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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! Studying law at a business school.

Hi everyone! Jitesh here. Last week, I’d talked about studying abroad in general. This week I turn my focus to the reason why I’m here at Hanken: my master’s specialization!

Master’s of Science in Economics and Business Administration with specialization in Intellectual Property Law is quite a lot of fancy sounding words, right? But this begs the question: what is it that we actually do in this degree course?

I’ve tried to turn this blog post into an FAQ of sorts. Let’s start with the basics:

What is Intellectual Property law?

Let’s think of some stuff you might do….

Imagine you wrote a poem, and you want to make the world know that it’s yours; if you could get some money out of it, that would be even better. Also, you would want to make sure that people copying or publishing it have your permission…..

Or maybe you invented something, and you don’t want others to simply copy your concept and make money from that invention without your permission…..

or maybe (and this one is something businesspeople would most likely relate to) you have a brand name which is recognized by people, and you don’t want anyone else to do any shady stuff using that brand name……

……….what each of these scenarios describes is a form of “property” which is not really physical property. You can’t really say that you physically “own” a poem, or a brand name, or an invention in the way you own a house or a car. Still, all of this stuff is valuable. This valuable stuff is referred to as Intellectual Property (IP). The branch of law which deals with this is called (surprise surprise ) IP law.

Hmm. This sounds like specific law related stuff. Why are you studying this at a business school?

Great question! But there’s more to this than meets the eye.

First, Hanken has a full-fledged Department of Accounting and Commercial law (more info here). Any area which might have the intersection of law and business, would probably be a field of interest for the department. IP law is one such area, and students at Hanken are free to take other courses offered by the Department related to labour law, tax law, corporate finance law and corporate governance.

Second, IP law is inherently commercial in nature. Any person who has IP would want to make money from it (except those who only want recognition for their creativity). Now, for helping people make the best commercial use of IP, it would be essential to know how this process of commercialization would actually work in the real world. This is where the Hanken environment comes in handy! You can learn about traditional management disciplines, like finance or marketing or supply chains etc. You could meet and interact with both experienced businesspersons and start-up creators, who would definitely be interested in creating and protecting IP assets. These kinds of possibilities are simply not present in any traditional law school, and this is one of the reasons which made me prefer this master’s degree over a traditional law school master’s degree.

Okay. So what are the courses like?

The IP law track courses are made in a way that we first understand the basics of IP law and then go on to apply it to the business context. The first year is about learning the concepts of IP law, and how they are understood and implemented across the world. The second year is mainly about learning how to conduct research in commercial law and eventually writing the thesis.

The elective courses are of a broad variety. There’s IP related courses, including online training and summer schools, and there’s also the chance to participate in moot court competitions. I mention the moot court specifically because I was part of Hanken’s team for this academic year, and we managed to actually win a prize while competing against other Nordic Schools (read about our experience here)

Other than that, all the courses at Hanken are open for master’s students, subject to them meeting the pre-requisites, if any.

And what about the professors?

At the helm of things is our professor Nari Lee (find her profile here). She’s got vast experience in teaching IP law and has worked in different locations across the globe. Her serious body of work is complemented with a jovial nature. She loves to pepper her lectures with humour and that’s something which makes learning easier and more fun!

Throughout the course, the emphasis is on broad concepts and international aspects of IP law. In keeping with this objective, we have international guest lecturers who come and talk about their particular jurisdiction and legal system. For example, last semester we had Professors Jane Ginsburg and Sharon Sandeen from the US and Professor Annette Kur from Germany teaching us about their areas of expertise. A simple google search on any of these names will tell you that it’s a privilege for any law student just to be in the same room as them! In the coming period in March, we will have the course of IP Strategy for Business where we will get to interact with businesspersons who work with IP issues in the corporate environment. I really look forward to that!

That sounds interesting. Is there any particular recognition for this course? How do I know that it’s legit?

