Name: Roni Bäck, 23
Graduated/study programme: International Business Administration
Degree (BA/MA/MBA/PhD): BA
Year of graduation: 2016
Current employer: BackMedia Oy (solo entrepreneur)
Occupation: Social Media Influencer
A book You would recommend to EBS students: Grant Cardone: Be Obsessed or Be Average. Read/listen it with a pinch of salt. If I need some motivational boost and/or self-confidence, I tend to listen this one from Audible.
Your success story
Most of you probably don’t know me, so shortly I am an ex-EBSter, who after graduating ended up becoming the most watched person in Finland. My channel is Roni Back on YouTube.
I always hated the Finnish mindset that you have to know what are you going to do with your life when you are attending high school at the age of 16. The objective of life is to end up working for a +100-year-old company with a steady salary after you have educated yourself to become part of the existing machine. To me it sounded boring. I wanted to create something by myself that nobody else was doing. So in 2012 i started making YouTube videos. Starting with the gaming related content in Finnish - it was bad. Most of my friends said to me that “nice hobby you have there, but shouldn’t you be focusing on more important stuff? Also known as the “educate yourself to get hired into the endless bureaucracy”.
My goal was to become a professional YouTuber, meaning that I would make a living of creating videos (there was not a single person doing it professionally in Finland). After three months I got my first salary of a month: 22€. I had made a video everyday spending like 40 hours a week into it, earning less than an euro per day. Well, that did not stop me as I was having fun. In December of 2015, after hundreds of uploaded videos, I saw that there started to become a chance to “make it big”. Once again, every day of December I uploaded a video, grinding the YouTube game as well as I could, and at the end of the month my salary came: 880€. Most of the people would not do anything with that low of a salary, but I was very excited that something I have created has generated almost 1000€ a month! During the same time I was studying at EBS with relatively good grades, I coded mobilephone games with my friends that I learned to do though them and the internet and I played floorball at the highest level in the junior series. Consequently, I was busy all the time not having time even to a girlfriend.
2016 was my year. I graduated from EBS getting full points for my thesis that I worked on day and night for months. After that I decided to commit fully to YouTube - and it paid off. I started uploading everyday to YouTube even though my closest competitors uploaded 2-3 videos a week. I said yes to everything which led me to interesting adventures. For instance, I was in Hollywood interviewing movie stars at Universal Studios (scariest thing that has happened to me); I went to China for a week for a youth conference regarding climate change. Soon as I just basically outworked everyone on my field, when I became the most watched Finnish person in any media now for 1 year in a row. I have over 250 000 followers now on YouTube, and reached a new high in monthly views which is 7,5 million views. I published a book regarding YouTube (Tubettajan käsikirja) in Summer 2017, which I never could have imagined of doing. My business generated profit from the first year, and I still cannot understand that 5 years ago I started filming my screen while playing games - and here I am.
What is your everyday job?
I try to come up with ideas on how to entertain people. Nobody is telling me what to do and when, but still I easily spend 10 hours a day working in some form to create content. I have my freedom though, my plan was to travel every month to different country in 2017 but it has become a bit boring after being in a plane over 20 times in 6 months.
Why did you choose EBS?
Firstly, the reason was that I didn’t get into University in Helsinki so I applied to EBS. Secondly, I was interested in economics, loved math and wanted to learn English. In the end I am very happy that I went and took the EBS route.
What is the most important thing you took from EBS?
So many things. When I started the school, I think I was the youngest of the whole group. Moreover, I wasn’t good in school or in speaking English. Luckily, the people that I met there basically changed who I am. As there are not so many students in EBS Helsinki you become more closer to your classmates. Also by making group projects with people who were a lot more intelligent than me forced me to improve myself as well. I basically came in as a student who did not know how to speak English with bad grades, and ended up leaving with an A on the Final Thesis.
How do you know EBS is for You?
You have to be capable to learn by yourself. When I studied at EBS Helsinki, we only had three days of school in two weeks. Therefore to get the good grades you have to be able to sit on your own and study, and at times it can get tough.
What would be your ultimate suggestion to EBS students?
Let’s go with an inspirational answer! Everyone doubts themselves constantly, being afraid to make the decisions to chase their dreams. But at least what I have learned, if you work hard on what you want to accomplish, you don’t even have time to doubt yourself. Don’t say you cannot do it. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, because it is definitely holding you back. Everyone can achieve what they ever dream of, but it rarely comes to your hands overnight.