Susanna Ritala, Aalto University

Key questions: How can I utilize the alumni network during my studies? 
How can I design my career with the help of university services and alumni? 
Alumni network – from studies to working life  
Alumna/alumnus (or in plural alumni) is a Latin word and means ‘one who is being (or has been) nourished’. Today, it means a graduate from a school or university, which sometimes is called one’s alma mater. 
Universities invite all students to join the alumni network when graduating to ensure a lifelong connection. Alumni engagement is the level of attraction, connection, affection, and influence an alumnus has with their alma mater over time. 
As an alumnus, you will be informed on current university topics and events. You will be offered opportunities to network, participate, and create an impact and give back to students and the university throughout your life. 
Alumni are part of the Aalto University community, and the university invites all alumni to create a sustainable future together. The goal of Aalto Alumni Relations is to provide students and alumni with meaningful collaboration opportunities and support in achieving a sustainable career. 
The Aalto University alumni community consists of nearly 50 000 alumni from over 100 000 graduates in about 100 countries. Once you have graduated, join the network and keep your contact data updated to hear news and receive invitations to reunions and several hundred events that Aalto University and its partners arrange annually. There are also dozens of alumni associations and networks within the Aalto community that you can join after graduation, or you can even establish your own alumni peer group. Explore the ways to be active on the website and LinkedIn. 
Support for your career design 
Career design is an experimental approach to creating a meaningful career path in this constantly changing world of work. Aalto University’s Career Design Lab offers workshops, online courses, (e.g., Finland Works), and materials to help you design your future career, and career cafés, where you can hear Aalto’s alumni sharing their career stories.  
In addition, you can read alumni stories in which Aalto’s graduates share their career paths and offer advice. You can also explore the career monitoring survey results to discover where the university’s alumni are working and how satisfied they have been with their studies. 
Aalto’s alumni live all around the world, and some of them have agreed to act as local contact points where they are located. They are ready to offer advice on all kinds of matters concerning working and living in their area. At Aalto University, these alumni are called Global Alumni Agents. As a student, you can utilise their knowledge and know-how, which they are happy to share voluntarily.  
Many universities in Finland offer mentoring programmes. Aalto University's mentoring programme connects master’s students and alumni to facilitate career design, professional development, and lifewide learning. The programme brings together over two hundred Finnish and international students and their mentors in Finland and abroad each year.  
Mentoring offers personal growth and development to those who throw themselves into it. Through mentoring, students are offered the chance to find and clarify their career goals and dreams, expand their knowledge of working life and alternative careers, and gain better self-knowledge and certainty about the future. For instance, one former participant of the mentoring programme recommended mentoring because he believed that it was important to receive another person’s input when trying to improve one’s life. 
The Aalto International Talent Programme brings together international students and employers looking for talent. It is a group mentoring and networking initiative designed to support our international students’ careers.  
The programme offers a unique chance for students to personally connect with recruiters, industry professionals, and Aalto alumni, learn about Finnish working life and working culture, and familiarize themselves with opportunities at the mentor company. For example, one student participating in the Aalto International Talent Programme remarked that the programme was a great steppingstone for students to expand their network and to get to know companies, their interests, and job openings. 
Lifewide learning  
Lifewide learning is a theme that overlaps with many events and services. At Aalto, we use the term lifewide learning instead of lifelong learning to emphasize that learning does not occur linearly. Instead, it can happen at any point of your life, and it can take many forms. As a student, you can engage with the university’s lifewide learning activities, tools, events, and programmes by joining recruitment fairs and other career events to learn about the kinds of skills and knowledge you can already develop during your studies.  
Start exploring and experimenting with lifewide learning and career design tools while you are still studying in order to design a meaningful career for yourself. Upon graduation, join the Aalto alumni network and begin creating a sustainable future together with the rest of the Aalto community! 

Last modified: Monday, 3 April 2023, 11:56 PM