Well, over and above the accreditations which Hanken has as a business school, the IP law course is also recognized under the Pan-European Seal, which essentially means that the course meets the requirements of the European Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office. For a business school course to be recognized in this manner is an achievement in itself!

Apart from this, the course is conducted in close collaboration with the IPR University Center (more info here) . It is a joint institute of six leading universities of Finland, coming together to promote research and awareness of IP rights in Finland. Most of the Center’s activities are held at Hanken, and we have the opportunity to participate in lectures and workshops conducted by researchers and practitioners of IP working in law firms.

So what kind of career prospects does the course have?

Well, this depends totally on what you’re looking for. IP law is still an up and coming field across the world, and the unique nature of the degree can open up opportunities in both the business and legal spaces. The EU is always coming up with new rules and regulations related to IP laws and their impact on changes in technology, so demand for IP professionals should only increase in the future. Given Hanken’s international outlook, coupled with the internationally oriented syllabus, this master’s degree would suitably prepare you for roles outside the EU as well!

Cool! When and how do I apply?

Well, you can check out the course’s webpage for all the practical information about the course and its application procedure. You’ll find the relevant details and contacts there as well!

Thank you for reading! I hope you found this blog informative. For anything course related or Hanken related, feel free to drop me an email at jitesh.gupta@student.hanken.fi


TAKE THE PLUNGE!!! Why studying abroad is a great idea, and Helsinki is a wonderful place to do it!

I’m writing this with a particular audience in mind: prospective international students who are on the fence about whether they should study abroad or not, and also people who have applied to Hanken but are not quite certain of whether they would want to actually get here, if things do work out as planned. Short message to said audience : DO IT! VENTURE OUT! COME TO HELSINKI! (And where else to be in Helsinki but at HANKEN!)

The purpose here is not to provide information about any specific master’s courses at Hanken (the Hanken website is the best place for that) and I’ll talk about my course at Hanken (Masters’ in IP law)  in another blog post.   

Discussing career opportunities with company representatives

Let’s get on then, with my story!

I had already had a fair share of college education, having done two bachelor’s degrees in India: first in science and then in law. While working as a lawyer in the courts of Delhi, I felt that if I could specialize in a particular field of law it would be a great boost for my career. I discussed this with my friends and family, and a common thing that they had to say was that a master’s degree is something which one should try to get from abroad.

Now you might probably already be aware of most of the reasons people give for studying abroad. The familiar reasons come to mind: exposure to an international environment, a change of scenery, getting acquainted with new cultures and so on. Because I’m from a developing country, people also pointed out that the quality of life is just better in the (so called) “first-world countries”. Well, people say these things because they’re all true! And yes, don’t forget the biggie: putting it on your CV that you have that international degree. That makes does make a difference, no matter what your future plans might be. 

Cut to March 2019, when I received THE email with that life changing piece of information:  my application for admission to Hanken was accepted. I was overjoyed when I read the news, but I wasn’t quite prepared for what was to come next: having second thoughts about the entire plan of moving from Delhi to Helsinki! Quite ironical, that till the moment I had not gotten an offer of admission, my mind was fixated on getting it. And then, I got cold feet once I saw that I had actually made the cut to get in!

Let me be clear that it wasn’t that I had any doubts about Hanken as such. I knew that the IP law course was great, and it fit my needs. It was the whole prospect of moving abroad which seemed daunting. And that anxiety was perhaps justified. Leaving home, especially for the first time, was a big big move! Leaving friends and family behind, not knowing what’s to come ahead and the challenge of starting life afresh: let’s just say that I had lots to stress about in the time remaining before the flight in August.

If at all you have similar thoughts during the time ahead, just know that making the move is worth it in the end. The tricky part is, that you can only come to know the real benefits of moving abroad when you actually get to the destination! I say this with full conviction, as I’m experiencing this myself. So many thoughts that were in my mind, either vanished or simply became irrelevant once I started life afresh here. I won’t go so far as to say that you shouldn’t think about this issue at all, but my advice (especially for people who have never lived away from home before this) is to find the courage and will to go through with your decision to apply. (After all, the application process itself required some hard work! Don’t let it go to waste!)  

