as well as give tips to advance their careers.

This is just my first year here and I have yet to explore more things in my second year now!

If you have any questions regarding the courses, timelines, or anything regarding the student life at Hanken, feel free to drop me an email at reetuparna.vishwanath@student.hanken.fi

I’m happy to help (I have more free time during quarantine anyway!).

Studying at Hanken during quarantine times

Same as universities all over the world, starting from 13 March 2020 Hanken has closed its doors for the faculty and students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This precaution was taken to ensure the health and safety of all Hankeits. For Hanken, closing the doors by no means stands for an interruption of learning. Administrators, teachers and students have been quick to adapt to the new situation. Lectures are held remotely exams are written as take home exams or teachers find a new way of evaluating the study progress of their students. Below a few examples of how remote studying is working at Hanken.

Lectures

Everyone at Hanken has free access to Microsoft office applications for the time of their studies. This has been a great asset when starting the distance learning. Teachers have used the functionalities available within Microsoft teams to give remote live lectures. In my course Corporate Finance, the professor has not missed a beat in his effort to teach students. Our introductory lecture was scheduled for Monday, 16 March, only three days after the distance learning recommendations were announced, already the following day a Teams group was set up and the distance learning was up and running.

Also, the collaboration between Hanken and Aalto Business School is continuing to work seamlessly. As accounting students, we can take several collaborative lectures with students from the accounting department at Aalto. This Spring the lecture was moved from the Aalto campus to the online meeting tool Zoom. Teachers can present their lecture slides and students can easily share their screens there and give group presentations during the lectures.

Exams

The exam period in March was abruptly interrupted by the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this did not lead to a “lost” semester for the students or a postponement of studies. The final evaluations scheduled for this Spring have already to a large extend been moved to take home exams, essays and term papers. This gives the students the possibility to move forward with their studies uninterrupted. Kudos to the teachers for their flexibility and their quick action.

Research

You might ask yourself, how can students study and learn when they don’t have access to books and journals? Hanken’s library has closed its physical doors but of course the virtual access is still available. As a Hanken student you have access to over 100 databases with academic articles and thousands of journals online. We can continue to do research, read journals and follow the courses by reading books online. For courses where the Hanken library does not yet have the course book available electronically, alternatives are found. In my course Financial Reporting and ESG Analysis this Spring the teacher supplements the lectures by posting links to relevant and interesting research articles in our group, which are available through the Hanken library database.

Student life

Despite the restrictions on meeting face-to-face the student life is as active as ever at Hanken. The Student Union has set-up a Teams channel for all current Hanken students, where they can exchange ideas, meet up for virtual coffee breaks and discuss current topics. The Master’s Committee for example is organizing two hang out sessions per week with individual themes the students can discuss. The next big event I am looking forward to is a virtual Bingo/game night organized by the Master’s Committee through Teams.

I am looking forward to meeting my fellow students and teachers in person again, but until then I am happy that the distance learning is working so well on such short notice.

Karina Ebeling, accounting student

If you have any questions about studying at Hanken – just reach out to me be email: karina.ebeling@student.hanken.fi

5 Reasons why you should study Economics

Economics to me is like that one vast arena of topics which has its paws in almost every field. Finance, statistics, mathematics, psychology, environment, geography, law, sociology, you name it. You can marry it to any subject and Economics will easily play the role of the good wife. And by that, I mean it will give the subject more perspective, make it practical and approachable, and make it more valuable (Yes, for the umpteenth time, housekeeping has to be shared).

Anyway, having a good partner can change the game and all successful people know that.

So here we are looking at 5 reasons why you should partner up with the Economics and make your career a happily ever after story.

  • Economics has wide practical applications

There are many (I repeat, many) options available for those looking to pursue a career in Economics. Economics is a discipline which permeates all other disciplines through way of its all-applicable analytical tools and models. There are numerous branches of Economics, Macro and Micro being the largest and the most commonly heard.

