”It all started with I need a Masters’ Degree asap to be able to teach”, says Anke Diana Baumann, having just this year finished her Master of Hospitality Management studies, ”but studying at Haaga-Helia endowed me with so much more than just a degree.”

After working in the field of aviation for 15 years, Anke Diana Baumann was already an expert in what she was doing. Then, her former Professor from IU (International University of Applied Sciences, Bad Honnef Germany) approached her asking if she could give lectures on Airport Ground Handling. It turned out that to be able to do that, she needed to legitimate her expertise in the form of a Master’s degree.

Anke Diana Baumann
Alumni Testimonials

- I love my work but I also enjoy teaching. Motivating people to do something that is new to them is fascinating, and that’s why I immediately told my Professor yes when he asked me, says Anke Diana.

Anke Diana was supposed to give the lectures at a university in south-eastern Poland and it was agreed that she could also accomplish the required studies there as well. However, that didn’t work out all that well.

- When you’re an adult and studying alongside work, it’s very different from what it’s like to study when you’re twenty and the studying is your work, basically, she points out.

- Flexibility, in terms of for example schedules and on-site studying, is required from the educational institution. And I certainly didn’t have the time nor energy to take up a new language, in this case Polish.

Disappointed, Anke Diana quit. Soon after, she was talking to a colleague about what had happened. “Have you ever considered Finland?”, the colleague asked.

Round two

Having travelled a lot outside her home country Germany all her life, Anke Diana was already familiar with Scandinavia. So she was curious and started searching the Internet for Finnish universities. She came across Haaga-Helia and found out that the deadline for Degree Programme in Aviation and Tourism Business -applications was only two weeks away. Anke Diana decided to give it a try, thinking “I’ve got nothing to lose, let’s see what happens.”

- What truly convinced me, though, was something my former Professor said when I happened to mention Haaga-Helia. He said all the exchange students from Haaga-Helia he had ever taught, were very smart, dedicated and independent, she explains.

Anke Diana’s application was accepted and she started studying at Haaga-Helia in 2017. This time, she was not disappointed. Vice versa.

- The people in my study group – an international bunch indeed – we were all likeminded in that we shared a passion and a knowhow for aviation, says Anke Diana. 

- The teachers were aware of this so in terms of studying we were given a lot of freedom and encouraged to work independently in whatever ways suited us the best. Yet, the teachers were there to help and support whenever needed, managing deadlines and so on. I appreciate this since I’m more of a thinker and a problem solver rather that an I’ll-do-whatever-I’m-told-to -type.

Anke Diana also brings out the advantages of feedback:

- What could be more beneficial? Every study project we did, they were all real cases from real customers, within and outside the aviation business. Even if my project was not chosen by the customer, I would still get feedback that I could rely on developing my ideas.

Skills and friends for life

Flexibility was also called for when Anke Diana’s graduation got delayed, first due to practicalities concerning the publication of her Master’s thesis. Then she got a promotion at work (AIRBUS), and was busy with new tasks dealing with aircraft related technical procurement focusing on sustainability.   

- I’m so grateful to my teachers for being patient and supportive all the way. Ironically, COVID 19 enabled me to eventually finish my thesis, she says.

Thesis aside, Anke Diana gives an impressive list of the benefits she has gained from studying at Haaga-Helia. 

- I have developed a more diplomatic way of working. I don’t go around saying it’s-this-way-because-it-just-is, there’s more substance to my work. And cultural sensitivity is definitely one thing, for example now that I’m working within AIRBUS ZEROe concept as a part of a truly international team. Plus now I can do teaching!

And of course there’s the people!

- Not only have I learnt of different cultures and perspectives, I’ve met wonderful people whom I have continued to be in contact with after leaving Haaga-Helia. I’ve made new friends for life, says Anke Diana.