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"The EMBA gave me useful skills and ideas – and with them, new self-confidence and trust in my own ability to apply the learning in practice.”

Janne Rossi
Head of Machines & Drives Development, KONE

Agile Execution Lead Janne Rossi has worked for KONE Corporation for most of his career. He is in charge of ensuring that all global product development and product management projects related to elevator hoisting machines and safety brakes proceed in accordance with the corporate strategy.

Rossi has never been in the habit of taking the easy way out.

“Lifewide learning and challenging myself have always been my spiritual guidelines. After high school, I realized that my math skills had room for improvement. I decided to get a master’s degree in electrical engineering, because on that path you can’t avoid learning mathematics,” Rossi says with a laugh.

Rossi acquired a comprehensive outlook on the latest leadership trends from the Aalto Executive MBA program.

“After completing my studies, it has been easier for me to drive things forward in our organization, because I got to look at business development and leadership through so many different lenses during the EMBA,” Rossi explains.

“The Aalto EMBA gave me a good understanding of globally recognized models and tools, as well as a common vocabulary with various business functions. I am now able to tailor my messages so that they are likely to address the questions that recipients have.”

An intensive, first-rate study experience

For Rossi, the EMBA study experience was intense.

“I received the news of my acceptance into the EMBA program about a week after my spouse and I found out that we were expecting our second child,” Rossi says.

“There was my EMBA, our baby and toddler, and of course my meaningful and demanding job at KONE, which I was mostly doing remotely due to the pandemic. The silver lining in all this was that the equation really encouraged me to find resources that I didn’t know I had. I learned quite a lot about time management.”

Rossi has a great deal of praise for both the EMBA curriculum and the instructors’ teaching methods.

“Every single module taught me useful skills that I have been able to put into practice both at work and in my personal life. I could give countless examples. As a former hardcore engineer, I found the mechanics of financial and managerial accounting especially enlightening – and all the coaching related to personal growth helped me understand how to set myself goals and develop to be a better leader, step by step.”

Every single module taught me useful skills that I have been able to put into practice both at work and in my personal life."

“I took part in the Study Tour to Yale during my EMBA. It was a marvelous experience: outstanding teaching and an amazing environment. It also unequivocally proved to me how first-rate the teaching is at Aalto EE. The instructors in Aalto’s own modules were every bit as good as the instructors at Yale. Of course, there were cultural differences in teaching styles, but different styles have their own strengths,” Rossi points out.

“Aalto EE definitely practices what it preaches. It was great to see how fast and agile Aalto was at implementing new practices to ensure high-quality teaching during the pandemic. And whenever we could meet face-to-face, all the arrangements were superb,” he reminisces.

Strong group dynamics

Rossi says that he learned a lot from the other EMBA participants.

“We had exceptionally good group spirit. Everybody openly shared their experiences,” Rossi mentions.  

“We were also a delightfully diverse group. We had people from healthcare, industry, and even non-profits. I also liked the fact that our age range was quite considerable. We had youthful enthusiasm and people with the kind of wisdom that only comes from decades of experience. It really enriched our interaction.”

“It was eye-opening to realize how things can be approached from different angles. It really challenged my established ways of thinking when we used concrete examples stemming from our experiences to discuss various theories and paradigms. I found our shared discussions really valuable,” Rossi emphasizes.

The Business Strategy Project, BSP, was a particularly meaningful experience for Rossi.

“My group carried out the BSP project for my employer KONE and did valuable work. We started practically from scratch to explore the untapped business potential of an additional service idea. The most challenging part was getting a grip on customer needs and trends in an area where there are no established solutions available,” Rossi explains.

The studies also ignited an even greater curiosity and hunger for learning within me.

“Experiencing the uncertainty of an uncharted territory and validating hypotheses at the customer interface was rewarding – and our BSP team had remarkable comradeship. We complemented each other’s competencies and formed a team that was more than the sum of its parts. Our teamwork was extremely efficient.”

The Aalto EMBA exceeded expectations

Rossi says that he is happy to recommend the Aalto EMBA program.

“The triple accreditation, wide range of subjects, top-notch instructors, and extremely positive feedback I heard from several colleagues all contributed to my decision to apply to the Aalto EMBA program,” Rossi remarks.

“Aalto EE promised a lot but certainly delivered much more. The EMBA gave me useful skills and ideas – and with them new self-confidence and trust in my own ability to apply the learning in practice. During the EMBA, you also get a great support network and wonderful new friends. The studies also ignited an even greater curiosity and hunger for learning within me.”

“I highly recommend participating – but I also recommend that you talk with your employer and your loved ones and ensure their support. My wife and I decided together that it was a good idea for me to get my EMBA diploma while our younger child was still a baby. The support and encouragement I received from my wife, family, and my employer were absolutely indispensable during this journey,” Rossi underlines.

Aalto EMBA Program