Reflections from the Aaltonauts for Industries event

A group of Aalto faculty, students, and industry representatives gathered at Aalto Design Factory on Tuesday Dec 18th to discuss industry collaboration and work life skills in Bachelor’s studies. The event began with an introduction of Aaltonaut by professor Kalevi Ekman. After that, a panel of current or former Aalto students Atte Harjanne (ELEC), Jukka Itälä (ARTS), Lauri Hynynen (BIZ), Aalto Vice Presidents Martti Raevaara and Hannu Seristö, Head of Aalto Career Services Aila Saloranta, Adviser Pirre Hyötynen from TEK, and Adviser Minna Jokinen from Teknologiateollisuus ry discussed the topic of university-industry collaboration.

The panel chair, AYY President of the Board Voitto Kangas challenged the panelists and the audience with several questions related to the traditions of the Aalto schools as well as the possibilities that Aalto University offers for developing industry collaboration further. All panelists agreed that work life skills should be taken into account already at the Bachelor’s level. The panelists emphasized especially attitude, social, communication, and team working skills, and ability to identify and communicate one’s own skills, strengths and weaknesses as important for the future work life.

All the attendees pointed out the importance of attitude. Good attitude was seen as more important than any other subject specific skills in the recruitment process. The attitude might consist of motivation to learn, courage to take risks, and passion towards one’s work. Humbleness is usually seen as as desirable but also the ability to be bold and set demands for oneself as well as the employer is becoming increasingly critical. The panelists were especially concerned about the overly humble attitude of the female students. So all Aalto girls: be courageous and proud of your skills! You can do it!

Social, communication and team working skills
The panelists discussed on how to educate socially talented Bachelor’s students with good communication and team working skills. They agreed that conducting hands-on projects in interdisciplinary teams would help the Bachelor’s students from different disciplines to strengthen their professional identities.

Ability to identify and communicate one’s own skills, strengths and weaknesses
Some panelists expressed their concern on the students’ ability to identify and communicate their skills after conducting the Bachelor’s degree. When applying for a job, the ability to reflect on one’s own professional strengths and weaknesses becomes important.

From the organizers’ perspective it was nice to see so many Aalto actors discussing the ways of promoting work life skills in Bachelor’s studies under the same roof. This kind of open discussion is necessary in creation of new, coherent and innovative Aalto studies.

Aaltonaut development team would like to thank everyone for the past year and wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013!

You can see the Aaltonaut Introductory presentation here (rewind to 0800 minutes to skip the wait).

All pictures can be found on Aalto Design Factory’s Flickr page by clicking the pictures: