Finally the dead season in Helsinki is over and everybody's back to work or studies from the winter vacation. I was lucky to celebrate New Year here, in Helsinki, however, it is not celebrated the same way as the Russian people do.
In Finland New Year celebration it is more about partying and going out, while in my country we usually spend this day with our families, exchanging presents, watching old Soviet movies and eating traditional dishes like Russian Salad or Herring under a Fur Coat (sounds a bit weird, I know!).
I met 2018 with my friends watching the fireworks display from the terrace of the Maxine club located on the top floor of the Kamppi – if you want to see Helsinki at the bird's-eye view, you should definitely check this place out. The city center was crowded – it looked like almost all the Helsinkians went out to see the show.
Another highlight of my winter holidays was, of course, LUX Helsinki – it was my first experience, and I liked it a lot. The Lantern Park at Koulupuistikko as one of favorite spots. Thousands of lanterns made by students of Secondary and Primary Schools and Aalto University created absolutely magical atmosphere making me feel like I was in a fairytale. Lanterns presented were made of almost everything – paper, plastic bottle, CDs and so on.
Another thing I liked very much was the final location of LUX – Helsinki Cathedral with its projection called Konstellaatio inspired by the music of Mika Vainio and dedicated to him. The building was transformed into the huge screen and the lights were highlighting its various elements, that looked like a process of its construction. So, I am already looking forward to visiting the next year LUX!
I hope everyone is having great holidays! As this is the last blog entry for the year, I would like to use the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year! This blog post will be more of an advertisement for the Finnish Lapland or Rovaniemi as I am spending the last days of 2017 up here in the north. I hope that folks who are thinking of applying to Hanken will enjoy the read.
So, we wrapped up our fall semester at Hanken few weeks ago and Hanken is as empty as in summer time. I might have been one of the few people still around as I did not go home for Christmas. However, I have had a Christmas dinner with a great Hankeit Nabeel at his place, so it was not that bad. Right now, you can find me in Rovaniemi, 800 km north of Helsinki. I am here with 8 more people and some of them have seen the snow for the first time. Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the amount of the snow because I have forgotten what the real winter should look like. Unfortunately, Helsinki has not provided us with the feeling of great winter in a while now.
Anyway, Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland and is known to be the home of Santa Claus (Canadians reading this are subject to an anger attack). There are some cool things to do here such as snowmobile and husky tours, ice fishing, visiting Santa Village, doing snow angels, seeing northern lights and, my favourite, enjoying the peace and silence. If you are living in a city bustle, you would appreciate the experience I am talking about. I can now, to an extent, understand why some of the bestselling books are written in the middle of nowhere.
It was a hot summer day when I received admission letter from Hanken, and it just changed everything regarding future. Next thing I know is reaching Vaasa on August 18, 2016; it was a day with a lot excitement as well as anxiety in my mind. I walked onto the campus of Hanken and I never felt like it is the first time I came to this place, rather it felt like a familiar place or like a home.
Hours turned into days, days into week, and week into months; and I can say that Hanken as well as Vaasa gave me some of the best memories, friends, collogues, as well as teachers, who played a vital role in development of my personality to be a better person. Mostly my first year was filled with a lot of fun activities, making new friends, gathering new experiences, and most importantly the studies, and when I say studies, it is not the typical form if study, rather everybody at Hanken made sure that I “learn” instead of just study. Therefore, I can say that it was one of the profound experiences of my life.
There were times filled with joy as well as hard times, but the things that kept me going is support from the teachers and most important encouragement from my friends Nana and Niko. This tells the fact that time passes on, you just have to stay motivated and for me the motivation is something such as a saying from my culture, similar as, “This too shall pass”. This shows that Hanken once again provided me with the right development tools to deal with different challenges of life.
Finally, I would like to mention that Hanken as well as Vaasa allowed me to grow academically as I became more confident in my field of study; socially as I made new friends; culturally as I learned among and about Finnish culture and heritage; and most importantly personally, since I have never imagined in my early days in Vaasa that I will find life-lasting friendships and memories. Now I am leaving Vaasa for exchange semester in Norway, but I will never forget about anything that I have experience here.
December 6th is the independent day of Finland, and this year is extremely special as it is Finland's 10 year's birthday. This day, people are gathering to celebrate together, many major architects and land marks are lighted with the national colour -- blue and white, and in the middle night, a well prepared firework show in Helsinki center. Meanwhile, Finland is not alone, many other countries also lighted their land mark in blue and white, to celebrate Finland's 100 year's birthday.
Well, the celebration is not only on this day, instead, it began from the beginning the year, and lots of the activities about Finland 100 years throughout the whole year. Many Finnish companies, brands, schools, and government were actively reflecting on the achievements, learnings and experiences from the past, and made the visions and goals for the coming years.
In a historical time frame, 100 years are very short, however I was amazed how Finland has become one of the top developed countries in the world from the scratch, and topping the many key indicators such as education, low corruption, gender equality, one of happiest country in the world etc. Same time I feel so great to be able to witness and celebrate Finland's 100 years birthday, and being able to experience the high quality higher education in Finland.
Pikkujoulu is a traditional Finnish party, usually held by companies, communities, and amoung friends. In English it is called "Little Christmas". Usually it is held 3-4 weeks before Christmas, and the whole city is busy with particing and talking about little Xmas, and you even are able to spot people who are on their way to Pikkujoulu on the streets, and that's when it's called Pikkujoulu season.
Last Friday evening, our company had our Pikkujoulu, everybody Santa Clause' hats on. We had a nice venue, delicious food, and an interesting stand-up comedian performance.
The pre-party started with some drinks, snacks and sauna in our office building. Then the private bus took us from the office to the party location. Our Pikkujoulu officially started with CEO's informal speech about the achievements and happening of this year, and plans and target for the next year. In the end of the speech, we did a toast for each other. And started 3 course buffet, the place offers the combine of different kinds of Finnish and Asian food, very tasty. My colleague next to me ordered Mojito, however, the bar tender mistakenly put salt instead of suger to the drink, so that was our first time trying "Salty Mijito" :D well, the taste is really mehh, maybe only once for life.
Xmas is also the time to have the most traditional Xmas drink -- "Glögi", it is a beverage usually made with red wine along with different mulling spices, served in warm or hot. As I always have glögi with group of people or friends, so glögi is a very homy drink to me.
Here are some pictures from our Pikkujoulu! And wish everybody Merry Christmas!
Hey guys, how are you? It has been around 6 months since my last entry and I am slightly late with this one. I believe that the following picture will sum up the reasons why. The file seen in the pic had been submitted literally couple of minutes before the deadline and before I took on writing this entry.
(Photo: somewhere on a highway in Dubai, UAE)
This picture sums up not only my last couple of weeks but pretty much my life since the middle of August. I am very busy, and I find myself complaining about it too much already. Cannot help it though, I really am.
So, what am I up to? Let’s start the story from September. To be honest, I think I have overestimated the amount of workload I will have this year and I have taken on more responsibilities that I would normally. I am one of those people who appreciate their free time a lot so feeling so busy is super weird. So far, I have been involved in: part time job as Data Analyst, thesis writing, courses that would put me way above required 120 ECTS (blame my curiosity), basketball, running the Masters’ Committee, Hanken’s mentorship programme, travel, various meetings, outings, etc. Thus, the last three months have flown by in the fastest way ever.
Anyway, let me focus on the last week, it has been rather interesting. On Tuesday I had a possibility to meet with my mentor Marcus. It was our third meeting and I am glad that Marcus himself is taking an initiative on having them regularly. So far, Marcus has given me some valuable life insights, we had cool discussions about professional life as well as got to know each other better. Therefore, I want to say HUGE thanks to Hanken because there always are numerous possibilities allowing one to increase the soft skills’ package and I am blessed to have this opportunity. By the way, if you want to have an awesome mentor like Marcus, look up Hanken's Mentorship Programme.
(Photo: meeting with my mentor Marcus)
On Wednesday I had a meeting with Miltton’s representative. I had no feeling that something might go wrong prior the meeting but after I had arrived at the office, I found out that the lady I am supposed to meet does not work at the company anymore. Great! It was slightly funny, but I am glad Miltton has solved it well and I have got what I’ve wanted. Let's just say, stay tuned for some cool events :).
While free-falling through semesters as they whoosh by is certainly an adventure, some of us (me. I'm talking about myself here) feel it necessary to pre-plan everything, and take into account any possible deviations, varying from sleeping in and missing a deadline to an alien abduction that could hinder my progress.
Hello, this is Fairouz again, and here's a glimpse of what studying looks like from a try-hard's perspective.
There isn't a "right way" of doing your degree, really – just do what suits you best. Some hurl themselves into a vortex of studies, emerging after a year and a half with a thesis clutched in their shaking hands (me, again), while others take a more paced route, enjoying their student life while balancing work, parties, and courses equally. Hanken is a judgment-free place for either type.
I remember that during the orientation week I had already emotionally attached myself to an excel file I had constructed, wherein I had organized all the courses I'd need to take, in which semesters, with their sign-up codes and everything. And yes, I colour-coded it, and separated the compulsory courses from the elective ones. No, I don’t think that everyone should do that. But for those of us who’re prone to anxiety, staying organized keeps us afloat and somewhat capable of breathing.
Hi there, it’s Jing again. It is time to look back at my first year master studies at Hanken. Anyone’s interested in some surviving tips?
Starting my degree in humanitarian logistics was one of the best decisions I made. It opened the door to a new professional area that is so important yet relatively under-recognized. So what is humanitarian logistics? And what are we studying to become humanitarian logisticians at Hanken?
