Nicolas Luomi: International Business studies give you the skills for entrepreneurship

Nicolas Luomi, goalkeeper coach, says that Haaga-Helia's BBA studies support his ambitions outside of his student life, also in the field of entrepreneurship.

Nicolas Luomi
Student testimonial

Who are you?

I'm Nicolas Luomi, a 28-year-old International Business student. I started my studies in 2021 in the English-language International Business orientation as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). During my studies, I worked as a goalkeeper coach in junior hockey and also had the opportunity to work at camps in the summer in the same role. This work has brought me so much joy that life without it has become impossible. So I have wanted to combine the worlds of hockey and business and develop activities around them. I am the CEO and founder of MASK ON Goalies. 

Why did you decide to apply to Haaga-Helia's International Business programme?

Before my studies, I had already played 15 years of hockey as a goalkeeper, six years of which as a semi-professional and professional. When my playing career had come to an end, it was time to look for a new direction, so I applied for a job in sales. Sales was the perfect fit for me, as it is a competitive and profit-driven industry. At some point, I had a burning desire to go further in the industry, so I turned my attention to pursuing a degree.

I originally applied to Haaga-Helia to study International Business Administration, so that I could work in international markets in sales. I had clear goals of where I wanted to go after my studies. Haaga-Helia was the only place I applied to because it is the most prestigious university of applied sciences. I also knew that the school had good relations with employers, which could help me achieve my goals.

What is studying at Haaga-Helia like?

Studying at Haaga-Helia has been a great experience. I have learned a lot about the ins and outs of the business world. I have also enjoyed the study model, where we have had a lot of group work, for example. It has not only given me the experience of working in a team in the industry, but also increased my networking. I can't wait to meet my fellow students later in the working world, see what they have become and possibly work together in the future.

Was your study experience what you expected? What was the best part?

Studying here has been partly what I expected, but also so much more. I came to school with a clear plan, but somewhere along the way my world opened up and the idea of starting my own business in a completely different field started to take shape. Apart from the student exchange, the best thing has been getting to know great teachers who have been able to help me with things I never thought I would be able to do before I went to university, such as finance.

You are a young entrepreneur. Tell us about your business?

My business is in its early stages, but I'm working hard to get it off the ground. A lot of ideas have been generated and my ambitions are high. Finland has been the best producer of ice hockey goalkeepers in the world, but this is no longer the case. As a company, MASK ON Goalies is an idea that seeks to bring both developmental competition to the industry, but also to challenge and thus develop the hockey association's activities towards a better future. If we succeed in this, we believe we have a chance to be number one in the world again and at the same time bring Finnish expertise to the whole industry.

Were you able to combine your internship and thesis with your own goals?

I can do my internship with my company and my apprenticeship too! It is absolutely fantastic that I can study at Haaga-Helia in a way that supports my own goals outside of my studies! I believe that it serves not only my learning, but also my own motivation to work towards my education. 

When I get to work on my own goals, and the school recognises the work I've done for my company, I feel like I can do this. A big thank you to the school for that!

What is the best thing about your studies in terms of your career or entrepreneurship?  

The answer is simple. As I said before, I had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur. It was the lessons that opened up my understanding of the world of business, and new horizons that brought a wind in my sails. This is an opportunity I don't think I would have ever pursued if I hadn't started studying. It's easy to move from here to the world of work and start building my business into a success!

What are your dreams for the future?

Our goal for 2024–2025 is to have a fully operational coaching company in the metropolitan area. At this stage, we are building the foundations to be ready for all possible challenges. In the next few years, we hope to expand our operations across Finland and subsequently build bridges to the DACH region, where there are growing hockey countries. We don't want to limit our offer to Finland, even though the focus is here. The wider we can spread our activities, the better we can develop goalies and the whole sport for the better!

Photo: Goalkeeper Okko Ruotsalainen and Nicolas Luomi (right) on ice. Photographer: Eetu Lehtinen.