Aalto MBA Journal Part 3: Funding Models, Group Work, and a Sad Moment

Paula Salovaara

“Hang on, I’ll just back up my car.” A beeping sound carries down the phone line, as Kai Rönnberg sets for his journey to work. He has promised to talk about the fall semester at the same time, which he has found interesting but busy. A business trip to Australia messed up his calendar, and it has taken some time to get back to normal.

But the busy times haven’t dampened his study motivation. Rönnberg thought the Foundations of Finance module that just ended was brilliant, and professor Matti Suominen who headed the course has clearly succeeded in his work. Rönnberg describes the teaching as follows: “Good, conversational teaching style. The professor allowed the group to voice its own views without procrastinating on issues.” The professor’s sense of humor gets extra points. 

After the summer, Rönnberg has fitted in the International Macro Economics and Operations Management modules, both of which have given plenty of practical insight. Rönnberg was particularly inspired by the political discussions during the Macro Economics course. Impacts of political decision-making on the economy spiced up calculations. 

The Foundations of Finance module put the slide rule into steady use, and Rönnberg now faces an exam in a week’s time. He felt the module was more challenging than others so far, but the hard work has paid off in the form of invaluable knowledge on business valuation, funding models, and investment payback calculations. He feels that many of the formulas he was already familiar with now gained a practical context. Some of these lessons can be put to immediate use. 

The Foundations of Finance module that just ended was his last compulsory course. “It’s a little sad, as the whole group was together for the last time”, says Rönnberg. The students got together for a Christmas party that stretched late into the night to mark this turning point in their studies.

However, sadness lingers only for a moment before it’s time for spring plans; the Business Project that involves strategy group work for the employers of the participants.

A proposal of Rönnberg’s employer Outotec was selected as one of the group work projects, which Rönnberg is glad about, as there were after all more suggestions than groups. We get to follow the progression of the project in the springtime through this journal.  

There’s still time for one module before the end of the year. Following the finance course, the New Venture Workshop is less mathematics and more practice, and will involve MBA students taking part in developing startups in groups.

The courses in the springtime are elective and many sound interesting. “I’ll choose the courses according to the professor. A good professor makes you learn so much more”, Rönnberg highlights. Once again he praises professor Matti Suominen, who led the Foundations of Finance module. Rönnberg also plans to attend his advanced course.

Rönnberg would give an 8 ½ out of 10 for the fall semester. The score for the spring semester was a little higher, and expectations are high for next spring. 

Rönnberg has arrived at work, and the beeping sound of him reversing his car is audible through the phone. “I need to run to a meeting now.”

Kai Rönnberg is Vice President, Services Beneficiation Business Line, at Outotec. He began his studies on the Aalto MBA program at the beginning of 2016, and will be graduating at the end of 2017. This MBA journal follows his thoughts and experiences along the way. 

Read the article in Finnish »

Previous parts can be found here:

Aalto MBA Journal Part 2: Supervisor Calls for New Thinking »

Aalto MBA Journal Part 1: Studying Energizes and Inspires »


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