Humanitarian logistics is basically providing relief (food and non-food) items to the needed in disaster areas such as in political riot and natural disaster zones. However, this life-saving process is rather complex and needs much all-round professional knowledge including logistics, country-specific information, supply chain management, uncertainty and risk management, and cooperation among large number of involved agencies. Though, doesn’t it also sound exciting that so versatile skills and knowledge that you could learn from this field while having the mission of saving lives!
Now peacefully entering the second year of my education, the intensity of first year’s studies is still so vivid in my mind and is logged with the large amount of material left in my laptop. Most of the mandatory courses are taken in the first year as in many master degree studies at Hanken. However, the journey was rather fruitful and enjoyable, but also rough at times. As sharing is caring, and as well a good self-observant tool, here I go telling some of my take-ways from surviving the first year study.
The amount of work won’t kill you but certainly will leave you some scratches at times…
At Hanken, the quality and quantity go hand in hand meaning there is not only large amount of work including individual assignments, group works, projects, and tests, and also high level quality requirements of your work. The studying terms are periodic spanning over 6 weeks each that quite often when you just finished the assignments of the week and you are facing the deadlines of end-of-term big projects.
My proven track of conquered courses!
Don’t get scared! You will manage! You chose Hanken and Hanken chose you – there is a mutual understanding of expectations. Beside this pep talk, the different types of assignment are also making things more interesting for you to learn and to work on.
I'm Jing, a master student in Humanitarian Logistics and part of the international student ambassador team. This post tells a bit of my extra-curriculum learnings of being a Hankeit!
Having been living in Finland for several years and finished my bachelor degree here, the student life at Hanken has still taught me so many things!
Enjoying singing in Swedish when you can’t even speak it
When I was chatting joyfully with students sitting next to me at my first master sitz at Hanken, suddenly people were arm-locking and swinging from side to side singing in Swedish. What did I do? I went along like everybody else. Don’t be afraid if you can’t speak any Swedish, however this will happen in almost all the sitzs and you will get used to it before you know it. Besides, at an instant of vigorous joy, no one is listening to you, so just enjoy yourself and the moment.
Dissolving stress with coffee
Master studies can sometimes be stressful with all the deadlines seem to be attracted to each other and decide to meet up at a single date. One thing you should know is that Finland has the heaviest consumption of coffee in the world. Learning to drink coffee and to enjoy a proper coffee break with friends at school is a great letting out of stress.
When you are stressed and march toward the Hanken café, here you go, in the queuing line you encounter a familiar smiley face showing mutual understanding of stress and the solution. Chatting away while sipping the strong dose of Finnish coffee, here you just survived another crisis.
Embracing diversity with flexibility
Not only diversity from the nationality, but also diversity from the life status and from the work style, you learn to respect diversity and to embrace flexibility when studying master at Hanken. I have worked with international students, students that work almost full time, and students that are also mothers. I loved the fact that everyone is welcomed, encouraged, respected, and given the same opportunities and challenges. Working with them over different projects has been fun, stressful, productive, disappointing, creative, and learning. The amount of group works at Hanken is teaching you so much more.
After knowing the diversity level of students here at Hanken, you are probably not surprised that many of us are actually good cooks! So go explore your friends circle here and you might start some “cultural evenings” with authentic tastes. And the myth that students can’t cook is thus proven false!
Hello, hello, hello! With the first snow fall of this year in Helsinki, it is time for another blog entry from your resident student ambassador from the finance department!
So period 2 has started here at Hanken, and with that, many interesting finance courses! Perhaps the one a lot of students are looking forward to is the course titled Strategic Growth Investing. Here, you get to attend guest lectures given by company heads of HackerOne, Lifeline Ventures, and Eureka, among others. You also get to work on a business presented at SLUSH! Can’t get much more entrepreneurial than that! A similar course is International Corporate Governance, again being offered this semester, where one can sit in multiple guest lectures and write a term paper about a chosen company.
I would strongly recommend that new finance students opt for these courses for their electives. Other good options are Cases in finance, taught by Professor Timo, or, if you prefer a pure theory approach- then international accounting, which is taught by the esteemed Professor Troberg, or the undergraduate course, Pricing of financial securities and derivatives. Most courses I’ve taken as my electives, though, are theory based as opposed to those that have a more entrepreneurial side to them. I guess I’m not as much of a creative thinker as I’d like to believe! Also, I never seem to have enough time to take ALL the courses I want to take!
Finally, on to the social calendar- the annual Halloween party was held by the masters committee this Saturday in collaboration with KY finance. Attendees included masters as well as exchange students, with the after party taking place at the Apollo Club! Though there were many worthy competitors, the best costume went to the person dressed as Trump, mostly because he was representing the character so well. For pictures, check out https://www.shs.fi/sv/gallery (coming soon).
For now, please make do with this grainy picture!
Lastly, a perfect way to deal with being practically snowed in (and all the stress related to deadlines and term papers!) is to enjoy warm drinks with close friends. Here are Fei and I, having coffee at Espresso House and complaining about our workload!