Kristiina Stark: Business studies enabled a change of industry and a new job

Kristiina Stark is a recent alumni of Haaga-Helia, after graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in HR and Management (in Finnish 'HR ja Johtaminen') in the spring of 2023.

Kristiina Stark
Alumni Testimonials

How did you end up at Haaga-Helia?

Studying at Haaga-Helia was a really interesting time in my life. The Business Studies programme was challenging at first, but as it progressed it became very clear and goal-oriented. I started my studies on the open university of applied sciences side, where self-management skills were emphasised. 

Although I consider myself to be a self-directed person, it initially took time to grasp the bigger picture of my studies, for example in terms of course enrolments. After my first year at the Open University of Applied Sciences, I applied to become a graduate student with the credits I had already completed and an interview.

What were your studies like?

Studying in a multimodal implementation allows you to meet new people on every course, and it was interesting to hear about the different backgrounds of your fellow students. 

The courses involve a lot of group work, and in one course our group was made up entirely of adult students. In this group, everyone was really motivated, and we had a clear goal of getting an excellent grade for the work. The cooperation was seamless and the responsibilities were evenly distributed. Throughout the project, there was a sense of full commitment, but no one was overburdened during the project and the job was completed with a smile on their face.

How did your thesis go?

One significant experience I could mention was the thesis. I did my thesis in the form of a diary, which was different from my original plans, but happened because of a surprising job offer. I enjoyed the self-reflection, as well as developing the tools I used and needed in my work. I also learned a lot from literature, all of which helped me develop professionally. 

Although the combination of keeping a diary for eight weeks, working and spending time with family was exhausting at times, it felt great to finish the thesis. I was genuinely proud of myself. My hard work was rewarded, and I received the grade I was looking for and a scholarship.

What did your studies bring to your career?

I had already been working for several years before my studies, but my orientation studies still gave me a lot of in-depth knowledge about my chosen field and its different aspects. Today, I work for Lidl Finland as an HRD Senior Assistant.

How would you describe your job?

The organisational culture of a large international company is built one employee and one act at a time, based on the way the company operates. Meaningful work and genuinely caring about team members are important things to me at work. 

I genuinely want to be a part of improving employee well-being and helping to build a work environment, where everyone has a similar, equally rewarding and appreciative experience of the work they do, at different stages of their careers. Well-being at work and feelings of being valued are not unimportant, because we spend about a third of our lives at work!

At work, the challenges are occasionally piled up, but you can cope with each point in the year if you organise your own work and have the support of your team. Everyday encounters and sparring with colleagues teach you a lot. And there's a lot of laughter at Lidl.

Greetings to current or future students?

While it's important to put effort into your studies, it's also important not to stress too much. I recommend time management planning and marking all important returns and registration dates in you calendar. It's also important to remember to sleep and exercise as a counterbalance to all the sitting and studying. 

Studying gives you the confidence to develop all the skills you need for the world of work and teaches you to take responsibility for your own success. The studies enabled me to change my field and to get a permanent job in an interesting organisation.