Giant Leap -projct – Rainmaker

04.12.2018, ottobergius

“Are you our rainmaker for the upcoming summer, literally?” was the humorous question that drew me in last spring. The task was to analyze, prototype, and test different methods in order to create a proposal for rain measurement reference. At the university, I was fascinated by the cloud physics course, and this was the perfect Giant Leap -project to develop even deeper understanding of the topic.

Having a background in meteorology gave me a strong basis on cloud formation theory, rain and its measurement. However, the practical setup construction created a new aspect to the topic. The project challenged me to think beyond the limits of meteorology and to utilize my technology-related skills and even my personal life experience. This project pointed out that know-how of different fields can lead to surprising outcomes.

In the picture above, you can see one of my highlights in Vaisala. After the Giant Leap summer I continued to work as Master’s thesis worker in Vaisala and constructed the rain generator with the help of an automation expert. The power of cooperation is clearly present in different projects in Vaisala. The community has a tremendous set of people with different backgrounds. In Vaisala’s interdisciplinary environment, I can learn something new every day.  And that’s not all – from time to time there are possibilities to visit our customers and learn their needs for the future.

Climate change and climate change adaptation are the key factors to be acknowledged when planning business for future. Since climate change and the atmosphere are themes that impact everyone globally, Vaisala is part of different international instrumentation projects. Vaisala’s solutions help tackle some of the most crucial issues our time – topics that are very important to me personally as well – and enable companies and decision makers to make better-informed decisions based on reliable measurement data.

The Giant Leap -project itself felt really meaningful for me, because the need for artificial rain to test, maintain and develop rain measurement instrumentation was evidenced especially during this summer – the driest summer in decades. So I literally became the rainmaker for the summer! All in all, it has been a pleasure to work with a meaningful Giant Leap project and develop it even further with a growing research network.

 

Giant Leap is Vaisala’s internship program for students in a university or polytechnic. We’ll hire up to 20 students for a period of three months over the summer to our head office in Vantaa Finland and our US head office in Louisville, Colorado. As a Giant Leap intern, you’ll work either individually, in pairs or together with experienced Vaisala employees on real-life projects that have genuine business relevance.

 

Challenging but also rewarding, the program is designed for students with a variety of skills, qualities and educational backgrounds. To us, motivation and intellectual curiosity are more important than specific achievements or your line of studies. We don’t expect you to have all the answers but we hope you have lots of questions. Application period for Giant Leap 2019 is from January 10th until February 10th. Come as you are, as long as you are curious!

 

Job hunting 1-0-1 vol. 2 – How to succeed in an interview!

23.11.2018, heikkiisotalo

1. Standing out

You have sent your application and want it to stand out in the eyes of the employer. Job adverts often feature a phone number for the person you can ask for more information on the available position. Do not be afraid to get in touch, but only make the call if you need to. A phone call like this is meant for asking questions about the offered position and to make the recruiter remember you, but you can do this the wrong way and leave a careless impression of yourself if you ask about things that are clearly stated in the job advert.

2. Preparation

A successful application gained you an invitation to an interview? Splendid! Carry on making a good impression by preparing for the interview carefully.

Get to know the organisation in more detail. Think in advance about what you might be asked in the interview and how to answer these questions. However, be sure not to learn your answers by heart, as practised answers will be spotted and learning them by heart makes you appear ingenuine which, in turn, questions your know-how. Also, think about what additional information you yourself would want on the organisation or position and ask these questions at the end of the interview if the topics have not come up otherwise. An interview, you see, is also an opportunity for you to assess whether you really want to work for this organisation and in this particular position.

The most common question in job interviews is “why should we choose you above others.” Prepare to answer this with a short elevator pitch in which you summarise the suitability of your skills, motivation and personality in relation to the position in question.

3. Interview

Everyone gets nervous about being interviewed, but try to relax and be yourself. This does not mean, of course, turning up in a tracksuit or throwing your feet on the table as you arrive. You often hear people wonder what they should wear to a job interview. Here it is: clean and tidy clothes, that’s all.

Bringing something to take notes with to an interview is perfectly ok. However, you should use a pen and paper instead of your phone or tablet, for example, as mobile devices will definitely distract you. In any case, make sure to put your phone on silent and out of sight.

Bring your work and study certificates or a portfolio of your work samples to the interview and offer them to the employer for reading through, already at the beginning of the interview if you like. Make sure that all certificates and samples are in order of relevance and neatly presented, not crumpled and in separate plastic folders or envelopes.

