Hopefully this post is a HIT

My experiences with the Hanken Interational Talent program


By Jordan Lawrence

Another new voice in the blog, coming to you after the launch event for the Hanken International Talent (HIT) program. HIT is a program designed to pair international master’s students with local companies, and I have been a participant for the past year working with Fazer. I’ve really enjoyed the program, and it has been a special opportunity to get involved during my studies.

Finding a job without knowing Finnish, or even having a Finnish business network, can be a bit tricky, so I was happy when I found out about HIT (https://www.hanken.fi/en/studies/student-services/career-services/hanken…). I applied not knowing what to expect, from company to opportunity to fit. But it worked out, I have now spent most of the past year working on issues related to traceability and collaboration with the Digital Transformation team at Fazer – and I’ve been writing my thesis with them. I’ve been challenged to grow and learn, all while working on issues that are important to me.

Most importantly, this has really helped me become more embedded in Finnish life and society. With the excellent weather this summer I was able to bike most days, learning new parks and exploring parts of town. It’s also nice to have co-workers remind you that your degree will finish soon enough, and you should enjoy the process. And your co-workers can offer great travel tips like the deeply creepy Veijo Rönkkönen Sculpture Garden. Something else I’ve noticed is that when talking to new people they brighten up when hearing that I work at Fazer. It’s a piece of Finnish identity which has become a part of my own.

Mentorship Programme – The Next Move to Take! Part I – Motivation

Hanken inspires students to think in a non-trivial way and offer divergent activities that can help the young generation of Hankanies in planning their careers. Mentorship Programme is one of them, and this year I decided to join the programme as a mentee and explore all of the potential benefits it is about to bring! In my blog posts, I am going to tell you about each step we go through with my great mentor during this adventure and share my personal experience, expectations and hopefully results!

Mentorship programme is organized in a way that a student (mentee) can get professional guidance from successful Hanken alumnus (mentor) working in industry or academia. The main idea (and a big challenge!) is to find a good match between two of them to make the process fun and efficient. Usually, it is expected to have one meeting per month during the school year where you can go together through topics you are interested in, such as CV check-in, preparing for job interviews, discussing career goals and expectations, sharing personal experience, etc.

What was my inner motivation to apply for this programme?

First, being a foreigner, I feel in a way unsecured because of a language barrier as well as a lack of knowledge about Finnish working style and business culture in general. Thus, I was very enthusiastic about a chance to ask straight questions from a person who is willing to give straight answers, telling funny stories and sharing own experiences (both successes and failures!) with me in a way I can receive really valuable advice for my future endeavors.

Next, I am a mother of a fun-loving toddler, and for the last couple of years my life was mainly dedicated to my boy. Yet when the time has come I was struggling to shift my attention and energy towards new career paths. At this point, I need someone who would be able to encourage me and restore my work-life balance. I was looking not only for a guidance on my professional growth but also for a personal support and inspiration.

Finally, I am looking for a career that might be best suited for my lifestyle, my personal and professional goals, and my academic background. But, I also do not want to miss unexpected opportunities and experiences because of the fact that I have certain ‘life-work plan’ in my head. Here, I believe that my mentor will be able to take a look at me through a more objective prism, pointing out my strengths that were hidden or my weaknesses I didn’t know (or didn’t want to know?) about.

As you can see, my motivation is not only about great expectations about my future career, it is also about life-related issues that finally may result in the greatest takeaway from my mentorship relations. In general, the mentorship programme shall not become a ‘one-way street’ case. Both the mentor and the mentee should prove to be a team, be personally engaged in the process, be ready to spend their time, energy, be ready to share, to give feedback, listen each other, and think about another person in a way this time spent together brings a lot of positive emotions and feelings!


Nordic Brilliance at the study fairs in Russia

Greetings from Russia from Anna, Hanken international student ambassador!

