Winners never quit, quitters never win

Person X: “Mikko, are you gonna apply for the KY Board next year?”

Me: “Nah, I’m not ready to sacrifice a whole year at this point for some silly KY stuff. I’ll consider applying when I am academically more mature.”

Person X: “Okay, but I have to warn you: it might be too late then… After a couple of years you might be dragged deeply to working life and your opportunity cost joining the KY Board might be too big. You will let the opportunity for the best year of your life go by”

Fortunately I took my changes in the late November in 2018 and after all applied to the board. One remarkable factor for applying was that I found a sector that I was truly interested in and felt that I could benefit of remarkably in my future endeavours.

My sectors

The aforementioned sector is “Voittis”-sector (Winning-sector) – more familiarly the Corporate Relations sector. It also includes the responsibility of work & career related manners at KY. In brief, working as the corporate relations chief at KY means active dialog with KY’s current corporate partners and potential new partners. The aim is to finance KY’s operations & to maximize our members’ employability. All this happens in intense cooperation with my brother in arms – the Sales Coordinator of KY (currently Mark MacMoffat) & of course my beloved Corporate Relations Committee, CORE of which’s chairman I also have worked as.

Alumni: Even though the alumni responsibility was supposed to be my “side-responsibility”, I took initiative and made it my other main-responsibility. Basically KY’s alumni affairs consists now of three parts: cooperation with Aalto BIZ, helping out subject clubs with their alumni affairs & developing KY’s own alumni organisation, KY Alumni (currently still called ‘Seniorikilta’).

Ownership steering: KY owns 25% of a recruitment company called aTalent. I have been the main link between KY and the company. This year I’ve had the privilege to be part of aTalent’s owners’ strategy update. The main topic planned has covered aTalent’s balance as a ideological holding and as a profitable & monetary value adding holding for the owners.
Only few people my age can reach around similar tables and conversations.

General board work: In addition to my specialization areas, I’ve participated in our board’s weekly meetings, repco meetings, workshops and many other important and not so important meetings. Sometimes these have been extremely boring and unnecessarily time consuming but luckily mostly also rewarding and things forward taking. I’m not much of a politician so I’m not so into talking nonsense or jargon (excluding sales situations).

“Representation”: This is the fun part but still surprisingly a quite tiresome part too. Putting your white tie and traveling around Finland & even around the Northern Europe crawes energy. Trust me, I know: this year I have visited almost a dozen different annual balls and sillises. Learning to know different stakeholders and see their vision in different areas has been both a good benchmark situation and intriguing to get to know people.

Damn, this became a long story. The most important part:

How did I lose?
Of course there’s an opportunity cost for everything: I could’ve worked in a job in which I would’ve earned (a lot) more money etc. or I could’ve studied and stayed in the same studying rhythm with my co-students and would (probably) be a bachelor of science next spring. But why rush when having such a unique opportunity in front of you?

How did I win?
Foremost I grew as a person faster than in any other time period in my life so far. I learned self-leadership in a whole new way: when normally being used to work with a clear rhythm of ~8 hours a day separated from my “normal” life, now everything got mixed and the strict working schedule disappeared. In a way this is an entrepreneurial way of living: having limitless amount of things to develop & you by yourself in charge of yourself. Additionally I have strengthened as a leader when chairing CORE and taking initiative in other stakeholder groups. Lifelong friendships, sales & negotiation skills and connections are the last but definitely not least main gains from my year. 


No regrets. Would recommend. Feel free to shoot me a message or call me. Peace.


Mikko Hiltunen