At the interview, listen carefully to what is being asked and, if necessary, ask for clarifications. Everyone is sure to have “frozen” in an interview some time, so do not get upset if this happens. Take a deep breath, try to relax and maybe ask to hear the question again.

In your answers, it is advisable to be honest and not to exaggerate your skills. You must also never slander your previous employers, even if you have left them on bad terms. You should also be honest if you are asked about also applying for other jobs at the same time. If the recruiter really sees you as an interesting applicant, knowing about your other applications can speed up the employer’s decision-making.

4. References

Job applicants often have previous or current managers in their references but, when changing jobs, for example, it is understandable not to want to tell your boss about applying for another job. It is not necessary to have your manager as a reference; they can also be someone who has followed your work up close and who can give information relevant to the position – that is, a colleague, collaborative partner or representative of another interest group. Additionally, you can have different references for different kinds of positions. I have heard of an applicant who, after an interview, asked the interviewer to give them a reference. This is not that recommendable, however, as your references should be people who are very familiar with you and your skills.

Make sure to ask for permission to name someone as your reference, so that they know to expect a possible contact from the recruiter.

5. Aptitude tests

Many places want to ensure the aptitude for the position of the applicants selected to proceed from the interviews before they make a decision. There are many kinds of aptitude tests and assessment methods, and their contents vary greatly depending on the position. The “trick” of aptitude tests is that an applicant is rarely able to cheat in them. A carefully designed test lasts several hours, possibly a whole working day, and often includes both individual and group tasks as well as a personal interview with each applicant. For this reason, participation in the test and feedback received from it offers the applicant tools to work on their personal strengths even further.

It is not advisable to refuse an aptitude test even if it makes you nervous, as not participating is pretty sure to eliminate you from the recruitment process. If you are invited to an aptitude test, you can, in practice, prepare for it the same way as for an interview, i.e. relax, be yourself and think about your personal know-how and how it could best be used in the position you are applying for.

6. Selection

It is not good for anyone to have the recruitment process drag on for weeks or months. If the recruiting party has not informed you of the schedule of the process, it is advisable to briskly ask about it already at the interview, so that you can plan ahead your job hunting.

When making their decision, the recruiter is looking for the person who is the best fit for their organisation as a whole. Hence, in addition to skills and experience, the selection can also be influenced by suitability to a specific team, for example. So, remember that even if you were not the most suitable person for one organisation, this does not mean that you could not be the best choice for another.

If you are not selected, it is definitely advisable to ask for feedback on the process, so that you can improve your performance for your next recruitment process.

Finally

Job hunting can be exhausting if you keep getting turned down. Do not give up hope but stay positive! There is a position for you out there – just you wait!

 

Anything lacking in my article? Share your own tips in the comments!

 

Johanna Pietiläinen

AYY Administrative and HR Manager

Job hunting 1-0-1 vol. 1 – How to fix your application!

19.11.2018, heikkiisotalo

Even if you are not currently looking for a job, right now is actually a great time to update your papers related to job hunting and to think about your personal skills. Sitting down to think about it in peace and in detail even once will help you realise new things about yourself much better than when you are under pressure to meet an application deadline.

1. Create a “super CV”
It is definitely advisable to create and keep up-to-date a so-called super CV in which you record all of your education, work experience and other knowhow, such as language, communications and IT skills. However, this super CV is by no means the version you will be sending to the company you are applying to along with your cover letter; instead, you can pick and choose from it the relevant information for each position you are applying for. A good place to list the skills you have gained more thoroughly is, for example, LinkedIn.

Nor is the CV you send along with your cover letter merely a list of positions of trust or jobs you have held. In connection with these, it is worth describing in a bit more detail the duties you were responsible for, your areas of responsibility, significant accomplishments and things you have learned.

If you have not gained that much work experience yet, you can bring up in your CV experiences from a hobby or a position of trust that are relevant to the position and might be useful in the work specifically from the point of view of the skills you have gained from them.

A CV sent to a work place does not have to contain details about your age, gender or family. If you want to add a photo of yourself, make sure it is an appropriate, clear and recent facial photo; in other words, forget about party selfies or bikini shots of you holding a beer.

2. Put your skills into words
Begin your work on the cover letter by carefully reading through the job advertisement and try to think about what kinds of skills and person the open position truly calls for. After this, you should think about what motivates you to apply for this particular position and organisation, what kinds of skills you could offer and how you could express these in the application. The same applies for sending out speculative job applications.

Do not content with only using adjectives to describe yourself but try to demonstrate your suitability for the position with illustrative examples. Give examples of how you personally would handle the work on offer if you were hired. Remember to use concise general language in your cover letter. Also keep in mind that an application with personality always stands out more than ones containing clichés like “I am conscientious and hard-working.”
If describing your own skills feels difficult, do not be afraid to ask for feedback and descriptions from fellow students or colleagues who know you.

3. Always customise your cover letter and CV!
“A job application is like a love letter,” remarked a recruitment professional years ago. Why so? Because a job application is practically your only way of letting a particular organisation know why you would be the perfect match for them or a specific position.

You would probably not send the same love letter to multiple persons and only change the recipient’s name, so why would you do that with a job application? In addition, both a love letter and a job application must be written from the heart. Be honest and do not exaggerate your skills, for example, as lies will catch up with you.

If you are only in the early stages of your professional career and have not yet gained a lot of experience and skills, it is definitely advisable to put particular effort on your cover letter instead of your CV.

4. Check your spelling and ask for feedback
Proofread your application documents before sending them off. An application full of spelling mistakes gives a careless image of the applicant and is more likely to eliminate you from the considered candidates. In any case, it is advisable to have a friend, for example, read through your application and give their comments on both the language and the content.

5. Read the instructions and act accordingly
Nearly without exception, job advertisements mention the last day for applying, the instructions for handing in the application and the ways to get in contact. It is also possible that the position calls for an application that is completely different to the instructions I have given here. Always act according to the instructions given in the job advertisement.

Some companies start processing the applications as soon as they start arriving, so it is worth acting in good time. Applying after the deadline has passed gives a bad impression of your time management.

6. Other tips
Always send your application documents in pdf format, and do not bother to send anything other than the documents that are asked for. There is time to display your work certificates at the interview. Use an easily-readable font and sufficiently short sentences in all documents. Remember the rules of thumb for the length of application documents: a cover letter on one page (A4) and a CV on two, so do not ramble!

Tips for looking for work are also available on the websites of several trade unions and on field-specific blogs. For example, on the website of Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland, i.e. TEK, you can find the “Career Guide for Teekkaris” containing great tips to support your job hunting.

Anything lacking in my article? Share your own tips in the comments!

Johanna Pietiläinen
AYY Administrative and HR Manager

What about after preparing a good application? A second blog text to be published this week deals with succeeding in a job interview. Stay tuned!

Why should you apply to be a student representative?

16.11.2018, lauraluoto

Any student who is interested in influencing change can be a student representative in university administration. Student representatives work in degree programs, departments, schools and the university central administration. Working as a student representative, you get valuable experience for working life and you get to change the Aalto community.  

Students are the best experts on their own everyday life. Sounds self-evident, but it is a truth that needs to be emphasised. No one else is as familiar with student issues, nor speaks on behalf of students. This also applies to University administration. The task of a Student Representative is to make Aalto University a better place for students.

 

Both for the University and for life

As a Halloped, you learn to understand the operations of a large organisation. Aalto University has 4 216 staff members, and its budget for 2017 was 345 million euros. Aalto University influences in Espoo, in Finland and also internationally. Participating in the development of such an organisation is a great merit.

All students will graduate into fields that have meetings. Hence, it is worth it to learn now how to impress in meetings – this is a tangible working-life skill that is easier to learn as a Halloped than in a lecture.

As a Halloped, you will also become a tighter part of the academic community. You will meet people from different fields and can gain contacts that are valuable in terms of working life. An interdisciplinary environment helps strengthen and clarify your ow professional identity.

 

The Halloped community

The persistent perception of Halloped work being lonesome toil has been buried in the depths of history. Hallopeds have each others’ support, and influencing is increasingly being done together. No one is left alone. Even deputy members do not have to remain idle, as they can fearlessly attend the Hallopeds’ communal meetings. AYY invests particularly in enabling the Hallopeds from each School to discuss matters and learn from one another.

Acting as Student Representative in Administration is a means to change the Aalto community, but the lessons and experiences gained from it stay with the individuals long past graduation.

The application time to become a student representative is going on now and more information can be found at ayy.fi/en/halloped.  

Laura Luoto

Election coordinator, student representatives in university administration

New policies of AYY

26.10.2018, heikkiisotalo

In its meeting last week, the Representative Council approved the new policy paper for the Student Union that guides all influencing work carried out by AYY. The reform saw the nine existing policy paper documents combined into one entity, while the policies were updated to offer solutions for modern-day challenges. It was quite a task, and the Board spent 20 hours in meetings before the proposal was ready.

The goals are not the creation of one brain; instead, a versatile selection of different parties was heard in connection with the reform. In addition to the Council, the Board and experts, opinions were given by e.g. AYY’s Representative Council Committees, the Chairs’ Council, the Campus Section and alumni from the Educational Policy sector. The membership was also heard by way of the open survey that was answerable throughout the summer. The Representative Council alone made 172 alteration suggestions. The feeds were excellent, and a large part of them made it into the final policy paper.

Altogether new influencing goals include e.g. themes related to information society, arts policy and equality. As per its policy paper, AYY promotes, for example, the increase of the valuation of arts fields’ experts in society, clear practices for interfering with harassment occurring in the Aalto community, and free software.

Of course, not everything was renewed. The themes of free education that AYY has advocated for a long time, for example, remained the same: only accessible and equal higher education enables the best of the best in society to be discovered, regardless of their socio-economic background. The main ideas related to students’ subsistence also remained the same: AYY continues to promote the construction of students’ subsistence in a way the enables them to meaningfully gain work experience from their own field alongside studying, but also so that the level of financial aid is sufficient without earned income. In a perfect world, the subsistence of all citizens would be ensured with a basic income.

The policy paper will naturally not magically change the world on its own. This is where the real work begins, with the Student Union having to influence Aalto, Espoo and the rest of society to turn its policies into reality.

The brand-new policy paper is available for exploration here.

Tapio Hautamäki
Vice Chair of the Board

Maskerad is turned into art by the party crowd

01.10.2018, siiriliitia

In 2018, the Student Union is celebrating the Year of Art. Throughout the year, we invite various creative individuals or groups within the Aalto community to talk about their art. In October, TOKYO talks about the artistic past and present of the annual Maskerad party.

Maskerad party crowd at 2016’s party themed Knights of Hearts

Maskerad is the annual ball of TOKYO, i.e. the students of Arts and Design at Aalto University.

Unlike the more traditional annual balls, Maskerad is not an academic sit-down event but a masquerade to which all Aalto people are warmly welcome. This year, Maskerad will be organised on Saturday 27 Oct in Kellohalli at Teurastamo with the theme FairytaleForestFire.

The Maskerad tradition has its roots in the early 1900s. Back then, the masquerade was known as the Ateneum Maskerad after the place where our learning institute was then located. According to rumours, the tradition came to an end in the 1950s as the party crowd of Maskerad had along the years managed to get barred from every restaurant in Helsinki.

In the early 2000s, TOKYO decided to resurrect Maskerad. Based on our school’s new address, the Ateneum Maskerad became the Arabia Maskerad, and each year’s party was given a different theme.

This year, the Arabia prefix has been left out of Maskerad’s name as if to symbolise the fact that we have finally left the Arabia campus behind us. Who knows, maybe Maskerad will be given a new prefix next year.

In 2011, the party had a Retro Sci-fi theme

It is attempted to always keep the themes of Maskerad current, either in relation to our student organisation or the surrounding world. TOKYO’s last year as an independent student union, for example, was celebrated with a Maskerad with the theme ‘Vive L’Art!’ (Long Live Art!).

This year’s theme, FairytaleForestFire, can be interpreted by each and everyone as they see fit. For us, the theme was inspired by climate change. This year, everyone has been talking a lot about the very dry and forest-fire-prone summer. Is global warming true – or only a fairy tale?

As part of the Otaniemi Night of Arts campus festival on Saturday 6 Oct, TOKYO is organising the Maskerad history exhibition, that is, an overview of the history of Maskerad.

There will be posters, photographs, videos and costumes on show from years gone by. At the exhibition’s opening at Otaniemi Night of Arts, this year’s official Maskerad poster will also be revealed and the ticket sales started for the actual event.

The theme in 2015 was The Grand Illusion

Maskerad is art, because its attendees make it art.

Each year, the party crowd spend countless hours planning and constructing their costumes based on their personal interpretations of the theme. The best works of art are rewarded at the evening’s highlight, the costume competition in which all party guests get to see everyone else’s interpretation of the theme. The variety and creativity of the costumes is an incredible experience that continues to amaze year after year.

Heidi Kivistö
TOKYO Board member

Polytechnical Students’ Museum: 60 years of world-class greatness

25.9.2018, siiriliitia

This autumn, the Otaniemi Polytechnical Students’ Museum celebrates its 60th anniversary with appropriate elation and activity. But what on earth is the Polytechnical Students’ Museum?

In her blog text, Museum Director Tiina Metso transports the reader from the moments of the Museum’s birth to the current day and explains how the best Teekkari Museum in the world is operated and developed.

A poster inviting volunteers to help at the Museum in 1957/58

A Museum is a window to a community that displays both the past and the present. A museum must look like its makers, not like a distressing mausoleum. At best, a museum is an exhibition that brings different people together and in which conversations are had, connections made and celebratory moments enjoyed. In the words of Snoopy, a museum offers “food for thought.”

The Polytechnical Students’ Museum, also known as the Teekkari Museum, has been offering diverse glimpses of the past via objects and especially stories for the last six decades. Preferably accompanied by joyous laughter.

The road to the current basement museum has not been straightforward. The museum was born in 1957 as a result of volunteer work at the old Poly (i.e. the Student Union of the Helsinki University of Technology’s old building on Lönnrotinkatu); its age is counted onwards from the appointment of the first Museum committee a year later. It is fun to see that the first Museum already displayed various traffic signs and logos that had been grabbed along the way. Apparently, some things never change.

The journey has gone from the Harbour City via the mini exhibition located in the brand-new student centre Dipoli’s Klondyke to finding a permanent home in the vibrant heart of the Teekkari village. Water damages have been escaped to the old bank facilities of Otakaari 11 and even to the bike cellar in Otaranta. Another escape is ahead already in spring 2019.

From the beginning, the basic idea and bright guiding star of the Museum has been collaboration, whether in renovating the facilities, collecting materials or celebrating important events. Every involved volunteer has always found their own place and purpose as part of the bigger group.

When dealing with larger undertakings, the Museum invites the community to help, and this call has always been answered generously. In the Museum’s previous renovations, hundreds of volunteer hours were donated in the fair spirit of communal work. That is why the Museum is the community’s Museum, where the most valuable thing is doing things yourself and together.

The Museum evolves through changing times. The community surrounding it is changing, adapting and becoming more communal. That is why the Museum must also reflect the current age, just like its operators. Considering what is ahead is also an important part of evolvement and development. That is why the Museum is determined to recruit and train new guides and other museum operators. Without them, the Museum would be a lifeless storage facility.

There is more truth to the slogan ‘the best Teekkari Museum in the world’ than people think. The Museum is a member of the International Council of Museums ICOM, according to whose information it is the only student-owned and operated museum in the world. At the same time, it is the world’s only museum focusing solely on student culture.

The achievement of world-class greatness is the fruit of the labour of several generations of Teekkaris and thousands of volunteers that gives joy to thousands of visitors annually. The Museum’s collections are growing and supplemented all the time. This is thanks to all donors and object hunters. Each donation and acquisition is received with gratitude.

Such a unique museum deserves to be celebrated with joy and large crowds. That is why the Museum’s 60th anniversary will be celebrated on the premises on Saturday 6 Oct at 2–5 pm. The celebrations are part of the programme of the Otaniemi Night of Arts campus festival. In addition to refreshments, the programme features greetings from the Museum’s early years and fun vignettes with the mysterious headline ‘That’s me in this photo!’

We wish you heartily welcome!!

In Otaniemi in September 2018

Tiina Metso
Museum Director

It is all about Europe

17.9.2018, siiriliitia

How is the European Union doing right now, eight months before the European elections? The biggest democracy event of the world is more than half a year away, but it is worth starting to talk about it now at Aalto, too.

The AYY Board visited Brussels in the summer to share with EU decision-makers what is going on with Aalto students and to discuss EU collaboration and the Union’s topical themes, such as globalisation, circular economy and digitalisation. Our entourage also featured a delegation from our partner student union from Tsinghua, with whom we met e.g. Commissioner Jyrki Katainen.

A lot has happened since the EU parliamentary elections in 2014.

The economy of the EU area is growing again, but the unity of the Union has been tested by both the refugee crisis and the unforeseen withdrawal process of a member state. Despite the tensions, the Brexit negotiations have reminded Europeans of how much the EU affects our daily lives.

The ability of us EU members to take for granted the free movement of people, thoughts and things is unique. The central values of the EU are also a prerequisite for world-class educational and research collaboration in the international Aalto community.

According to a recent survey conducted by Taloustutkimus, 89 per cent of young Finns identify themselves as citizens of the European Union, and 81 per cent consider EU membership a good thing.

The survey also highlights the role of the EU as a resolver of global challenges. Our biggest societal challenges, such as climate change and major changes in working life, will not be resolved on a national level.

