Nordic Brilliance Blogs

16.11.2017 09:51
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.

9.11.2017 13:52
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.

6.11.2017 23:30
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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.


  1. 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!

1.11.2017 15:30
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 (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!

- Sasha


14.10.2017 22:20
While clairvoyance would likely come in use for answering that question, it is a talent I'm yet to unlock. What I can do, instead, is tell you about the ways Hanken has been useful in seeking employment.


While diving into a jungle of group assignments and learning diaries, fending off deadlines and exams as they whoosh by, can certainly make any student question tearfully their purpose in life, it helps to think of what's up ahead. The good bits, that is. In particularly the possibilities of what awaits once all this studying is done.

Plenty of people discuss opportunities: the distance you can travel towards your own personal idea of stardom, the CVs you polish regularly and send to potential employers, the entrepreneurial or academic avenues you can explore. Sometimes we hear stories of a one-in-a-million lucky soul that wins the professional jackpot and gets carted off to Google or Stanford, or the incredibly successful CEOs and politicians that graduated from Hanken.

This year’s Becoming a Global Force seminar brought a few notorious Hanken alumni such Hjallis Harkimo and Aleksander Ehrnrooth onto the stage, showcasing examples of people who can objectively be considered successful. What this seminar also did, was highlight the ambition that Hanken facilitates: the simple message that if there’s a certain level of success that you want to achieve, there is no reason you wouldn’t be able to do that.


Becoming Global Force seminar, hosted by Hjallis Harkimo, brought us amazing presentations from Aleksander Ehrnrooth, vice-chairman of Fiskars, Heidi Jaara, founder and CEO of Belmuir, and Risto Siilasmaa, founder and chairman of F-secure.

But when the daydreams of fame and fortune fade a bit, many of us are left with a simple wish: I’d like to work at a place that I enjoy, be financially secure, and stop hating Mondays.

A job? Financial security? In this economy? What are the odds?

9.10.2017 13:15

Hei Everyone!

I’m Sasha, a student of finance and one of the several international student ambassadors here at Hanken! In this blog I’d like to talk about a couple of events that I attended as part of the International Student Ambassador team, which delved into the student life at Hanken.

While there have been so many events held at Hanken in the past month that I couldn’t possibly talk about them all in one blog post, they do deserve honorary mentions : we had Hanken network day, PwC popup, and the kick off of the mentorship program, and more, all in the month of September alone!


Hanna addressing the crowds in the Hanken foyer!

this post, though, I’d like to specifically talk about life at Hanken as a student. I’m very often asked about courses, the social life, and the job opportunities etc by students who are considering applying to Hanken for their masters degree. For their benefit, we had the Masters open House this past week. At the open house, prospective students visit Hanken and mingle with current students and professors. Masters open house has become a yearly Hanken tradition, with a steadily increasing number of participants every year. I’d strongly encourage everyone to attend this open house if you are in Helsinki, as it gives a unique perspective into life at Hanken, as well as allowing you to meet your future professors. Familiarity with the professors and current students will help you settle into Hanken and feel comfortable once you start your studies here!

28.4.2017 09:19
While Hanken-Helsinki is in the spotlight, I think Hanken-Vaasa deserves as much to share the same stage. In Vaasa, things are not big in scale, but great in quality, authenticity and closeness. Hard to believe? Read on to see how I elaborate on this idea.


First off, let's start with some fun facts about Vaasa. The sunniest city of Finland is famous not only for holding the largest energy cluster in the Nordic countries but also for a very young population. Today it is recognized as the educational and cultural hub of Western Finland. Considering the fact that in a city ranked "210th largest in Finland" found 3 universities and 2 polytechnics, there is no doubt 80% of whoever you meet on the street is a student. Thanks to that, lots of interesting events take place every week. Here you are served in 2 languages...together, Swedish and Finnish. It is a small, pretty, and very Finnish "Swedish" city. To make it easier to visualize, imagine an old "garden" town.


