Archive for the ‘Uncategorized @en’ Category

Wappupuhe 1.5.2019

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Dear Wappu crowd!

I want to remind us all of Wappu being an international day of celebration.
Our generation has grown up in an integrating Europe and an internationalising Finland. This is all the more reason to be puzzled by the public discussion of recent years.

It has even been claimed that the nation could cope by curling up and closing its borders.

But it doesn’t!

Globalisation and international competition over skills are too tough for us to manage with only five and a half million heads, no matter how bright they are.

At my home university Aalto, I have seen how much of a strength a genuinely international community is.

World-class innovations, research and art can only be created if we participate in a global exchange of thoughts. We must welcome the builders of the future from elsewhere as well.

If internationalisation stops proceeding, it may start to take steps backwards. It has been with a heavy heart that I have listened to stories about the anxiety of British exchange students whose futures have been lost to Brexit.

Yet there is still much to do here in Finland as well.

Some of the obstacles to internationalisation are legislative. Finland’s residence permit system is bureaucratic, and the universities’ tuition fees are not tempting people from outside the EU to be educated here.

Some of the obstacles are cultural, and these are something we can all do our share for.
Your share might be, for example, interfering with any racism you encounter or learning about unfamiliar cultures.

Before I wish you a happy Wappu, I would like to advertise the fact that the Wappupotti appeal collecting funds for mental health work is ongoing until tomorrow.

Happy international Wappu!

Chair of the Board Tapio Hautamäki on Wappu day 1 May 2019





The future of the Aino magazine looked into

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

The current Editor-in-Chief of Aino magazine, published by Aalto University Student Union, is resigning from her position after the publication of Aino’s May issue. In its meeting tomorrow, the AYY Board will propose to the Representative Council – who decides upon the future of the Aino magazine – that there will be a break in publishing the Aino magazine until the end of the year. It will be clarified during the publishing break what the future of the Aino magazine will be like. Discussions have already started among the community on what this proposal means.

Aalto University Student Union is a responsible employer. We do not want to end up in a situation where the existence of the magazine is speculated on while a new Editor-in-Chief is being recruited. We have not wanted to bring the preparations that have taken place over the past month into public discussion as discussions with the current staff of the Aino magazine have not yet been completed.

The situation in which the Editor-in-Chief’s position has not been filled offers an opportunity to genuinely figure out how the membership fee funds collected in the form of the membership fee can be used in a way that is ideal for the members. At least the following will be looked into: i) whether the magazine is continued in its current form, ii) whether the journalistic duty is carried out in a different format or iii) whether something else is done with the resources allocated to the magazine. These matters have not been investigated yet, so we do not know what the end result will be.

The final decision on the publishing break will be made by AYY’s highest decision-making body, the Representative Council. The Representative Council represents the entire Aalto community, and it is also the right place in terms of our Constitution to address matters related to the Aino magazine.

Tapio Hautamäki

Hallituksen puheenjohtaja

tapio.hautamaki (ät), 040 757 9629

Political super year is ongoing – what should be discussed?

Monday, March 4th, 2019

The ongoing year of 2019 could be described as a political super year. In April, there is a parliamentary election ahead, and straight afterwards in May, the European Parliament election takes place in all EU member states simultaneously. The latter half of the year might also see the first ever provincial election organised if the Finnish parliament approves the establishment of 18 new provinces related to the comprehensive health and social services reform.

The EU will be firmly at the core of societal discussion. This is guaranteed by the upcoming election discussions, the intense ongoing Brexit situation as well as Finland’s EU presidency period beginning in July. Finland will be steering the European Council representing the member states at a time when the new Commission’s composition and working programme are being formed.

The EU has great significance to Finns and the international companies operating here. A significant part of the legislation implemented in Finland has its origins in Brussels. EU-level regulation aims to create common rules and a common market throughout the Union as well as to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital between member states. This way, e.g. the heavy permit and customs procedures can be avoided.

The international trade contracts, the regulations determining operations in the internal market and the measures to counteract climate change agreed upon by the EU can create a new market for others, but for some businesses, the new regulation can mean their traditional business models reaching the end of their life cycles. The recognition of political risk and influencing this has become a factor in the competitiveness of companies.

The influence of politics and regulation on the everyday of companies is on the increase. For this reason, also students of the economic field should pay attention to the regulation and political risk. Knowledge of the regulation will certainly be beneficial in future work duties as well. A good example of this is Aalto University Student Union, who got acquainted with lobbying in Brussels in the summer of 2018, for example, by visiting the international number-one office of influencing and lobbying, FleishmanHillard. In Finland, the chain is represented by Eurofacts Oy.

Ahead of the elections is a great place for influencing. You should keep the topics you consider important on the table and influence the election discussions this way, whether you are a businessperson or a student. The people with a relevant message and justified arguments will certainly be heard!


Simo Hiilamo

Senior Consultant

Eurofacts Oy

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

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

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.


