Success Story: Jenny Haapa & Sonja Soppela

Jenny Haapa and Sonja Soppela graduated from EBS in 2018. Now they work in finance and urge you to use the time to learn business English during studies.
  • Names: Jenny Haapa ja Sonja Soppela
  • Study Programmes: Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, International Business Administration with specialization in finance and accounting
  • Graduation Year: 2018 
  • Workplaces: 
    • Jenny: Financial Controller, Lastentarvike oy
    • Sonja: Specialist, Evli rahastoyhtiö oy


  • Where do you work and what is your position at the moment?

Jenny: I work with financial management as Financial Controller. My responsibilities include the entire financial management of the concern by accounting, reconciliation, and reportage depending on the season.
Sonja: I started as an intern at an investment bank in July last year. Since February I have been working as a Specialist within supporting back office duties. I am part of the team that works with net asset values of over 30 funds of stocks and interests. 


  • What made you choose to study at EBS Helsinki?

Jenny: I applied first to Aalto University but I didn't get enough points in the entrance exams. I decided that I was not going to spend a gap year and thus I decided to apply to EBS. I was lucky to get in that same year! 
Sonja: I applied first to Haaga-Helia to study finance but I lacked a few points to get int. I also did not want to spend a gap year and thus applied to EBS!


  • How has studying in EBS changed your life?

Jenny: The key thing for me was that I learned to speak very good English and use the business vocabulary. When I compare to students that studied in Finnish universities I notice that my vocabulary is much more comprehensive. 

Sonja: Nowadays it seems to be a must for companies to have employees who are fluent in English. When I started at EBS, I didn't know the university so I didn't know what to expect. Now I have to take the time to appreciate the school's level of teaching and high standards in finance studies. There are deadlines for assignments and if you do not make them then there will be no mercy. I like EBS's discipline of having to work hard to graduate with good grades. 


  • What would be your alumni career advice?

Sonja: It took me a while to get used to studying and back to the routines. Maybe it was because it had been a few years since high school but my advice is to get prepared for studying hard starting from the first day. It is good to prepare a plan on how to balance studies with your other activities in life and be prepared to use lots of time for studies. I worked part-time at a jewelry shop throughout my studies which was a great choice. It gave me enough time to study and at the same time a way to get my head of the things. 
Jenny: I had similar struggles as Sonja as I am sure most people do when starting studies at a university. For me it was the language that caused me issues to get on board. So you might want to prepare yourself for using lots of time and energy for getting used to studying in English. I was working also throughout my studies and in the beginning I thought that it would be enough if I studied a few hours every evening but when the studies in my specialization began I was proved wrong. Studying took a lot more time than I had anticipated, thus you should not think that session-based studies take any less time than daytime studies. Yet, I do think that it is important to get work experience while studying.


  • Recommended reading:

Sonja: Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, fast and slow
Jenny: Nassim Taleb: Musta Joutsen