Our Customers

Our Customers

"The Aalto MBA was a transformative experience. Above all, I gained a new kind of clarity.”

Lucja Wanicka
Manager, AFRY

AFRY, an engineering, design, and advisory services company, employs over 19,000 consultants across 50 offices worldwide. Lucja Wanicka, a Manager who has been with AFRY for several years, is responsible for further developing the company’s textile industry consulting services at its Management Consulting Division.

“The green transition brings fascinating opportunities to the textile industry, and many exciting innovations are happening here in the Nordics. Working at AFRY’s Helsinki office is extremely rewarding, particularly with my team of “Future Leaders”, whom I supervise,” Wanicka says.

Wanicka explains that she ended up working in Finland through a few twists and turns.

“I was born in Poland but grew up in South Africa, where I also got my master’s degree in chemical engineering. My first job after graduation was at a local pulp and paper mill. It might not sound exotic to Finns, but in South Africa, companies in this sector are quite rare,” Wanicka says with a laugh.

Next, Wanicka’s path took her to Austria, where she worked in R&D for a leading textile fiber company and gained in-depth knowledge of producing cellulose-based textile fibers. A few years later, she moved to Germany, to work in AFRY’s office in Munich.

“I initially came to Finland through AFRY’s office exchange program. My intention was to be in Helsinki for just a few months, but I soon realized I wanted to stay permanently. Since 2020, I have called Finland my home,” Wanicka mentions.

After settling in Finland, Wanicka decided the time was right for MBA studies.

“I had always known I wanted to pursue an MBA. It was just a matter of when. In Finland, I explored several options. Aalto EE, with its triple crown of accreditations, stood out clearly to me,” says Wanicka, who financed a significant portion of her MBA studies herself.

“The Finnish Saastamoinen Foundation helped make my MBA studies possible, for which I am really grateful. Looking back at the past two years, I can definitely say that the Aalto MBA was a transformative experience.”

New clarity and a wide-ranging understanding of business

Wanicka emphasizes that, above all, the Aalto MBA program gave her a new kind of clarity.

I gained highly valuable insight into self-development and becoming a better leader.

“The MBA connected all the dots. I now have a clear picture of the entire business landscape and how my expertise in technology, R&D, and commercialization relates to everything else.”

“I also gained highly valuable insight into self-development and becoming a better leader. I have a clearer understanding of what I am truly interested in, both professionally and in my private life. For example, to my surprise, I found myself thoroughly enjoying all the finance and economics modules. I might well consider studying these topics even more someday,” she ponders.

Wanicka says that she found the People Management and Strategic Management modules particularly useful.

“I have a strong technical background. The People Management module helped me realize how important it is to focus on people, in addition to – or even instead of – processes. After all, people ultimately create the value in companies.”

“The Strategic Management module was just fantastic. It brought together many things I learned in the MBA and formed a coherent picture: a roadmap for achieving goals. It was also fun to notice how extremely relevant many of the lessons from this module were not only to business but also to personal life,” she notes.

At the end of each module, Wanicka had a list of ideas she wanted to implement at AFRY. She has already made progress on many of these ideas at a practical level.

“For example, in the Strategic Foresight and Leading with Data modules, I learned to use scenario planning, which has been highly beneficial in renewing the strategy of our textile industry offering at AFRY,” Wanicka says.

“From the Managerial Accounting and Control module, I gained valuable knowledge on defining relevant metrics. Thanks to this module, I was also able to clearly explain to my team how their day-to-day work ties in with AFRY’s overall company direction.”

A transformative crucible

Wanicka has a lot of praise for the diversity of the studies.

“We had an international team of instructors. They had very broad and relevant experience and different teaching styles, which brought a nice variety to the studies. I particularly liked the case studies and simulations. They were valuable learning experiences.”

“It was rewarding to dive into various areas of business and have discussions with people from such different backgrounds. Very often, other participants had interesting views that I would never have thought of. It challenged me in a good way to broaden my perspectives,” she remarks.

Wanicka’s MBA group chose two people to serve as class presidents. Wanicka says she was pleasantly surprised to be chosen.

“The shared presidency was a fun experience. Our role was to act as facilitators and handle communication between the Aalto EE staff and our cohort. Which reminds me: I want to underscore how deeply grateful I am to the Aalto EE team. They are incredibly supportive and always ready to help,” she points out.

I can honestly say I am a different person and a better version of myself, than I was when I started the program."

“The MBA was a great experience for many reasons, but the most important reason was our group. We had great team spirit and a lot of get-togethers and other activities outside of studies. We have stayed in touch even after graduating.”

Wanicka had a clear goal for her MBA studies: to challenge herself and become a better version of herself.

“I definitely got what I was looking for. The Aalto MBA is a demanding program, in which you will undoubtedly be pushed out of your comfort zone. In a good way, I think the MBA can be compared to a crucible. Sure, there can be a lot of “heat” and pressure to get things done, but that’s often what it takes to transform.”

“You just have to keep an open mind, work hard, and make the most of the experience. I guarantee that it’s worth it. I can honestly say I am a different person and a better version of myself, than I was when I started the program,” she underlines.

“Luckily my family, friends, and employer were all incredibly flexible and supportive. They knew how important the MBA was to me, understood when I prioritized my studies, and supported me. I am grateful to them all.”

Aalto MBA Program