Economics also has unusual branches in subjects such as Geography, Law and Sociology, each of which are extremely interesting areas to study.

A degree in Economics covers current real-world issues. The course has a focus on Mathematics and its application to economics, but it also includes a theoretical aspect to build an understanding of economic models within different societies. You will learn how individuals and organizations make decisions and you will be able to forecast potential changes in the real world.

  • Economics equips you with tools to analyze everything

Economics isn’t just a fancy set of models; it is actually using them to produce a viable business strategy. Economics equips with the tools you need to analyze almost anything you come across.

You want to do a SWOT analysis of a company? Check. You want to learn how a consumer makes decisions? Check. You want to know why poverty exists? Check. You want to know the nitty-gritty of the financial markets? Check. You want to know if there’s chocolate left in your fridge? Go check.

Studying an Economics degree can be very rewarding and can be a great option if you want to have a wide range of opportunities after graduating.

  • Economics does not require hard-core mathematics but it’s V useful

Many people think of Economics as just curves, models and relationships requiring a lot of unnecessary math and jargon.

To be honest, to some extent we do use some math but not too much. Economics is much more nuanced and interesting than most people perceive it to be. Much of economic theory is based on how people behave rationally, how they may not behave rationally and when and why our assumptions might fail. Learning about cognitive biases that influence our economic decisions allows you to predict human behavior in the real world, whether people act rationally or irrationally.

Not only do you learn how complex concepts like human decision-making pan out, you also gain extremely valuable skills along the way: critical thinking, communication, numeracy, research skills, commercial and cultural awareness, data analysis, problem-solving and more!

  • You’ll understand your own spending habits way better (Path to financial soundness!)

Economics can teach you a lot about the world, how big decisions are made and how large markets behave, but more importantly, it helps you understand your own spending behavior better. You will gain invaluable insight into your own spending habits and values. You will also come across complex terms given to simple phenomenon like “maximum willingness to pay”, which may sound extravagant at first, but you’ll come to know that it’s just the maximum amount you would be willing to pay for any given product. And then you’ll learn how your maximum willingness to pay can affect larger and more complex decisions like the provision of public goods.

And very soon, like all economists, you’ll find yourself calculating payoffs when buying groceries at the supermarket. No, just kidding.

  • Studying Economics can increase your chances of becoming CEO!

Yes, you read that right. Studying Economics can actually increase your chances of climbing the leadership ladder in your career.

A study done in 2010 showed that, when adjusted for the size of the pool of graduates, Economics graduates had the highest likelihood of being an S&P 500 CEO!

Economics is a very useful subject which equips you with the right analytical tools and skills required to run a business successfully which is why most people with this degree have a very good pay.

An Economics degree will increase your employability in many areas, regardless of the industry you work in.

If that isn’t an excellent reason to study the subject, I don’t know what is.

AND…

I would be happy to talk to you in case you want to know more! Just drop me an email at reetuparna.vishwanath@student.hanken.fi

Breaking stereotypes – student life in Finland

We often hear some stereotypical sayings about different nationalities and countries connected with their unusual and unique features. Finland is not an exception here, and even Finns themselves willingly joke about sauna and ice-swimming, beer and too calm and introvert lifestyle. However, exactly the latter theme became the main reason for mistaken – from my perspective – stereotypes about Finnish life, and I will try to explain why they are wrong.

The thing is a quiet and slow pace of life in Finland, which is resulted from closeness and harmony with surrounding nature, peculiar understanding of happiness and this special inner “sisu”, is often confused by foreigners with a boring life. But I can assure you, that this is actually an informed choice or just one of many options! And if this lifestyle is close to you, then you will easily find all the wonders of it here, however, if it is not – then your life most probably will look like mine.

Particularly, I genuinely love that every my day differs from the previous one. Firstly, the freedom to shape your schedule starts at Hanken, where you can pick courses from a huge variety. For instance, being a marketing student, I took courses in entrepreneurial creativity, JAVA programming, literature course and service strategy management. Naturally, this flexibility enables you to discover something new in the world and in yourself every day.

