"The MIMM programme was an excellent launching pad for an international career"

Business studies were the only educational path Elisa Pohjola could envision. Elisa, a native of Lohja, Finland, wanted her degree to open as many doors as possible.

Elisa Pohjola

Elisa chose the Master's Programme in Marketing Management (MIMM) because internationality has always been close to her heart.

"I already had an inkling that I wouldn't be staying in Finland after graduation. It was important to me that the MIMM programme had a quality label and that all of its instruction was in English."

International experiences and emotional growth

Elisa took part in student exchange twice during her studies: in New Zealand in connection with her Bachelor's studies and in Norway during her Master's studies. In addition, she had spent a year as an exchange student in Italy in upper secondary school.

"My exchange periods have meant a lot to me in terms of international experiences and emotional growth. You always discover new sides to yourself in new situations and countries," Elisa analyses.

The decision to leave for Norway was meaningful to Elisa in a number of ways. After her exchange semester, she stayed in Oslo to work for the summer in a local restaurant, which happened to be smack in the middle of an extensive growth and internationalisation project.

"I ended up writing my Master's thesis for the company. I examined the company's internationalisation and human resource management."

Elisa's thesis received the MIMM programme's Master's thesis of the year award. In addition, it won the European MIB-EPAS consortium's thesis competition.

Meanwhile, a company called Kelkoo contacted Elisa through LinkedIn. Kelkoo's Scandinavian office is located in Oslo and hired Elisa to work in digital marketing. Now, Elisa is studying work and organisational psychology at the University of Bergen.

"It seems I won't be coming back to Finland for a while. I feel at home here: I've found a Norwegian boyfriend and I'm fluent in the language."

Genuinely international courses

In Elisa's opinion, the best thing about the MIMM programme was the wide-ranging studies. The courses applied many learning techniques – not only lectures.

"The courses were genuinely international. The requirement was that at least two nationalities be represented in each group. Many had a love–hate relationship with group work, but it taught us a whole lot.

During her studies, Elisa was also active in her student association. For instance, she chaired the business students' association Enklaavi. The sense of community in the business school made an impact on Elisa. 

"I made many close friends during my studies. I'm proud and glad that I came to Lappeenranta."

Entrepreneurship is a viable option

In the MIMM programme, Elisa learned about different organisations, entrepreneurship and internationality. She now feels that also entrepreneurship could be a viable career option for her even though the idea initially felt foreign to her.

"I'm not a big risk taker, but now I think that consultancy in HR management and leadership might be an interesting alternative."

Elisa recommends MIMM for anyone interested in marketing and internationality.

"You can't find higher-quality international marketing education anywhere else in Finland. Even if marketing isn't your number one passion, it shouldn't be a deal-breaker. The programme offers so much more."