Last week was full of adventures for me and Natalia, marketing assistant at Hanken. We spent almost a week on a duty: we visited Moscow and Saint Petersburg for the study fairs where we advertised education at Hanken and answered tonnes of questions from the potential Hanken students until we both lost our power and voices


The study fairs showed that there is a strong interest from the international applicants towards Hanken and this is wonderful! An opportunity to meet people from all over the world, get broad cultural experience, exchange the ideas and even start an international company – this is just a few things that are possible at Hanken School of Economics thanks to its international community. 

For those who always desires more, you can go for the exchange studies from Hanken to other great universities in Europe, South and North America, Asia and other regions depending on your personal and professional interests. You can go to Russia as well!


PS: The trips to Russia are always full of surprises; in most cases, you cannot even imagine how Russia may surprise you this time. Once it happened to us that one train ticket was unexpectedly cancelled, hotel payment was withdrawn from the card a couple of times or a pre-ordered taxi forgot to pick us up at the railway station… keep calm…  we were staying strong and having fun 😀  


See you at the Master’s Open House on 11th of October! 




Events at Hanken

Welcome to the first blog from Ana!

My name is Ana and I am a second-year master’s degree student here at Hanken Major Economics. I come from Italy, but I was born in Albania. I am the new international student ambassador for Economics and this is my first blog where I will write about interesting events organized at Hanken!
Since I managed to finish most of my courses in the first year, I am left now with the thesis and 2 language courses. This allows me to have more free time to attend interesting events organized at Hanken and in other places. I enjoy attending events since you meet new people and learn something new. Last month I.e. September I attended two wonderful events organized at Hanken:

  1. Hanken Network Day (HND);
  2. Nordic Business Forum.

HND is an event that Hanken organizes every year in September so well-known companies and students can meet. Particularly students have the chance to get an interview from different companies or to get advice for their CV. Furthermore, you can get a professional photo that can put in your CV or keep as a remember. This is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss! To finish the day, a dinner is served so you can continue networking and enjoy the evening in relax.
Nordic Business Forum is a 2-day event organized here in Helsinki where people from all around the world come to listen to inspiring speeches. Every year the event has a theme. This year themes were strategy, AI and peak performance. Since the event was very expensive to attend, Hanken provided the opportunity to listen in streaming. I was fascinated about the simplicity of the speach so that everyone could understand. I tried to listen to different speakers like:

  •  Aswath Damodaran that spoke about the lifecycle of a firm and how should the CEO behave in each lifecycle;
  •  Susan Cain that presented the importance of understanding the personality of the employee;
  • Gary Hamel that spoke about the power of open innovation
  • Etc.

Finally, there was the President of the United States Barack Obama to give the final speech about leadership. It was an amazing opportunity to listen to these inspiring speeches.

I would like to end this first blog with a quote that Gary Hamel mentioned during his speech:
“In my experience, innovation can only come from the bottom. Everyone must be able to experiment, learn, and integrate. Position, obedience and tradition should hold no power.”

Greg Lindom

Thank you and have a great weekend!

A new academic year has started

Hi all! The summer is over, and a new academic year has started. Since my last blog entry was quite a long time ago. I am going to introduce myself again. My name is Marcel and I am now a second year Master of Finance student from Germany and the student ambassador for the Finance track. I live in Helsinki since August 2017 and I really enjoy my time here!

As I mentioned in my last blog entry I spent the summer working as an intern in a M&A boutique in Germany. This was an excellent opportunity to apply the theoretical frameworks learned at Hanken and get to know the daily life of an M&A Analyst. Since September I am back in Helsinki and I am looking forward to my final year of studies. The big upcoming challenge for this academic year will be writing my master thesis seminar and the master thesis itself. At Hanken a master student is responsible for finding and defining his own thesis topic. It is important to make sure that the same research was not conducted before. I submitted my topic proposal last week and now I am waiting for feedback from the finance department. In my next blog entry, I can hopefully update you about the progress I am doing with my thesis.

