Internationalization as an Adaptive Tool for the Future

Blogi 28.8.2018

Topi Hukkanen President of Probba ry, the student organization of Aalto University School of Business, Mikkeli Campus

Having looked back to the recent times, I have realized that my slight lack of productivity over the summer is due to a compounding effect. The distractions I have had when working have also mirrored to my spare time, leaving me with an underperforming feeling, and ultimately preventing me from unlocking the full potential of my freedom.

A recent major decision I have made is an approach to tackle this problem. I assess it as a project and have given it the very descriptive name “Do not bring flip flops to work”. To explain it very briefly: I put on efficient, undistracted work now to enhance the leisure, as the sense of achievement gotten from my work in the student organization or at school tends to also radiate outside of it. A simple cause and effect relationship.

Said mental approach to reach a desirable work-life balance is in fact based on a Norwegian working model. Having had the chance to befriend people in an early age from the country in question, I have been able to admire the output my counterparts in the west are producing in every single aspect of life. This is purely due to the work-life balance they are able to maintain. In general terms, it is not unheard of that a Norwegian hard-working C-level executive cannot be reached after 4pm. They cherish the leisure by cherishing their time at work – this way nothing is left hanging afterhours.

That is definitely a very small fraction of what we can learn from our neighbors and other countries and cultures in general. Actually, at the moment it seems that our young workforce has the tendency to move abroad to for example look for ways to improve their working culture and conditions. Even the Nobel-awarded economist Bengt Holmström has brought up his concern about the underlying emigration phenomenon of fresh graduates in Finland, which may in the long run have increasingly drastic effects on our economy.

So, what are some actions The Finnish Business School Graduates (from now on Ekonomit) could take to contribute in making our country more attractive to the people, who in essence are responsible for the central organization’s future? In my opinion, internationalization is a key word here. It would be crucial to bring the global playing field closer to us in order to prevent losing an increasing amount of expertise to the fields elsewhere.

To give some food for thought, on Ekonomit’s part, this would essentially mean benchmarking, cooperating and networking with foreign associations to create an international growth platform for the future. My idea is to bring this change down to the member level of Ekonomit – young professionals are certainly willing to take part in cross-cultural events and projects. Nearly every country now has an equivalent organization for business school alumni and I am intrigued about the idea of them also jumping aboard of this possible endeavor.

The labor in Finland is also constantly becoming more foreign and there is certainly a need for an easily approachable support network for every single graduate. By building a solid, organization- wide foundation for internationalization, there is space for societies and regional associations to achieve a similar long-term outcome. This in turn would diversify the organizational culture and lead to better results, as demonstrated earlier in this text on the micro-level.

Would this not be a large, adaptive step forward?