"The best way to describe my EMBA experience is to call it an awakening: it created new perspectives and changed the way I see the world.”

Kristiina Golan
CEO, Hilla Oy

MD Kristiina Golan is a recent EMBA graduate from Aalto EE. Upon starting her EMBA journey, Golan had over two decades of experience in public health care and she worked as a Chief Physician in Helsinki University Hospital, HUS. During her EMBA she became a full-time entrepreneur – and today her company Hilla Oy is highly successful and growing fast.

Golan describes the Aalto EMBA as an eye-opening experience, which gave her an entirely new outlook on business on a global scale, and life-long friendships as an added bonus.

“Healthcare is a world of its own. My foremost motivation for obtaining an EMBA degree was my need to have meaningful dialogues with political and business decision-makers. This of course meant more than just learning the lingo, I also needed to see the world from new perspectives outside the healthcare bubble,” she explains.

Golan confirms that she chose the Aalto EMBA for a very simple reason: she wanted the best.

“I am glad I opted for Aalto EE. The EMBA was remarkable from start to finish. I learned much more than I ever thought possible. The best way to describe my EMBA experience is to call it an awakening: it created new perspectives and changed the way I see the world,” she says.

When asked to name the most interesting topics during her EMBA, Golan laughs and responds: “In a word – everything.”

The EMBA was remarkable from start to finish. I learned much more than I ever thought possible."

“As a physician, my formal knowledge of business was near nonexistent. I had been in a leadership position for several years, but every subject was still definitely outside of my comfort zone. Economics, HR, strategy, marketing – I benefitted from every module immensely,” she states.

“The EMBA gently forces you to learn on a deeper level. The assignments following each module ensure that you reflect on everything you have learned and put it into perspective in your own work,” she adds.

Golan says that the biggest surprise of her EMBA journey was the friendship and sense of community at Aalto EE.

“The staff at Aalto EE is extremely helpful. Everything was done to make learning easier. The staff themselves were inspiring and the practical arrangements were so well taken care of, I felt thoroughly pampered,” Golan remarks.

“My fellow students were the absolute highlight of the entire EMBA. At a recent alumni get-together, we were discussing how extraordinary it is to make such close friendships as an adult. We supported and encouraged each other every single step of the way. Today, I could probably call anybody in my cohort, always knowing that I can count on their help,” she underlines.

During her EMBA studies, Golan became a full-time entrepreneur.

“I had had the idea for some time: a company that would deliver psychiatric expertise effectively, yet without compromising quality. Right before starting my EMBA, I participated in the Aalto Executive Summit in autumn 2016. It was the final spark that encouraged me to found Hilla Oy. Yet I didn’t plan to become a full-time entrepreneur and my plans considering Hilla’s strategy were still vague and unclear,” Golan says.

This changed when Golan’s company Hilla Oy won a place in the BSP – the EMBA Business Strategy Project.

“During the project my wise and friendly peers helped me identify the value that Hilla could create. Through their support and advise the future path of Hilla became clearer and my confidence in becoming an employer grew,” Golan reminisces.

During the EMBA I gained a new level of confidence, which led me to believe in my own abilities as an entrepreneur."

“In the public sector, I was used to planning everything years in advance. One of the most beneficial lessons I learned during the BSP was the value of failing fast. Today, I dare to do things completely differently. I think it is one of the reasons behind Hilla’s success,” she ponders.

Golan also notes that the EMBA’s Self Development Process helped her become an entrepreneur – and at the same time a less stressed, happier person.

“As a MD and specialist in psychiatry, I found the Self Development Process fascinating. It was a chance to take a fresh look at your own life, find ways to relax and deal with stress better. All in all, during the EMBA I gained a new level of confidence, which led me to believe in my own abilities as an entrepreneur,” she says.

Golan affirms that she is happy to endorse the Aalto EMBA. She emphasizes that if you are contemplating studies, you most likely are ready.

“I don’t think that the best time to start is necessarily linked to your career stage, although you do need a certain amount of experience in order to benefit from the EMBA. Still, you could have various reasons for pursuing self-development. If you are thinking about an EMBA, you probably are ready. Why delay such an incredible experience? I sincerely recommend participating,” she concludes.

Aalto Executive MBA