Secondly, talking about life beyond studying, the student community in general – not only at Hanken – but in the whole city of Helsinki arranges exciting events all the time. Thus, for instance, you can visit a workshop on personal effectiveness on Monday, participate in a nice morning discussion and degustation in a coffee club on Tuesday, visit a fair of start-ups on Wednesday, play beer-pong at night with international friends on Thursday and have a business meeting with Finnish company’s representatives on Friday (where to find them and why it is useful I will tell in the next blog post). 

Finally, you always have an opportunity to organize your own event and start any interesting initiative at Hanken with the help of enthusiastic student fellows. At that, the intensity of your life can be at any point in the scale from calm and routine to crazy and full of surprises – it is completely up to you.

All in all, you see, – for some outside observers, who walk around cold cobbled streets, Finland could seem unfriendly or boring, while now you know that behind these glass and metal doors there is vibrant student life, full of wonderful people, activities and opportunities. So, you are welcome to come here and break your own stereotypes!

Anastasiia Strokova, marketing student

If you have any questions about being a student at Hanken – just reach out to me be email: anastasiia.strokova@student.hanken.fi

Why study Finance?

You might be wondering… “why should I pursue a Finance Masters?” or alternatively… “why should I pursue a Finance Masters at Hanken?”. If you had any of those questions in mind, congratulations, you have come to the right place! This blog post aims to give you a brief insight into the world of Finance and then goes on to explain why Hanken is the best choice for a Finance career.

A quick Google search will tell you – ‘Finance is the study of money and how it is used.’ but really, is it just this, or does it get deeper than that? In all fairness, the answer is: it is a lot more. We can go about understanding this social science by decomposing it into its fields – economics, statistics, management, and at the very basic level: human behavior. Yes, my Hankiets (and future Hankiets), at grass root level, Finance is all about how an individual makes choices given limited resources.

As humans, (on average) we are innately driven by rational decision-making which ultimately desires maximum utility or, in simple words, satisfaction. Professor Gonul explained this concept in layman terminology – consider the following simple example: Robinson Crusoe is stuck on an island and all that he owns is an apple tree (think of apples as wealth). For the purpose of this example, we assume that apples provide satisfaction to him. Because he is a rational decision-maker, Rob knows that he can water his tree (think of this as investment) and grow more apples for tomorrow. At the same time, he also wants to eat a share of those apples today as he is hungry (think of this as consumption). His combination of investment and consumption will define how much he owns today and tomorrow.

So, what will Rob want? Economics shows that he would want to consume/invest up to the point where the additional satisfaction from consuming an apple today, is equal to the additional satisfaction from consuming an apple tomorrow. This is because, at this point, Rob would be maximizing his overall satisfaction level.

But all this while we have been assuming that Rob knows how to water/fertilize his apple tree. What if he doesn’t? Now, let us introduce Alice Liddell, a professional arborist. Rob appoints Alice to grow his tree. So now, Alice is responsible for his Rob’s resources and is also expected to grow at least some apples that Rob wants to consume tomorrow. We cannot say with certainty how many apples these would be because there is uncertainty in how much fruit the tree will bear.

As the day changes, Alice reports to Rob that she has successfully grown 10 apples. Rob believes that 5 apples are more than enough for his consumption today. What do we do with the 5 extra ones? Let us introduce Homer Simpson, another individual like Rob, who grows oranges. Assuming that Homer has a surplus of oranges, Rob can exchange apples for oranges and achieve higher satisfaction today.

In an alternate scenario, we assume that Homer wants to borrow the apples from Rob. This means that Rob will receive a greater number of apples when Homer repays. Therefore, Rob will still achieve a higher overall satisfaction. Hurrah! He has successfully maximized his wealth, and his utility!

The real essence of this example is as follows: Finance enables efficient transfer of funds from individuals with few productive opportunities to others with less wealth and more opportunities. So, at the end of it, everybody is better off than before! A win-win situation indeed.

Believe it or not, this crash course is all what Finance is about. So, to answer the first question: Finance is intuitive to human nature. Every day we make countless decisions that require principles of Finance but because they are so ingrained in human nature, we tend to look past their importance. And this is the very reason we should study this field – so that we can leverage the knowledge of Finance to create better investments and reap even better returns.

To answer the second part of the discussion, we shall briefly touch upon the various topics in Finance that each situation (in the example) corresponds to.

  • Behavioral Finance deals in individual’s subjective preferences which govern decisions. This comes into play when Robinson Crusoe has to choose between consuming today and consuming tomorrow. Sub-topics include: utility theory, mean-variance utility and risk aversion.
  • Investment Finance deals in how investors generate returns for their investment. This comes into play when Alice invests in Rob’s tree to produce apples (return). Sub-topics include: factor investing, value investing, strategic growth investing, portfolio management, debt and derivative trading.
  • Corporate Finance deals in how corporations that govern production decisions, owe a fiduciary duty to their shareholders. This comes into play when Rob appoints Alice to produce apples on his behalf. Sub-topics include: agency theory, corporate social responsibility, mergers & acquisitions, corporate law
  • International Finance deals in the economics behind international trade between countries. This comes into play when Rob exchanges apples for oranges. Sub-topics include: international relations, macroeconomic policy, exchange rate determination. 

Time to revisit Finnish language learning

After being in Finland for such a long time, I finally find the time to pick up my Finnish. Even though I have forgotten many grammars I learned in the past, I noticed during the years I nevertheless picked up some Finnish skills which makes the learning easier. 

Hanken offers up to 3 levels Finnish courses. For more advanced courses, I resort to Helsinki Seudun Kesäyliopisto (https://www.kesayliopistohki.fi/en/kurssit/kategoria/finnish-courses-en/basic-intensive-finnish-en-70101/?show=future) which offers a wide range of language courses for adults all year round. These courses are often held at Haaga-Helia conveniently located next to the Pasila train station.  The courses are intensive usually finishing up in a month sprint, which expects more after-class studying from participants. If you are working, it may feel a bit demanding to keep up. Grammar course costs 110euro. Speaking course is shorter and cheaper costing 90 euro. 

I’m taking a second course from there now and really like the teach Jaako Kaunisto. He says that Finnish is not difficult, there are just exceptions and there are reasons behind each exception. Don’t keep telling yourself that Finnish is difficult. 

The benefit of knowing the language while living in Finland is just self-evident, especially after you have family. There is every reason to learn it. After finishing the gramma course, I also intend to take some speaking course. I believe I’m on the right track this time!  

Suomi mestari picture

If you want to ask me anything about studying Finnish or studying at Hanken – just drop me a line to yang.yang@student.hanken.fi

Thesis writing

Hello everyone! Yang is here!

I have recently finished my master thesis about the impact of news sentiment on Bitcoin price formation. It took me about half year to complete it. I started by collecting news data programmatically from two news sources. Acquiring and analysing data is my strong suit since I’m proficient with several programming languages. If you are interested in topics which need big data analysis, you may consider picking up some scripting languages such as Python and R.  

The most difficult part revealed itself when I started situating my hypothesis into the existing theoretical framework. This process involved extensive reading and systematically combing through previous research results in the relevant field.  

Novelty is certainly desirable in researches, but master thesis also expects students to demonstrate their knowledge of theories, methodologies and applications they’ve learned in the past years. So, it is important to present relevant theories in a structural and systematic way. This exercise also helps you sort out your thoughts. The seminar course which is designed to support thesis writing is very helpful, during which you get ideas from your peers and inspiring discussions. I happened to do the seminar course with students from commercial law. It was an interesting blend and I got to see how it is different doing qualitative analysis from quantitative analysis.  

The overall thesis writing exercise was painstaking but rewarding. Just don’t give up!  

If you have any questions just drop me an email: yang.yang@student.hanken.fi!