Besides working on my thesis, I am going to take one or two more courses and work on my Finnish language skills. If you are interested to stay and work in Finland as a foreigner, knowing Finnish gives you a big advantage in the job market even though everybody knows English. During this winter I am going to apply for several full-time positions. My plan is to start working full time latest by September 2019. Thanks to Hanken´s great reputation and various networking events hosted by Hanken and the student associations I am convinced I will be able to find a job in the field of my interest.

With that said I hope you have a great start into the new academic year. If you have any questions regarding studying at Hanken please do not hesitate to contact me. I am looking forward to hear from you.


Summer School is not only about School. It is about Summer!

What is so good about attending the Summer School while you are a student?

This summer I attended for the first time the IPR Summer School organized by the IPR University Center together with Hanken. It was a week of new insights into the latest intellectual property trends and challenges that IP law meets in an age of artificial intelligence. Smart cars, robots, e-courts, and other attributes of digitalization totale that sooner or later should become an inalienable part of our lives make us thinking – how these ‘intelligent’ innovations shall be treated from a legal perspective? Shall we change our legal attitude and give them own personality? In general, can synthetic machines be treated as independent items from those who created them? Can we increase the level of transparency and fairness if we have courts without biased judges and lawyers? Is it even physically possible to create absolutely objective algorithms without any prejudice? Are traditional intellectual property concepts are still relevant in a new environment?

Indeed, there are more questions than answers. Perhaps we are simply not there yet!

Although these are just some of the thrilling topics that were addressed during this Summer School, unfortunately it is hardly possible to go into details in the blog post! My main point here is that good summer school is an incredible step forward in your personal development. It is the place where you start really thinking about different issues from multiple perspectives and can share your thoughts with your friends and colleagues. 

From my own perspective, I discovered several absolute advantages you will get by participating in the summer school. 

First, people from different countries are put under one roof and learn about each other culture, traditions, language and education. It is a invaluable chance to extend your network, find new paths for your own research, make new friends or even meet someone special. Well, who knows!

Second, organizers of a good summer school invite professionals from both, the industry and academia, who are leaders in their field. These amazing people will tell you about recent trends from multiple perspectives, give you the information you can never find in books and you will be involved in the discussion even if you have never planned it. The learning process is very open, friendly and supportive. I would even say it is a collaborative event when everyone share their knowledge, experience, general thinking and inspiration. 

Third, you can gain ECTS if you follow all the requirements and this will be an additional plus for your transcript. 

Finally, coffee breaks are perfect for a discussion and asking questions. Believe me, you will always get an answer or at least plenty of new information and a very fruitful dialogue.

Yes, and for those who like coffee, this is a heaven!

Enjoy your summer and greetings from Italy! 



The layover

Amazing week in California with ABC

Hi again,

 you might remember my last blog entry in which I wrote about my experience in the Academic Business Consulting course (Next year it’ll be called only Business Consulting). But same as all good things, also this course is coming to an end. This means it was time for our group to visit our previously chosen destination San Francisco for a joint trip as reward for the hard consulting work we have done in 7 projects overall.

We are currently sitting at the Oakland International Airport as I write this, waiting for our flights back to Finland. We have experienced so much during the past week that it becomes a task of its’ own to comprehend all of it into one blog entry but I’ll give it a try.

The trip began with an amazing weekend spent in California’s famous Muir Woods and a 19 km hike. The following day we (the ones who were still able to walk) visited Santa Cruz and hoped for some waves to learn how to surf, which was cancelled due to a lack of waves. However, a wonderful weekend was a great start to prepare us for the upcoming company visits.

We got to talk to several very inspiring individuals from venture capital investment firms such as 50 years and Index, as well as from serial entrepreneurs like Ugur Kaner and Canopy’s open workspace community director Red Rainey.  San Francisco is all about who you know and what you make out of your contacts, at least when it comes to business. The motivation of people has all kinds of different backgrounds, which makes this fast paced environment an open playground for tech enthusiasts, communication lovers and also profit hungry capitalists. I personally found the difference in culture compared to Finland to be very extreme. In Finland people are more rational, seeking low-risk investments and business models, whereas the people in San Francisco live by selling dreams and ideas to raise capital for start-ups. The difference was not necessarily bad, just shocking to someone who has never experienced it.

