- Name: Niko Sulkakoski
- Graduation year: 2019
- Study programme: Master of Arts in Social Sciences (MA) in International Business Administration specializing in Organizational Change and Leadership.
- Workplace: Freelance Marketing and Development Consultant
First corporate job: My first official employment happened shortly after earning my Bachelor's degree. The company has already been closed since, but it was a game industry consultancy. Quality assurance, monetization, those sort of things. They were looking for an administrator to take care of just about everything from stakeholder communication to human resources to financial management. I was given lots of responsibility, considering that I was also studying full-time in the EBS Master's program.
Current job description: I am an independent consultant. The projects I usually get involved with relate to marketing and communication, organizational structure, and change management. I've had front row seats to Finno-Chinese business cooperation, though I've mostly taken a support role, such as communications coaching or translating documents. I also advise and spar with startups about development challenges, but that's more of a hobby or an exercise in continuous learning.
My latest non-independent employment was with Tulos Helsinki for a seven month contract as a part of a digital marketing training program, the Digital Growth Academy. My focus was in programmatic advertising: a highly automated and data-driven approach to marketing. It differs from traditional advertising in that instead of buying ad space in bulk, you allow a computer algorithm to bid on each individual ad impression (view) as they happen in real-time. The purpose is to optimize both targeting and spending in alignment with your campaign goals, whether it's brand awareness, remarketing, or something else.
Dream job: In a way I am already in my dream job, as I am able to do what I am passionate about: to help. To deduce where companies’ problems lay and communicate a strategy on how to fix these issues. I'd like to keep doing what I do, but perhaps in a more permanent role. I'd love to be there one day, looking at a successful company and go "We did that, We made that happen. This company would not be here today without all of our efforts combined". You don't get that with temporary projects. Whether you succeed or fail, the permanence of your contribution is usually limited. By next year there will have been a hundred new initiatives to improve or destroy your work.
Why I chose to study at EBS: It was actually by chance. I knew I wanted to study business, but I was pressed for time and couldn't pursue the usual Finnish options. It was frustrating, but then I was told that EBS was still accepting applications. I admit I was skeptical about it at first, but I took the chance with the reasoning that I could always try Aalto or University of Helsinki next year. I never did. I was very happy with EBS, and I ended up completing both Bachelor and Master's degrees there.
The most important takeaways from EBS: That's a difficult question. How do I break down more than five years of academic career into a few key points? Perhaps for me one of the most important takeaways was understanding the big picture and how everything is interconnected. It's not so much about being the best at everything, but rather knowing what is required and where to start looking for answers. Knowing the importance of surrounding yourself with people smarter than you in all the right things.
Being able to study in English has been very important as well. It has made conducting business and communicating internationally so much easier. I don't need to worry about having the right vocabulary, unless I'm discussing in Finnish.
Personal motto: “The great enemy of communication is the illusion of it” - William H. Whyte
Recommended reading: Harvard Business Review, Think With Google, and ”Scientific Advertising” by Claude Hopkins.
Alumni career advice: Never worry about asking too many questions. Even in the worst case you're merely pointing out missing information or a failure to communicate. On the contrary, in the best case scenario you might bring up completely new ideas. Ideas that others hadn't even considered before.