Career Outlooks, Susanna Kauppinen

Career Outlooks

My first degree was in Financial Management, and I worked some years in HR and payroll services. However, I was young and wanted to see more and experience more. I decided to study more and moved to Jyväskylä. I changed my major to Management and Leadership and minors to Marketing, Intercultural Communication, and International Business.

My first international experience was Erasmus student exchange in Germany during my first degree. That was the best time of my life so far, and that was one reason to study more and get more international experiences.

My second student exchange was to South Korea. That was my first visit to Asia, and I couldn’t have been more excited about all the exotic places I saw. I also worked for a UNESCO project as a visiting English teacher at Korean elementary schools. After the semester, I spent the summer backpacking all around the Asia and Australia.

The third international experience was studying one year in Germany during my Masters. There I focused on International Marketing, and on summer break I travelled through Europe and visited as many countries as possible.

The fourth experience took me to India. I did an internship at the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi. My interest was in trade policy, and I could join EU delegation meetings and even write speech elements to our Foreign Minister. Great experiences!

The fifth case was to work for a chamber of commerce in New York. I was excited to live in Manhattan! My focus was on Business Development and organizing B2B events in NYC.

The sixth one was China. I moved straight from NYC to China to work at a Chinese office furniture company in International Marketing and HR. I helped in international recruitments and taught an English course as a staff training.

After China I moved back to Finland and finished my master’s thesis in Business and did also a teacher’s degree. I moved to Helsinki and started my work at a construction company SRV, in business premises department, leasing team. I did B2B sales coordination of business premises.

Suddenly, I got an extraordinary opportunity to move to Brussels and work for the European Parliament. I thought that was once in a lifetime opportunity and moved to Brussels. I worked in the Communications department and made many international friends. Belgium was the seventh country to live for me.

After Belgium, I moved to Atlanta in the USA. I worked for a German-American company that helps international companies to American market by establishing subsidiaries and providing outsourcing services like accounting, HR, marketing, order processing and shared business premises in Atlanta. That was in 2020 and everyone knows what it means… COVID time. All places were closed, and I was stuck working from home in a new country. I had finally time to think. I turned 30 and started to consider what to do with my life. Hopping from country to country was kind of exhausting and hard for relationships. I decided that I want to move back to Finland!

Like magic, my previous supervisor from SRV contacted me and asked me back. I didn’t have to think twice to say Yes! In autumn 2020, I moved back to Helsinki and continued my work with business premises. It has been three years now, and I’m happy to pronounce that I got married in August. My husband has also graduated from the University of Jyväskylä, and we met at the board of Pörssin Alumnit. Life is miraculous.

I have been happy to settle down in Finland. Work is good, marriage is good, and we just bought an apartment in Espoo. International spirit doesn’t have to end if moving back to Finland. There are many ways to stay international, like travelling and joining international organizations. I have visited 50 countries so far.

Now I have been a chairman at Kansainväliset Ekonomit committee for two years in Helsingin Ekonomit. We organize for example company visits and networking events. We have committee meetings once a month where we plan the upcoming events. We also have student members, and the application period for the next year is open now. Find out more on Helsingin Ekonomit website if you are interested!

Besides Helsingin Ekonomit, I also belong to JCI Junior Chamber International. That is also a great international network with inspiring conferences and events. There are many organizations and ways to continue international spirit even if living in Finland.

My advice for students is to use the opportunities to go abroad during studies. It is so easy, and there is a great support system from the university’s international services. It’s good to gain experiences when being young and free. Later in life it’s harder to hop from country to country, and there will be many responsibilities. I hope my story gave you inspiration and thoughts. Enjoy your time when studying! And welcome to Kansainväliset Ekonomit, apply on Helsingin Ekonomit website if you are interested!

Writer profile:

  • Name: Susanna Kauppinen
  • Role: Business Development, Business Premises, SRV
  • Studies: M.Sc. in Management and Leadership, University of Jyväskylä
  • Master’s Thesis topic: Digitalization and the future of work
  • Hobbies: Helsingin Ekonomit, JCI