As one week is quite some time to visit places, we managed to get into some of Silicon Valley’s biggest players in the tech industry – LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. All of those visits were made possible through our own networks and were at least in my opinion some of the most interesting stops we had on our route. Seeing how the big corporate tech life works and how people from all cultural backgrounds work together in super modern campuses was simply intriguing. From crazy offices, over the top employee benefits to the motivational work environment – Silicon Valley has it all. Whether or not this work life fits for one depends heavily on personal and professional preferences of course, but I as a tech freak liked it – a lot! To round off our excursions, we also visited Stanford university and the University of California, Berkeley. These schools have campuses, we at Hanken can only dream of as Stanford for example looks more like a five start holiday resort.

Last but not least I’d like to share my two favourite spots of the week. Number one would be the former prison island Alcatraz, as I was always interested in the story of it plus it was my favourite level in the Tony Hawk video game when I was younger, which basically allowed  me to know the island inside out before we even got there. Adding to that (I know this is THE tourist thing to say) one of the greatest views in town, at least in my opinion, was next to the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather was clear enough to see the bridge, the bay and even as far as Alcatraz.





In conclusion I can only say that besides all the visits, views, amazing restaurants and interesting people, what I’ve enjoyed the most was to get closer to my ABC team. We’ve established a great group feeling over the course of the year already, which made this trip even more memorable. I’ve learned something new about all of my consultants, and am very happy to call all of them my friends. Afterall, without them it would have been just another trip.


Now it’s time to board the plane and get back to warm and sunny Finland (This sounded as weird to me as it did to you , trust me but it’s in fact almost 10° warmer in Helsinki :D)

P.S. I know describing all these great things without the matching pictures must be complete torture – but if you head over to @Hankenofficial on Instagram, you’ll see some great shots of the week 🙂

The year is over – It is finally summer

Hey there,

Let my first introduce myself again. My name is Marcel I am 25 years old and originally from Germany. I am the International Student Ambassador for the Finance Track at Hanken and this my second blog entry.

The first year of my Master studies is now over, the last study period was intense, I had a lot of mid-terms, assignments, group work and presentation. However, I had my last exam two days ago and now it is time to enjoy the summer. The weather here in Helsinki has been perfect the last week. Thus, I spent the first day after my last exam at the beach and tried to replace the library/desktop tan with some real tan. I will stay in Helsinki for a couple more days before I will go back to Germany for the summer. I will do a three months internship in M&A. I hope to apply the knowledge I acquired at Hanken. I think the Corporate Finance course I took last period will be especially useful for that. I am curious and excited about new challenges and opportunities to learn the practical side of Finance. I will come back to Helsinki at the beginning of September and I am hoping to see some of you guys in person, but until then enjoy your summer!


Best Regards


Stay actively connected with your future career while studying

Possibly after you have lived one month in Helsinki, you would have known all the corners in this capital city. However, small as the city is, opportunities are abundant! 


It might come as a surprise depending on where you are coming from. In Finland, more than half of the university students are working while studying. What’s more connected to your future career than real work experiences? Finnish society actively supports student work offering part-times, traineeships, internships, and summer jobs. The vibrant local startup world also welcomes both local students and internationals. During my first-year master studies, I had an internship in an NPO initiating and organizing events for foreign jobseekers in Finland. I have been also volunteering for different events such as for the legendary SLUSH – the world biggest startup event organized by Finnish students. 


Here comes another important path to your future career – networking! Through all these work and volunteering experience, you get to meet different people opening doors for more opportunities. 


Besides working and volunteering, there are many other ways prepare you for your future career. Through Hanken’s career services, CV clinics, mock-up interviews, company visits, on-campus recruitment events, and seminars are regularly organized. Depending on your interests and needs, some of these services might come in handy before sending in job applications and/or heading to interviews. 