Here are some things which I feel that I’ve gained from leaving home and coming here:

Discovering myself: I’m not trying to sound like a spiritual guru or something, but I’ve learnt a lot about myself in these six months. I realized that a lot of what I thought was a core part of my personality, was actually a way of life suited to my surroundings. Changing those surroundings led to a lot of introspection. Being in a completely new setting, I’ve had to think about the most basic things, like what I feel about the people around me, what my likes and dislikes are, how I think of any abstract issue, and even what kind of food and drinks I like! Having to introspect has an impact on your career choices too! I feel that I’ve gotten a much better understanding of what I’ll say the next time I face the mother of all interview questions: “tell me more about yourself”

Discovering Helsinki: Unlike some countries (including my own) where university campuses are cut-off from the main city, life at Hanken is quite the opposite. Hanken is perhaps a stone’s throw away from the city center, and the accommodation for students is spread around the city. Students get the full experience of city life, and there are even student activities which take place outside the walls of Hanken. I live in the Majstranden student apartments in Arabia, and I love walking to the beach next to the apartment building!  (Other student ambassadors will be writing more in depth about student activities and student housing, so keep an eye out for those posts in the Nordic Brilliance blog. To check out what the student union is up to, go to their website . It’s quite informative!)

Discovering other life stories: It’s true that travelling can give you a good sense of how big the world is and how different its inhabitants are, but nothing comes close to the kind of exposure that living abroad provides. I’ve had conversations with people from diverse nationalities and backgrounds, which I simply could not imagine having back home. When you get to spend time, and probably study with, people who bring a completely different perspective from yours, it enriches you in a way that nothing else can! I’m genuinely amazed that given it’s relatively small size, Hanken has such an international collection of students. The icing on the cake is that since the Helsinki campus building is not a huge space itself, I end up seeing most of my friends everyday, and have intriguing discussions almost on a daily basis!   

Sisu: I’m still trying to figure out what this Finnish word exactly means, but I know that it’s something Finland is teaching me every day!!

Just like sisu, there are many other things which form a part of every country’s ethos, and living there is the only possible way to experience that. I hope that if and when you do get a chance to study abroad, you grab it with both hands. If your destination happens to be Hanken, I hope to see you soon!!

Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to add comments or reach me at jitesh.gupta@student.hanken.fi


Transitioning to a new country is not always smooth sailing, but it becomes much easier if you prepare in advance and have gathered all the information that you feel is relevant!

A great place to start for prospective Hanken Students is this webpage on the Hanken website which gathers all the relevant information to help you make the transition. Read everything carefully (and maybe make notes! I do!), and ask the relevant people if you need more information (email/other contacts will be present in the relevant page)  if you have any further doubts.

Another resource that I would highly recommend is the official websites and social media handles of the Finnish Government. They contain relevant information about procedures and requirements, and most of the information will usually be available in English. Since the visa/residence permit process is not something which Hanken is directly involved with or could influence in any way, you’d be better advised to be aware of the relevant information yourself as well.

About life in Helsinki, there’s a plethora of information which you can get from blogs, youtube videos etc. But keep in mind, that these could be biased depending on the creator. It’s also true that each person’s experience living anywhere is different and unique, so they might unintentionally give you the wrong idea even if what they’re saying holds true for their situation.  Though they can be quite helpful, never take these as the primary source of information, and you’ll definitely be better off writing to Hanken, the Finnish Government or the Finnish embassy in your country about practical matters. Hanken also arranges a special orientation program for international students at the beginning of the academic year.

If at any point, things seem to be going in the wrong direction, the first thing you should do is to let the concerned department at Hanken know about the issue. I had myself gone through this while settling here, and the people at Hanken helped me out in every way possible.