Kuntarahoitus: How can an economist be a green person?
Who: Eeva Toivonen, 27 years
Education: University of Helsinki, MSSc, 2013-2018, majoring in economics
Career in MuniFin: From the year 2018
Current role: ESG Analyst, Corporate Responsibility and Communications
Long before my studies at the university, I started to feel that I should pursue something meaningful in life. The feeling might have been inside me for a very long time. When I think myself as a kid, I felt sadness when I saw people throwing rubbish to nature. Or when I saw a dead animal in the road shoulder, ran over by a car. I have always watched nature documentaries and wandered in forests with our family dog. Learned to respect nature, animals and people. To enjoy small things like a bee in the flower and not to think anything as granted.
In upper elementary school, I started watching documentaries about environmental and social matters too. I even wrote an essay in 9th grade about garbage from developed countries that is being sold and which negative externalities are outsourced to developing countries. Bad thing was that the essay didn’t hit the brief at all and I got a very bad grade. I just felt that these things should be heard of, at least by my teacher.
During the years, the feeling of a sincere will to do meaningful things and make a difference started to grow. That I should do something impactful as a person and aim high. To help to solve problems and be part of the solutions.
However, I never particularly know what I should go to study after high school in order to achieve these goals of mine. Eventually, I figured out that I should have a comprehensive education that gives many opportunities. The answer was to study economics. Moreover, I could not be happier with my choice.
In order to make a difference or solve problems you should always understand your problem and the determining mechanism. You might have heard a recommendation that all at the university should study at least some economics. Reasons are versatile: it is useful for your career, helps you to understand the world and so on. This recommendation also, and especially nowadays, applies to environmental studies too. Both economics and environmental knowledge can help to solve huge challenges such as climate change, social issues or any other global or local challenges. Not to mention, this knowledge are appreciated in, I would say, every firm and business nowadays.
Millennials, including me, want to pursue meaning and impact
One particular characteristic is common for millennials: they want to have a true meaning and impact of the work and that is what I have achieved while working in MuniFin. What can be cooler than to think that the company you work for enables welfare society by enabling building of schools, residential building, day care centers and many other investments that are needed on an individual but also on a societal level? In addition, MuniFin is a forerunner in environmentally and socially responsible investments in Finland.
The money is one of the ultimate answers in this modern world. And this is the reason I have started my career in the financial sector. The sector with the best possibilities to make change, impact and meaning.
Whatever you would like to achieve, just go for it! The position and the career I am now on would be possible if I would not chase my goals and dream even big and ambitiously. Not to mention, that it would be possible either if I were not brave enough to mix some peculiar courses such as economics and environmental studies together – and now I find it the best combo possible.
So, I would like to give three tips to all of you:
- Follow your dreams, aim high and keep your goal in mind in every situation. I absolutely know that it may be hard to keep in mind when you struggle with a course where you cannot find anything relevant for you or anything that is even from this world. Then just try to remember that every work – how useless or absurd it may feel like – helps you towards your long-term goal in school, work life and life overall.
- Find your market niche. Be brave and mix even weird courses and topics together but especially study those courses that you are interested. Eventually you may see that there exists a real demand in labour markets for a specialist just like you.
- Be brave and remember to be proud of yourself. Be proud of your achievements, small or big. Even when you make mistakes, learn from them, keep your head up high and always stay positive.
I sincerely wish you all the best with your studies, work life and life!