Meet our Alumni

Read what our alumni have to say about their experiences from the Hanken Executive MBA programme.

Pertti Saarela, CEO, Finnish Red Cross First Aid

hanken_emba_saarela_8680.pngI have worked in management positions during my whole career. The Hanken EMBA programme is a perfect fit for persons in managerial positions wishing to gain more self-confidence and leadership skills. The programme gives you insights about processes and tools needed in any business settings ensuring the next step in your career. Without his EMBA programme I would not be in my current position right now.

Pertti participates in the EMBA programme 2016-2018.



Rasmus Roiha, Managing Director, Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association

Mroiha_rasmus_1.jpgy studies were interrupted several times so I never got my Master's Degree in Economics. I found myself slightly bothered by this ten years later on. Work commitments and a small baby at home meant that I could not study full time, therefore I concluded that a part-time EMBA could be the solution for me. The Hanken Executive MBA proved to be the right choice for me because of its international reach and network of experienced professionals.

The key insight I gained through the programme was understanding the importance of management accounting methods and KPI's for decision-making. I also gained a much broader picture of finance and I now understand global financial issues on a deeper level.
The programme was a great boost to my self-confidence and career development. During the EMBA programme I was approached by an executive search company, and three months after graduation again by another - which led to my current Managing Director position. Naturally, I also value the great network and friendships I made during the two years.
I warmly recommend the Hanken Executive MBA programme for highly motivated individuals with managerial experience looking to develop themselves. Nobody will hand you what you want on a silver platter - everyone has to work hard and earn their success!
Rasmus participated in the EMBA programme 2010-2011.


Rashmi Kasat-Majakorpi, Head of Digital Program Management, Metso

hanken_emba_kasat_8509.jpgWhen I joined Hanken EMBA program, I came here with an aspiration that I´m going to become a better business leader.  I never for a moment thought that it is going to have such a powerful impact on my entire life. It has been a life-changing EMBA program, I fully recommend it!

Rashmi participated in the EMBA programme 2014-2015.


Kaisa Kekki, Sustainability Manager, Skanska

kaisa_kekki_10.jpgHaving a background in engineering, I felt a formal education in business, finance in particular, would benefit my career. This was something I felt an EMBA would provide - which turned out to be very true. I was also at a point in my career where I wanted to challenge myself and at the same time deepen my knowledge in a variety of topics ranging from strategic leadership to marketing.

Hanken was recommended to me by a colleague who had attended Hanken Executive MBA himself. A closer look at the programme convinced me that Hanken was the right choice for me; small groups, well-respected lecturers, involvement of Hanken professors in the programme and the possibility to combine work, family and studies. The fact that the programme is internationally accredited made the choice even easier.
Hanken Executive MBA proved to be much more than just getting an update on current topics. An equally valuable outcome of the programme was the network of fellow students, or I should say friends, who provided significant insights during the programme. Working with people with different backgrounds and profiles taught me a lot about group dynamics and showed once more that the right mix of people can achieve excellent results.
Professionally, the programme offered me a fresh view on my current job within sustainability. The programme provided my employer and I the opportunity to work with specific topics more thoroughly and systematically than otherwise would have been done. It has been very rewarding to notice that the knowledge and skills I have acquired over the years have proven to be useful in a variety of business cases. This has strengthened my confidence in my own capabilities - something that I will surely benefit from in the future.
I recommend the Hanken Executive MBA to people who have reached a point in their career when they want to challenge themselves and learn more. Having several years of work experience ensures getting the most out of the programme.
Kaisa participated in the EMBA programme 2012-2013.


Natalia Goldberg, CEO Russia, Forenom

Completing the EMBA programme was a valuable investment in my career development. For me, Hanken Executive MBA was a natural choice since the Scandinavian market is the main focus area of my job in St Petersburg.

nataliagoldbergweb.jpgI was impressed by the programme's content, list of lecturers and timetable. I found the topics inspirational yet practical, with lots of tools and theories that I now put into use daily in my job. The programme is very well-structured and has a comfortable timetable for students with busy schedules.
My expectations for the programme were not only met, but greatly exceeded. With the programme my leadership skills improved considerably and I became more confident, structured and a better communicator. I gained a lot of important information from lecturers and peers through exchange of ideas in class and group work collaborations.
I can strongly recommend the programme and have already done so to many of my colleagues. I am now well-equipped with new knowledge and fresh business ideas. I also made new friends and formed valuable business partnerships. Joining Hanken EMBA was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. Thank you for this great experience!
Natalia participated in the EMBA programme 2012-2013.


Markus Jalkanen, Sales Development Manager, UPM Sales GmbH

Markus Jalkanen graduated from the Hanken EMBA programme in 2002, with customer relationship marketing as his specialisation. His studies have played an important role in his career path.

jalkanen_2011_04_13_32_small.jpgMy initial university education was oriented towards engineering, process technology and printing, all of which set me in good stead for a career in the paper industry. I did express an interest in commercial studies when considering options for my minor, but a tutor advised me to wait. He suggested that a few years in working life would give me a deeper view of business and a more solid base on which to build my studies. I took his advice, and I'm very glad to have done so.
The early years of my working life show a gradual shift towards engaging with customers, whether through technical support or sales. Above all, I enjoyed building relationships with them. As this trend continued, I never forgot my ambition to develop my sales and marketing knowledge through further education.
I was able to pursue EMBA studies in 2001, definitely the right moment for me. In fact, my employer's HR director recommended the Hanken EMBA specifically, and I had a strong prior impression of Hanken as an institution that represented quality.
The programme began in January of that year: our first child was born in the same month, and we had just purchased a new home in Kouvola, Finland. Not the recipe for a stress-free situation, let me assure you. The two years of the programme involved a great deal of travel - to allow me to fulfil the obligations of both my work and the studies - and I remember often doing homework assignments in airport waiting rooms, or on the kitchen table in the middle of the night in between one trip and the next. It was a hectic schedule at times, but a rewarding process.
Once my studies were underway, I remember the biggest challenges were the topics that were entirely new to me, such as corporate finance. We also had very interesting discussions around issues such as how to view human assets as capital. The most important elements from my perspective were, however, corporate strategy processes, as we got into the logic behind strategic thinking in a company. How do you establish your aims and reach them as a company? How do you implement strategy? This is essentially what I do now in my work, so you can imagine how important a thorough grounding in these questions is to me.
It was also beneficial that I was able to let my studies feed into my work at the time, and vice versa. We were advised to begin our final theses already in the first year of the program, and I based mine on my on-going work with customers, who responded enthusiastically when they heard about my studies. I was also able to combine the away modules, both in Finland and in Sydney, with customer visits.
For me, with my technical background, the Executive MBA opened up opportunities to do something different with my career. I still enjoy dealing with technical issues and am confident when talking about technologies and the details of customer practices. Others working in marketing might lack a comprehensive technical understanding about product performance or certain quite detailed processes or specifications. My advantage is to have built up experience in both fields and this is where the Executive MBA was critical to my development.
The work was intense, but we were spurred on by clear deadlines and strong discipline, which emanated from our programme coordinator, and was amplified by my peers on the course. We were a diverse group, ranging from those of us in our twenties, all the way up to the fifty-somethings. Also our areas of business varied a lot: across finance, medicine, consumer marketing, and many other interesting settings. This meant that we all learned a lot about each other's different industries, in addition to the lessons we shared as part of the programme's formal content. It helped us gain perspective, and of course to develop our network of contacts.
There was a healthy sense of mutual support among us, and we encouraged each other with the promise that we would all graduate simultaneously, and in due time. At the end of 2002, all but one in our group graduated as planned: a very good result I'd say.


Niclas Sacklén, Vice President, Global Crane and Harbor Services, ABB Marine & Cranes

niclas_sacklen_230x288_webb.jpgAs an engineer, I felt it was important to have an official confirmation of my abilities in the field of finance. I chose Hanken Executive MBA, since the programme provided the best combination of academic study, group work and most importantly, practical relevance. Personally, I gained a deeper insight into financial issues and I believe I would not have been offered my current job without the EMBA diploma. The excellent group dynamics also strengthened the usefulness of the programme. I recommend the programme to individuals who have the thirst to acquire and share new ideas within a network of international business managers.
Niclas participated in the EMBA programme 2008-2009.