Antti Johansson
Created 10.10.2022 at 10:38
Updated 10.10.2022 at 10:58
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On those nights, Antti Johansson tossed restlessly in his bed. The excitement kept him awake, as Johansson, 22, had passed an extremely demanding application process. He had been selected to Adecco Finland’s Management Team from among over 800 applicants.

In June 2022, Johansson, a master’s degree student at the LUT School of Business and Management, participated in the Management Team’s meetings and travelled around Finland to visit Adecco offices. He had the opportunity to take a very close look at how the world’s largest HR services company, Adecco Group, operates at the national level.

The Management Team paid careful attention to Johansson’s opinions and was impressed to such an extent that he was offered a job alongside his studies. Johansson’s current duties involve work on Adecco’s employer brand.

At the time we interviewed him, Johansson was waiting for confirmation on whether he would be selected for Adecco Group’s Global Management Team for a month. This would entail a chance to follow the daily work of the global corporation’s CEO and the management of 30,000 employees in over 60 countries.

No wonder it was hard to sleep.

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“Actually, I nearly missed the opportunity to apply for Adecco Group’s CEO for One Month programme. I sure was aware of the programme, but I didn’t consider myself ready for it. However, when I saw the job advertisement on the LUT website at the start of the year, I decided to give it a try. The very intensive application process was quite a grind but, nevertheless, an enriching experience,” Johansson recounts.

A month in the Management Team only strengthened Johansson’s aspiration to become a CEO.

“There’s plenty of work, but you shouldn’t shun away from it. A CEO’s job description may vary a great deal depending on whether they work in a global corporation, a family business or, for example, a small international company. The company’s atmosphere is important, and in the case of Adecco, the company’s values meet mine. They appreciate a strong work ethic, an entrepreneurial attitude and the courage to question things.”

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I’m very proud to be a part of the LUT community. People here share the same hardworking attitude as I do.

It’s OK to let the suspense show

The country-specific examination process for the CEO for One Month programme included online intelligence and aptitude tests already at the initial stage. Based on the tests, the top 50 applicants were invited to a video interview, and 20 of them continued on to a psychologist’s interview. Only 10 applicants made it to the final stage, which lasted for a day and covered various tasks and a meeting with the Adecco jury. Five finalists were selected, and Johansson was the one to come off winner.

According to Johansson, all of the finalists were so qualified that no one could anticipate who would be selected.

“I believe I was selected partly because I didn’t try to hide my nervousness. I didn’t put on a show, rather, I was genuine and sincere. If you pretend, you always blow your cover eventually. I’m also a highly sociable person which is an advantage in the HR sector.”

“I’m still no superhuman. I’m not afraid to work hard, and I don’t expect others to do things for me. If you’re sincere and really want something, you can achieve it.”

Johansson comes from a family of entrepreneurs and acts as co-owner in his mother’s company. In addition to them, the family has a long line of entrepreneurs.

“The example of my parents and family has certainly had an influence on me. No one is born perfect, and the the environment has an enormous impact. A person should independently identify positive and encouraging people and seek their company. It’s also worth giving an ear or two to your parent’s advice. It’s surprising how often they’re right," Johansson laughs.

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Intellect is contagious

As they say, it is good to spend some time with people smarter than you. Johansson agrees and modestly states that he, too, must have caught a bit of intellect from the people at LUT university.

“I’m very proud to be a part of the LUT community. People here share the same hardworking attitude as I do. From the viewpoint of Helsinki, LUT’s location in Eastern Finland could be considered remote. But that’s exactly why it’s so great to see the university thrive alongside its larger peers.”

As Johansson comes from the municipality of Kirkkonummi in Southern Finland, he admits that at first, he had doubts about moving so far away from the Helsinki Metropolitan area.

“I applied for studies in Helsinki and Turku, too, but LUT gave the best match for points from the matriculation examination and the entrance examination. I thought there’s no need to dwell on the matter as this seems to be my level. I could not have been more satisfied with the decision.”

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Lucky with the 31st job application

Johansson says he found the insights of the LUT School of Business and Management courses very useful, for example, when marketing corona tests to Africa and South America in his previous job. The pandemic raged across the world in 2021, and the demand for corona tests skyrocketed. Johansson was tasked with developing operating methods, creating networks and contacts, and preparing negotiations.

“When taking on such a large area, you have to do a lot of background research. The academic perspective, source criticism and critical thinking I learned at LUT were a great help,” commends Johansson, who is currently completing the MIBE Master’s Programme in International Business and Entrepreneurship.

He landed the job at KaukoInternational in a way that is often laughed at.

“People really don’t believe that you can get a job by simply walking in the office door and asking. But that’s just the way unadvertised jobs can be found, and it worked for me. Originally, I went to the KaukoInternational office to handle a completely different matter, but the opportunity to work for the company happened to come up.”

Johansson had already submitted 30 summer job applications before he got lucky with KaukoInternational.

“I didn’t change anything in the way I searched for jobs. I was just more prepared than before.”

Military service changed the attitude towards studies

Like so many LUT University students or alumni, Johansson brings up the LUT spirit which he considers truly unique. Friends made at LUT are constantly present in his life – even a year in the army amid his studies could not drive a wedge into the relationships.

However, the military service had a pivotal influence in other areas of Johansson’s life. He explains that a year in the navy inspired personal growth that had his study performance take a U-turn.

“I made the decision to raise the bar, and my grades improved immensely. I’m convinced that your attitude and activity play a crucial role in life. It all starts from doing something, no matter what. It could be any work, even an odd job. I used to wash boats for a couple of summers, and the experience taught me to value all lines of work.”

Next, Johansson will start working on his master’s thesis and preparing for a student exchange in California in April 2023.

“After my studies, I will see what life brings along.”

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