A view from the library An amazing view from Tritonia library 


Sunset in Vaasa

Vaasa Walkaround - Sunset



Somewhere near Strampen - Sunset


Now Hanken-Vaasa...General Management (GM) is the only English program at Hanken-Vaasa. What is so unique about GM that people (like me) are willing to give up the capital life to come here just for it? Well, the name of the program already speaks for itself. If you are into diversity of knowledge with a deep touch of a particular field, GM is for you. Almost 2 semesters have passed and I am so proud to say that I got myself a great chance to explore the world of business from different aspects: commercial law, finance, accounting, management and marketing. What I love love love about Hanken is the freedom and flexibility to do things. There is no rigid frame in learning. It is all about inspiration and self initiatives.


Cella Nova

9.4.2017 23:39

One thing I really like about Hanken is that this is the place where people are able to grow both business world and academic world. Let me show you two examples that happened during the past week.

"Once Hankeit, always Hankeit", it's once again proved by alumni showed up in the flash mentoring on April 6th, to help the current students with their challenges and various issues by discussing and sharing their professional experiences. I am so amazed by their patience and enthusiastic to give their advices and support to the students. 

The flash mentoring was designed in a very thoughtful way, Hanken tried to get the mentors from different fields and backgrounds, mostly senior executives and leaders, so students could get different perspectives and angles when having the discussion with them. After the formal event, there is a follow-up dinner arranged, so that mentors and students could sit down together and continue the discussion in a casual way, so we became friends! Flashmentoring

At the same day on April 6, Humlog (humanitarian logistics) track of Business and Management degree programme organized an event with Peter Tatham, who is a global expert from Griffith University, and he shared great insights in his keynote about technology meets humanitarian logistics. Actually we have such guest lecture more than often, thanks to the Hanken professors connecting us with researchers world widely and bringing us opportunities to learn from different corner of the world. 

I truly enjoy and appreciate what Hanken has been doing that prepares us to be a future business elite! 

Humlog 1


Humlog 2

2.4.2017 22:07

Калинка, калинка, калинка моя,

В саду ягода-малинка, малинка моя.

Калинка, калинка, калинка моя,

В саду ягода-малинка, малинка моя.

With this song we started our Russian dinner at Hanken that took place on 20th of March, and had a great success!

But let start from the beginning. March 20th was bright and sunny day, and Helsinki was especially beautiful at that day after long winter. The Russian evening was initiated by Irina Prokkola, a lector of Russian language for her students studying Russian language. It was an introduction to Russian culture for some of her students, but also an opportunity for other students to share their cultural experiences that they received from their exchange in Russia.

It all started around 4.30 pm, we all gathered on the 5th floor, where a long table was already served with Russian dishes and decorated with some traditional elements by students and Irina. The program of the evening promised to be lively and active. The first activity was a dance “Kalinka”- a traditional and well-known Russian song. We started with some simple steps, and speed up along the music. Both Russian and Finnish students quickly picked up the moves, and found themselves dancing joyfully. The music was catchy, cheerful, and literally breathtaking. After a fast dance, pleasant feeling of tiredness occurred.


28.3.2017 15:21
After the hectic winter season and long dark nights, it was a cool moment to breath new air outside the frozen Finnish environment. The winter break in the warmer Berlin city was the place to thaw the end of the 3rd period at Hanken as a Humanitarian Logician.

It is winter break and after so many hectic days of walking on frozen water and dark morning lectures, finally the break is here! It is quite a busy life here at Hanken, bundled up with diversified school work and social life. We have always to find time outside our schedule for personal rejuvenation, just to feel normal amidst everything happening around.

Winter is at its peak during the 3rd period, and to escape all the coldness and icy streets I took a trip to Berlin to visit my friends studying at the Berlin University. It has always been my travel goal to travel to Berlin and experience life from my own perspective outside books, internet or other people view point.

Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany, with a population of approximately 3.5 million people. Berlin is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany on the banks of rivers Spree and Havel, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 6 million residents from more than 180 nations.

Where are my binoculars and where is my selfie-stick? I had the whole night to pack and get ready for berlin. How could a night be so short, with barely 4 hours of sleep? I had to rush, I would be late for the train, I would miss my flight. Where are my travel documents? Where is my toothbrush? (the Finish style). Am I going to be late, or am I going to freeze cold, it is so cold outside.

Two hours of flight and I was ready in Berlin, how were my friends enthusiastically waiting for a snow man, only to arrive as a “Michelin” guy. I was ready, ready with my travel diary to explore, learn and enjoy my short stay.