Get to know Hanken, the master’s programmes and student life through our international student ambassadors. This is where they share their stories and insights on studies and everyday life in Helsinki and Vaasa.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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!
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
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.
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
If you have any questions
about studying at Hanken – just reach out to me be email: email@example.com
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).
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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: email@example.com!
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
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….
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
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
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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’
law) in another blog post.
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!!
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.