We would like to introduce an Aalto ISM Alumna! Our third story is about Le Thuy, who works at August Associates. Are you ready to hear her story?
- Hi Le, could you give us a short introduction of yourself?
Hello, I’m Le, an ISM alumna graduated in 2017.
I’m originally from Vietnam, born in Quy Nhon – a small city along the coast. (Small on Vietnamese scale means ~300k of population).
I moved to Finland in 2010to study International Business in Lahti UAS, and then did my master’s degree in Aalto School of Businesswith a major in ISM Business Analytics.
I’m now working as an analyst at August Associates, the leading local strategy consulting firm in Helsinki.
- You have an interesting background. Could you tell us more about that? Why did you choose Finland, and would you like to share with us a bit about your life here in Finland?
Back in 2009 during my 2nd year at a university in Ho Chi Minh city, a friend of mine, who was studying here at the time, suggested me to come to Finland, which offered free education, magical nature and high standard of living. I didn’t need to think twice.
Thinking back, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Life in Finland has been more than great for me. I’ve graduated and got a dream job. I’ve also got the chance to learn and do new things like downhill skiing, riding a boat, or jumping into an ice hole (avanto) from sauna, just to name a few.
The connection with Finland has also been deepened in my family over the years. My sisters have joined me to come here and build their own lives. My parents have also visited us and immediately fell in love with the place.
- Why did you decide to study ISM at Aalto?
I was participating in the mentoring program held by HERA (Helsinki Education and Research Area)in 2012. In an event, I was sharing my plan to start a master program and my mentor gave me the hint that data was going to be big and people who could translate insights from data into business actions would be the most looked for in companies.
I figured that ISM is the program that emphasizes on developing information-based skills and provides the most direct route for business students to become a data analyst.
It was a valuable insight that I got from my mentor and it is still applicable now!
- Why did you choose August Associates?
Strategy consulting seems like a natural career jump-start as it provides great exposure to a wide variety of industries and business problems. Moreover, the required core competence is data analysis – the skill I’ve learned from ISM studies.
August’s internship is an awesome opportunityto try out strategy consulting and get to know the firm. In the first “Base Camp” – an intro session for interns, one of August’s founders drew a steep line on the board and said that “this is the learning curve you would get over the time at August”. That was proven during my internship with countless eye-opening and jaw-dropping moments.
What I found unique at August is its super community of ~25 rock-stars. The perk of a small company is not just “Nice, everybody knows you”, but it also means that senior colleagues know you in person and can give you “tailor-made” development advice. That’s one of the significant learning accelerators, especially important for young people.
As I value continuous learning and places where I can develop, I find that August is such a place.
- What inspires you and what is your daily motivation?
I feel inspired by smart people who always strive for the best. They consequentially motivate you to do the same. Also, being able to do the things you like and find meanings in what you do are extremely stimulating.
Besides work, the time spent with the people I care for is crucial for me. Interaction with them, however small, will always add some extra flavor to my days.
Finally, doing sports is a great way to stay motivated. I like practicing yoga and swimming. August community is also extremely sporty. Participating in HCR (Helsinki City Run) yearly is one of August’s traditions, for example.
- Do you have any advice for ISM students?
First, you’re in the right place! Data related skills are increasingly relevant in business, so try to learn and practice as much as you can when you have a chance.
You don’t need to have the answer to that big question “What do you want to do with your life?”. You only need to keep an open mind and be active.
Consult senior people around you – they’ve done it and they will surely have something to share.
Brave your future* and try out new things – internship is an effective way to find the career that makes you tick.
Plus, you can always drop me a mail regarding ISM studies, strategy consulting and August.
*As August’s slogan goes, “Brave The Future” means facing it with courage
August Associates are the leading local strategy consultants in Finland. Founded in 2001 we are a firm of 25 capable professionals committed to helping companies rise above the crowd and surpass their targets. Deep customer relationships are at the heart of delivering relevant strategic counsel that is a perfect fit for the organization and their business. Combining experience with non-conformist thinking we go beyond the commonplace, providing solutions that Brave The Future.