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

Why should you apply to be a student representative?

Friday, November 16th, 2018

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  

Laura Luoto

Election coordinator, student representatives in university administration

Giant Leap was a turning point for Niina

Friday, January 26th, 2018

I started my Vaisala career as a Giant Leap intern in summer 2016. What you need to know about “Giant Leapers” is that each of them is assigned with a project that they need to solve – only in a few months! In my project, I worked in the Industrial Measurements Business Area, developing system testing practices. The project ended up being very hands-on: I got to build an automated test station which enables nightly regression tests for products under development. As such, the experience proved to be an intriguing mixture of hardware, software and networks.

After the summer, I continued to work on the subject as a Master’s Thesis Worker. The framework for automated tests – my Giant Leap Project – was ready by then, and now it was time to build the actual test setups. The work included such interesting tasks as the creation of hardware prototypes and programming of a test library. In the end, I managed to develop a setup that enabled automated tests for smart measurement probes.

In the spring 2017, I graduated from Aalto University with Electrical Engineering as my major, but the work I started at Vaisala still continues, as I now work with test automation and system testing. Thus applying for the Giant Leap project proved to be a turning point in my career. Vaisala is truly a great place to work with a combination of meaningful tasks, friendly coworkers and professional atmosphere.


Niina Kajovuori,

Test engineer

So what’s up with the Facilities Sector?

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Rentable facilities and event venues are one of AYY’s most significant member services. AYY’s Facilities Sector works to ensure that those facilities and venues meet the needs and standards of the users. Other parties, such as the Campus Section and the Smökki kitchen training team, also have a large role to play in the development.

AYY’s facilities can be rented and booked by both associations and individual members alike. The venues enable organizing many different kinds of events and gatherings, and through this, they act as a strong developer of community.

The upkeep and development of the facilities are the responsibility of the Facilities Sector, comprised of a yearly changing member of the Board in charge of facilities, the Service Manager and other members of staff from the Service and Real Estate sectors. Because there is a large amount of facilities and some of them are very frequently rented, the information received from renting parties in the form of checklists is crucial to our work. So thank you all of you who fill out and return the checklists promptly! With the lists, the Facilities Sector can quickly learn of any deficiencies or faults and can remedy and renovate them as quickly as possible.


The brightly lit Ossinkulma, the Ossinsauna (renovated by the Campus Sector), the traditional Rantasauna, and the Atlantinkatu sauna, situated in the Jätkäsaari building in Helsinki.


AYY Facilities Sector in numbers in 2017:

  • 9 saunas
  • 17 ballrooms for sitsi parties and other events
  • Over 7000 bookings during 2017 (a staggering amount!)
  • 1 completely new facility (Atlantinkatu cabinet & sauna) 
  • 1 completely renovated facility (Ossinsauna, thank you Campus Section!)
  • 2 pre-booking events (known more endearingly as “tilakähmyt”)
  • Several updates on amenities in different venues: PA systems, home appliances, furniture, crockery and tableware…


What’s going down in 2018?

The renovations for Jämeräntaival 3, 5 and 7 continue, which will affect clubrooms, rentable venues and storage spaces situated in these buildings during 2018. No new bookings have been accepted for Gorsu since the 8th of January, and the next rentable facilities that will be removed from the roster are the Tatami Hall and the Living Room of Teekkari Village (on the 1st of April), as well as the Multi-Facility Hall (1st of July). By the turn of the year, the renovations will also cause the Sitsi Kitchen, Takka Cabinet and Rooftop Sauna venues to be out of use for some time. The renovations will challenge event organizers, but they also bring options to develop the venues themselves. We aim to listen to the wishes and feedback of users even more when designing and renovating our facilities. We will surely return to this during 2018! Feedback and ideas can already be sent to the Facilities Sector, via for example email to

And yes, we really do read the checklists you return!

Have an awesome spring!

Riitu Nuutinen
Works as the Service Manager for AYY

All AYY rental facilities, booking instructions and terms of use can be found on the AYY web pages at:

AYY awarded the students’ Seal of Approval to the quiet room in the Undergraduate Centre

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

AYY awarded the student’s Seal of Approval to the quiet room that was opened in the Undergraduate Centre in May 2017. The award was presented to Seija Piiponniemi-Lahti, the Head of Security at Aalto University, by AYY’s 2017 Board Member Emmi Kosomaa and International Affairs Specialist Rosa Väisänen.

AYY’s Emmi Kosomaa ja Rosa Väisänen (on the left) awarded the Seal of Approval to Seija Piiponniemi-Lahti and HR Manager Eliisa Lassila. Picture: Eeva Lehtinen.

The Aalto University quiet room was opened for the purpose of private, quiet times of meditation, calming down, praying or just being, and the room can be used by all Aalto students and staff regardless of  their religion, world views and nationality. At Aalto, there are both religious and non-religious people that need a space for prayers and silence during the working day. Opening this room to the public is a great example of the development work of an international university that is aware of the needs of an international community. Thanks to this and the positive user experiences, AYY is happy to give the Seal of Approval to the quiet room.

