Thermo Fisher Scientific is the world leader in serving science with a broad range of innovative technologies and pharmaceutical services. Approximately 900 of the company’s 75,000 strong staff work in Finland. Operations Director Jani Holopainen has worked for the company nearly all his career. He graduated from Aalto EE’s MBA program at the end of 2019.
“I always knew that my master’s degree in biochemistry would not be the last time I studied. I want to understand things and I enjoy learning. As in all large international companies, the MBA is a highly esteemed degree at Thermo Fisher Scientific as well. Consequently, a few years back I got interested in participating in the MBA program,” he explains.
Holopainen started his MBA journey as a visiting student in 2017. He took part in five modules as a visitor and began his MBA officially in the cohort of 2018.
“It’s great that Aalto EE offers the possibility to participate in part of the modules ahead of time as a visitor. It’s an excellent opportunity to get to know the program in advance – and being able to study the degree in three years instead of two was important to me, because already then my work required a lot of travel,” he points out.
In addition to Renewal and Transformation Holopainen concentrated on finance modules during his studies. He was surprised himself by the choice.
“I had planned on taking the minimum amount of finance modules. After the first module I decided instead to take as many as I possibly could. I was surprised by how passionate I became of the subject. All the finance modules were marvelous. I enjoyed studying them,” he says.
The Aalto MBA gave me in-depth understanding of leading business. I gained self-confidence and belief in my own abilities."
“My favorite module was likewise a surprise. Marketing management was simultaneously extremely rewarding and remarkably hard work. It completely changed my perception of marketing. I learned incredibly much,” he emphasizes.
Holopainen says he was able to utilize lessons learned during the MBA program immediately, starting from the very first module he participated in as a visitor.
“The Aalto MBA gave me in-depth understanding of leading business. I gained self-confidence and belief in my own abilities. I now understand business much more comprehensively: how for example inventory turnover and management affect cash flow and thus the company’s ability to invest in other operations,” he notes.
“In addition, the MBA gave me many tools for leading people and self-development, and action plans for difficult communication situations. I also learned that everything need not be perfect all the time, and how important it is to remember to take time for one’s self,” he says with a laugh.
Both in my previous and current roles I have been able to put everything I learned into versatile use."
During the MBA program Holopainen worked as Senior R&D Manager. He was appointed to his current job as Operations Director in 2020.
“Both in my previous and current roles I have been able to put everything I learned into versatile use. The marketing module that I was praising earlier, for example, encouraged me to present ideas to our marketing leaders about the ways in which we gather market information for R&D projects,” he reminisces.
“In my new role I am in charge for our food safety kits’ order-delivery process internationally, as well as our new diagnostics product – its launch will be a significant milestone for our company worldwide. In this role I am utilizing for instance skills I learned in the finance modules nearly every day,” he continues.
Holopainen graduated from the Aalto MBA program with honors. He describes his MBA experience as highly positive.
Aalto EE’s staff deserves special thanks. We all got to enjoy wonderful support all throughout the program."
“Studying was invigorating. The instructors were well chosen, and our cohort had great team spirit. During the program I gained a marvelous network from both the other participants and the Professors that I got to know along the way,” he says.
“Aalto EE’s staff deserves special thanks. We all got to enjoy wonderful support all throughout the program. All the communication was timely and good and as a participant you felt valued,” he remarks.
Holopainen affirms that he is happy to recommend the Aalto MBA degree.
“The MBA is not rocket science, but you will have a lot of work cut out for you. The Aalto MBA is worth all the effort and I recommend participating. The program supplied me with excellent skills for my career and I am very pleased with my decision to pursue the degree”, he says.
“If you wish to advance to a more senior leadership role, it is definitely worth participating. I am fairly certain that the MBA played a significant role in me being appointed Operations Director,” he adds.