HR Director and General Counsel at the Finnish Student Health Service foundation, FSHS, Anne Tomperi graduated from the Aalto MBA program in late 2019. She had contemplated getting an MBA degree for quite some time.
“I am a lawyer by training. My family includes my entrepreneur spouse and our 6- and 7-year-old children. I had been planning on getting an MBA ever since law school, but I postponed the decision year after year. I finally started after nearly 12 years in work life,” Tomperi says.
“Postponing was pointless! All the practical details were easily sorted. I participated in a few MBA modules ahead of time as a visiting student, and this gave me leeway in the schedule – and my support network was a tremendous help. Of course the MBA required a lot of time, work and effort, it wasn’t child’s play, but it was a rewarding experience,” she continues.
As Tomperi had worked in HR for many years, she knew that the Aalto MBA is an internationally renowned, high-quality degree. She describes the program as an eye-opening experience that provided in-depth knowledge of a wide range of topics.
“In work life one’s own bubble can easily become the only reality. The MBA broadened my perspective. Studying the latest academic knowledge helped me form an across-the-board outlook of business,” she notes.
Studying the latest academic knowledge helped me form an across-the-board outlook of business."
“I learned, for instance, to conduct demanding investment profitability calculations and budgeting, and I understood how scenario modelling can be used to create a winning strategy. I grasped how a change in operating procedures gradually transfers to structures, processes and finally to values – and what kinds of challenges organizations face at different stages of their life cycle,” she reminisces.
According to Tomperi, her entire MBA journey was significantly enriched by the congenial group and interactive way of studying.
“We had a wonderful group. Although our backgrounds were very diverse, we all shared a strong determination to develop ourselves. We learned a great deal from one another, and the atmosphere was built on trust,” Tomperi emphasizes.
“I cannot remember ever before doing group work, presentations or writing at such a pace as during the MBA. The studies were highly interactive, and alongside learning, you also enhance your writing and presentation skills and your communication becomes more logical,” she points out.
We had a wonderful group. We learned a great deal from one another, and the atmosphere was built on trust."
During the MBA program Tomperi worked as an HR Manager at Microsoft in Finland. She started work as HR Director and General Counsel at FSHS fairly soon after graduating, in the beginning of February 2020.
“At FSHS I am in charge of HR and legal matters and I am a member of the foundation’s Executive Team. The healthcare sector is extremely interesting due to its societal significance and potential for change. FSHS also has very interesting times ahead, which encouraged me to take on this new challenge,” Tomperi remarks.
The customer base of FSHS will double in 2021, when students of universities of applied science will be transferred to its services. Simultaneously, the number of staff and premises will also grow near twofold and a national subcontractor network will be built.
“Thanks to the Aalto MBA, I am well prepared to contribute to this significant change,” says Tomperi.
“The MBA also gave me excellent skills for dealing with unexpected situations,” she adds, noting that she had been in her new job for just over a month when COVID-19 struck.
“Coronavirus was quite an addition to everything as I started in my new, demanding job. At FSHS we quickly took a huge digital leap. Fortunately, I had obtained a wide-ranging portfolio of solutions to various challenges during the Aalto MBA,” she ponders.
The MBA gave me excellent skills for dealing with unexpected situations."
Tomperi underlines that lessons learned during the MBA have often proved useful at work. She mentions the model of high-performance organizations shared by Dr. Pekka Mattila as an example.
“Organizations that overanalyze suffer from Analysis paralysis, while organizations that take action too fast can be labelled Action heroes. High performance organizations have both high-quality analyses and fast action. At FSHS we are starting a considerable change in the midst of an extraordinary world situation. This lesson that I learned from Mattila keeps me in check every time I am about to overanalyze,” she affirms.
Tomperi describes the MBA as a good investment and says that she is happy to endorse the program.
“My goals became concrete during the MBA journey. I gained confidence and nowadays I dare to seize opportunities and bravely step out of my comfort zone. My leadership skills were also enhanced, and I gained a marvelous network,” she says.
“I warmly recommend the program. There is no need to hold off the decision: The Aalto MBA is achievable even for parents of small children and the experience is highly rewarding,” Tomperi concludes.