In the upcoming European elections, a new European Parliament will be elected that is responsible for EU legislation alongside the European Council consisting of the member states’ governments. Hence, Finland’s direction in terms of the EU will also be defined in the national parliamentary election, which also takes place next spring.

The winning party of the elections will lead not only Finland but also Europe: the future ministers will take charge of the EU during Finland’s Presidency period in autumn 2019 and will have the opportunity to influence the Union’s direction. Finland’s future Commissioner will most likely also be decided based on the parliamentary election results.

In other words, it is worth considering the whole election spring as an entity – our collective future will be built on all levels of decision-making.

So, now is the time for the student generation to announce what kind of a future we want.

During the autumn and the beginning of next year, AYY intends to prepare for the election spring by bringing up various future topics considered important by students. What kind of a Europe would you want? The decisions made now will have the most impact on our opportunities, in particular.

Rosa Väisänen
Advocacy Specialist: international affairs and new students

Creating the future at work!

10.9.2018, ottobergius

What does it feel like to work for Symbio?

We asked our Junior UI/UX Designer Valentin to tell more about his experiences about Symbio as a workplace. Read his thoughts about joining Symbio as a Junior Designer after graduating from university.

“Feels great! I really like the atmosphere here and the projects I’m working on are super up-to-date and interesting. Plus, I get to do what I love, which is combining technology, design and innovation in unexpected ways. I like to think I’m creating a future even my kids might use some day.”

Support, encourage, interact

“Life as a UI designer? Most of the time I work independently. But I can always turn to my team members for help and that all-important second opinion. We support each other, come up with new solutions together and interact through our work. Sharing the same office space with nice, friendly people also makes the grind part of any job more fun!”

“When it comes to my future, I meet with my managers regularly to discuss what I should be doing in terms of professional development and further learning. They know what they’re talking about because they’re right there, doing the same things I do.”

Changing an entire ecosystem

I’m currently working with a global automotive components manufacturer. They recently decided to create their own ecosystem for the car industry together with Symbio in an innovation lab. The cool part is that they entrusted us with everything – from system and software design to final testing.

If you are looking for launch your career with creative and innovative minds in a modern working environment, tick the Symbio box! You won’t regret it.

Want to know more about working in Symbio?

Get to know our company, culture and career opportunities at https://tick.symbio.com/

Symbio is a global innovation and R&D service partner with innovation centers in the United States, Finland and China. We help customers to develop high quality IoT solutions and digital services: solutions and services that have not been invented before. For more information about our references, take a look at our websites www.symbio.com/fi.

Students strongly involved with the development of AYY’s housing services

05.9.2018, siiriliitia

How could student living be made even better? Aalto University Student Union involves its members in developing even more successful housing services.

Students of the Information Technology Program course

The rental of reasonably price student apartments is one of the most essential member services of AYY.

Besides the reasonable price, AYY’s real estate strategy defines other goals for its operations, one of which is the development of communal living and increasing its popularity. It’s an important topic, for even though construction will increase the share of studio apartments in AYY’s apartment portfolio, about one third of the apartments are still shared apartments.

This year, AYY has invested and continues to invest in the development of its housing services in many ways. There have been several small and even bigger updates to our search system Domo during the year, and the development work continues. In spring 2018, AYY became a member of the Finnish Association of Student Housing Organisations, or SOA, and cooperation with other student housing communities has been increased.

Plenty of work is also being done in collaboration with the Student Union’s members. In summer 2018, AYY joined forces with Aalto University in the form of the Information Technology Program course. As part of the course, a group of students surveyed the current situation of AYY’s housing services by interviewing residents and employees, for example.

In addition, the group researched other operators’ housing services, came up with new service ideas and thought of ways to highlight the benefits offered by communal living.

During the project, two significant issues in need of development came up: communication about the alternatives of communal living already at the application stage, and supporting the occupants in making the apartments’ communal spaces comfortable and more home-like.

Later this year, AYY will organise an even wider survey of its members’ experiences and wishes. The member questionnaire will be sent out in the autumn and will focus on housing and member services. Here in the Student Union’s housing team, we’re already excited to hear the results and ideas coming to us via the questionnaire. We’ll definitely put them to good use when planning next year’s operations.

AYY houses several small and bigger communities whose occupants are comfortable in their apartments, and the spaces look like their occupants. We at the Student Union will continue to work towards producing even more happy communities in the future.

Riitu Nuutinen
AYY Service Manager