Another wonderful way to get ahead with your future career while studying is through mentoring which myself has also benefited greatly. I participated two mentoring programs, one from COME’s (Chamber of Multicultural Enterprises) EntryPoint program and the other from LOGY (Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics). The first one aims at facilitating the interactions between local companies and international students, and the second program aims at helping young logistics professionals from their more experienced experts.  Hanken also offers mentoring program great for thirsty minds. 

picture1.pngEntryPoint 2018 – First Group Meeting

Why mentoring is important and how to best benefit from your mentoringship? Mentoringship basically sets no limit until you set the goals with your mentor. That said, the higher and clearer your objective, the better results you possibly get. You can use this mutually beneficial relationship to horn your desired skills, to learn about different career paths and companies, to learn to deal with certain problems and challenges, to expand your network, to get practical tips on how to apply for jobs, etc. Through my own experiences and talking with friends who had similar experiences, we feel the most important is to take actively role to set the objectives meaning knowing what you want from this relationship before your first mentoring meeting and setting tangible goals with action steps with your mentor. Always be prepared before the meetings and give back (such as feedback or offering help for other things) while receiving. 


One more important tip: asking your fellow Hanken students what they are doing and how do they do it. Peer learnings are the most practical ones which can be put to your direct use. Where did they find certain positions? What career programs are they participating? What’s their success/failure stories? What’s good and bad working at certain positions/companies? What could you do in xxx situations? What interview questions? …  Sometimes it can be more useful than a career counselling! Through talking and sharing, you also gain more support and confidence and become more action-oriented.


There are probably so many other opportunities I forgot to mention or that I do not even know about. Please share with me your experiences and knowledge too 🙂


Best wishes, 



Vappu – One of the Best Student Experiences!


I want to talk about one of the most anticipated student events in Finland – Vappu. It is a national May Day celebration when the students get loose and graduates get a chance to reminisce those student days.

There are two important days on Vappu, April 30th and the May Day itself. Personally, I like the things that are going on during the April 30th more. Additionally, the weather on May Day this year was terrible so I have used the day just as a chance to relax and meet up with some friends.

So, Vappu is celebrated by every student union in Finland and the Student Union of Hanken (SHS) is no exception to that. We started our celebrations in the Observatory Park in Helsinki, a nice place with a sea view, slightly further away from the main crowd. This year the attendance was amazing and you could see plenty of students around: masters, bachelors, exchange peeps… As the time went by and the crowd got bigger, we started to resemble a large group of NASA astronauts, thanks to our white overalls (indispensable piece of clothing during the Vappu).


So yeah, the event itself is more or less about hanging around with your buddies, playing games, drinking some bubbly, having a picnic. For me, it was a great opportunity to catch up with my buddies from Economics Department. Mats has spent half a year in Japan under QTEM programme, Noora and Elise were in Switzerland and Austria under Erasmus. Therefore, we finally could share our experiences and talk about the future plans. As those plans are big for all of us, we came to a conclusion that this might be our last Vappu together. Sad.

Anyway, after all the fun at the park, we moved to Havis Amanda statue, which is one of the centrepieces of Vappu. One of our friends has offered us to watch the capping of Havis from one the balconies directly facing the statue. Needless to say, we had one of the best views that day!


We finished the evening at Casa, a legendary party place of Hanken, where all the active members of the Student Union could raise some more glasses of bubbly! At the end of everything, we were quite tired but happy because Vappu 2018 was a success!


By the way, on Saturday I attended Color Obstacle Rush Helsinki event with my friends Tuuli and Melissa. It was a cherry on top of the nice and fun week we had. Here are some of the pictures from the event.


As you can see, studies at Hanken allow you to balance your life pretty well and and there are many cool things to do outside the school.

This is how we have ended our 2017/2018 school year and I hope you will get to experience all the fun at Hanken in the future! Have a great summer everyone, see you next year!