Change agency Ellun Kanat helps its clients build strong strategies and cultures, communicate effectively, and engage in continuous dialogue with surrounding society. Partner and business director of communications consulting at Ellun Kanat, Ville Wahlberg, recently completed the Aalto MBA program.
“Some people questioned why I wanted more education at this point of my career. After all, I had been coaching and consulting leading politicians and management groups for years. The idea of an MBA degree had matured gradually in my mind, as I gained various leadership positions and moved more and more to change management and strategic consulting in my work,” Wahlberg explains.
“I had strong business acumen, but there were certain gaps in my skill set. I wanted to get a 360° view of business – and, of course, validation for all the competence I had accumulated through work. I knew that the Aalto MBA opens many doors that might remain closed for a Master of Arts,” says Wahlberg, who is a visual arts teacher by training.
A profound business understanding helps you reach new heights
Wahlberg says that above all, the MBA program gave him a more comprehensive understanding of business.
“The Aalto MBA program was an amazing experience. The instructors’ expertise and teaching skills made a lasting impression on me. They knew how to phrase things in a way that immediately opened up even the most demanding topics,” he describes.
The instructors’ expertise and teaching skills made a lasting impression on me."
“Mergers & Acquisitions and Financial Accounting were especially memorable modules. The latter also brought immediate benefits. I was offered the opportunity to buy a partnership in Ellun Kanat during my MBA studies. This module gave me excellent skills for thoroughly analyzing the profitability of the investment,” Wahlberg emphasizes.
Although Wahlberg already had solid expertise in many of the MBA subjects, he gained useful new perspectives from all the modules.
“I learned fascinating theoretical frames of reference and gained profound business understanding, which will help me reach new heights. It was especially fun to notice how much I got out of the communication and marketing modules, even though I have worked with these topics for a large part of my career,” he says.
“Now that I have completed the program, I can wholeheartedly affirm that every single module was beneficial for my work. Most of the exercises were designed in a way that enabled you to conduct them directly for your own organization, which deepened the learning and made things even more concrete,” he adds.
A marvelous, diverse MBA group
Tuominen’s MBA group was able to study in-class for just a few months before the corona pandemic forced them to switch to remote learning.
I can wholeheartedly affirm that every single module was beneficial for my work."
“In-class learning was wonderful. The environment itself was so inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed the architecture of the building, the magnificent art all around us, and the fantastic people. As an experience the in-class learning was even more enjoyable than I had anticipated,” Wahlberg reminisces.
“Yet there were perks to remote learning as well. All the arrangements and technology worked well, and the instructors knew how to inspire us online. We all became really skilled in sharing our points of view and skills online,” he points out.
Wahlberg asserts that he learned a great deal from other participants both during in-class and remote studies.
“We had a marvelous, diverse MBA group. We had participants from many cultures and backgrounds, and everyone had interesting perspectives to share, which broadened my thinking. I have especially fond memories of our rewarding discussions in small groups during exercises,” he remarks.
Beneficial tools and insights for consulting
Wahlberg says that he achieved nearly every goal he set for the Aalto MBA program.
“I learned how everything I already knew links to all that I reaped from the MBA program. I also gained beneficial tools and insights for my work as a consultant. My only regret is that we were not able to socialize more: parties, interaction and all the tacit knowledge you gain for example during coffee breaks – due to the pandemic, this side of our studies naturally played a smaller role,” he ponders.
“As a whole, however, the program was splendid. First and foremost, the MBA prepared me for my new role as partner at Ellun Kanat. I now utilize skills I learned during the Aalto MBA every day at work, and I am confident that I will be successful in my new position,” he adds.
Wahlberg says that he warmly recommends the Aalto MBA program – to almost anyone.
“If you want to challenge yourself, broaden and deepen your competence, and advance in your career, I definitely recommend participating. But if you just want to find an easy way to get a degree, then Aalto EE is certainly not the place for you,” he says with a laugh.
Since this interview was conducted, Ville Wahlberg has moved to another organization.