The quiet room is located in the Otaniemi Undergraduate Centre on the ground floor of the M wing (room M135).

Read more:

Quiet room opens in Undergraduate Centre

Students’ Seal of Approval can be awarded to practices that students have found especially good at Aalto University. By awarding the Seal of Approval we want to give credit to those practices that somehow improve e.g. students’ wellbeing, study meaningfulness, interaction or community atmosphere. AYY’s advocacy sector collects ideas from different areas of the University with the help of students and awards the best ones a couple of times a year!

Intercultural competence is an ethical mindset

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Intercultural competences, multicultural interaction skills, call it by any name, but still it’s all about how a person can act in a global world.

European Association of International Education (EAIE) has a yearly conference of over 6000 participants and I had the pleasure of giving a speech there this year in Seville in September. EAIE is a meeting point for higher education institutions looking for partnerships, marketing their international programmes, and most importantly for us, for teachers, researchers and developers interested in international affairs. Five-day conference is full of exposition excitement, workshops and wonderful speakers, and it gave me a lot of new energy for student advocacy work for this academic year.

Sevilla is a beautiful place.

I gave a five minute long Ignite speech about our Aalto is multicultural project, where we gathered information on the experiences of international students and their teachers. Especially we focused on “learning shock”-phenomenon and other challenges to integration ( You can see it from here:

I had the honor of giving also a joint session with professor Wendy Green from the University of Tasmania and Hanna Berentz, a german students, who had studied in the Netherlands. Our session dealt with student participation in different countries. Especially interesting is how student participation is a mandatory part of higher education governance, with strong student unions, but is very limited, unofficial and new in Australia (Our presentation with notes can be downloaded here (PDF): eaie presentation with notes).

Internationalization at home.

It was excellent to get to talk about internationalizing the curriculum with people, whose names I usually just see in the covers of books. Especially inspiring was to discuss the meaning and importance of international competences from a wider point of view than just work life skills or personal development.

Brexit, rising international tensions and climate refugees in the near future raised a lot of discussion. Many speakers stressed the importance of intercultural competences to all people regardless of background, so that we are not polarizing people to winners and losers of globalization. Highly educated privileged people take most out of free movement and globalization, but to others at the moment globalization just means losing their jobs.

Specialist at the spot.

Other big theme at the conference was the understanding of the importance of cultures. You can learn vocabulary by heart, but really understanding the meaning of cultural backgrounds and knowing how to adjust to a multicultural environment takes practice. Many discussions ended to the conclusion that knowing and appreciating one’s own culture is the key to understanding others.

Lastly I must mention a workshop on different academic disciplines and internationality. It was very interesting to ponder on the effect of the scientific background to internationalizing the classrooms. People form hard sciences see internationality and cultures differently from language experts and psychologists. That has to be taken into account when integrating international and multicultural skills to teaching.

Network of cultures

AYY awarded the students’ Seal of Approval to ARTS’s University Wide Art Studies

Monday, October 30th, 2017

UWAS offers ARTS courses to all Aalto students. There is a varied array of courses on offer. The course selection has been planned and implemented from the point of view of art education, and it offers the possibility for students of different areas of expertise to get to know the arts in a diverse way, from the perspectives of art-inspired thought processes, creativity and culture. AYY encourages multidisciplinary thinking and ways to build knowledge on how art and the creative arts affect the surrounding world. With these grounds in mind, the UWAS studies are awarded the students’ Seal of Approval to signify an awesome practice inside the Aalto University.


UWAS is a collection of art courses, available to everyone studying at Aalto. The foremost aim is to understand learning and teaching from a different point of view. The courses can act as gateways to new thoughts and help understand what the role of arts and design are in Aalto, and what opportunities they bring out in the world. Artistic thought is approached on a broad scale. Lifelong learning is one of the key motives of UWAS.


The courses are aimed to help students learn innovative ways of working. The studies include a lot of observation and interpretation. The aim is to guide students towards a “what if” style of thinking. From the student’s perspective, the courses are often discussion-based. The studies offer the students insight and depth, help to realize what you already know and how to take a new approach on the things you’ve learned. A student remarked that after one of the UWAS courses, they had learned more on marketing than during their entire marketing studies altogether. The studies enable students to deepen their understanding and to combine their learning and skills over different fields of expertise. The courses do not teach students any tricks or trends, but rather focus on expanding their understanding of things.

Seal of Approval.

IN SHORT: The UWAS courses are for everyone, also for students of technology and business. The courses are organized throughout the year and signups are open even now. If you feel like artistic thinking is hard for you, challenging yourself might be a good idea. If you want new perspectives to your studies or include ARTS studies in your degree, UWAS is a great option.