Student testimonial: MSc in Business Analytics (MBAN)

Miska Valkonen

"Going to Lappeenranta was one of my best decisions" – Miska Valkonen is the first graduate from LUT's business analytics programme and was cherry-picked from university by his employer

Miska Valkonen, a native of Jyväskylä, Finland, was initially hesitant a about moving to Lappeenranta for his studies.

"I was nervous about moving to a town I didn't know. I kept debating whether I should take a year off and then apply somewhere else entirely," Miska says.

Nevertheless, the decision to start his studies in Lappeenranta turned out to be the right one.

"Moving to Lappeenranta was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I now have a great job, a degree and a whole lot of incredible experiences, and I made amazing friends at the university."

Miska was a student in the Bachelor's Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management and obtained his Master's degree in the Master's Programme in Business Analytics (MBAN). The LUT School of Business and Management's MBAN programme is the first Master's level business analytics degree programme in Finland.

"Choosing a major subject was easy because analytics sounded like it'd be right up my alley. I had already done analytics-related work at Valmet, and the programme allowed me to study things I needed to deal with at work."

Miska was very happy with how business analytics was taught at LUT. The studies were closely connected to the world of work.

"All of the software introduced during courses are tools I need in my daily work."

Miska noticed that students at LUT form a close-knit community. Social and recreational activities are an important way to unwind after studies.

"We had a great gang. Everyone needs help at some point, and it's good to have friends around you when you do."

Miska began his Master's studies in 2017 and was the first to graduate from the MBAN programme. He's now employed as an analytics and application developer at Valmet.

"I work in Valmet's industrial internet team. We develop ways for our customers to utilise existing data," Miska explains.

Business analytics will change the world of work significantly

Business analytics will change the world of work significantly.

Miska's Master's thesis dealt with predictive maintenance for a paper machine from the perspective of business analytics. He wrote his thesis for Valmet and was offered a permanent job already before graduation.

"The employment opportunities in this field are excellent. It seems that nearly every business is looking for analytics professionals, as is the case at Valmet."

Miska worked summers at Valmet during his studies. When he was in student exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he heard about a job opening at Valmet.

"I applied for and landed the job all the way from Kuala Lumpur. I started work after my exchange period and worked all through my final year of studies. Thanks to the flexibility shown by both my employer and the university, I was able to combine my work and studies."

The final year was quite an achievement for Miska. He wrote his thesis on the weekends and completed the related applied research at work. Furthermore, he managed to stay on top of his professional duties and completed the final courses for his degree.

"I was motivated by the fact that I had a job lined up after graduation. When I finally got my diploma, I felt pretty good about myself."

All teaching in the MBAN programme is in English. Miska feels that studying in English was easier than in Finnish.

"All of the terminology in the field is in English. It would have been difficult to learn things in Finnish and then translate everything into English."

Miska says he had no trouble following classes with the English skills he had picked up in school.

"I watched movies with English subtitles and read books in English. Every little thing helps."

Miska engourages anyone interested in analytics or its applications to apply to the MBAN programme.

"The programme description might sound like it's meant only for coders. Coding skills help, but I'm an example of someone who had none and still did well in my studies. If you're interested in creating something new and in challenging yourself, this is the field for you."

Studying business analytics in LUT

The Master's programmes offer you two different paths to a career in business analytics. You can complete the degree of Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration or Master of Science in Technology depending on your background. 

In LUT you can study business analytics also in Finnish. Read more about Data-analytiikka päätöksenteossa (only in Finnish). 

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