Haaga-Helia's Alumni of the Year


The Haaga-Helia Alum of the Year Award is given annually to distinguished alumni. The Alum of the Year has been selected since 2012.

The award is given to a graduate of Haaga-Helia who has succeeded in professional life, contributed to society, positively promoted Haagahelian identity, participated in our activities and/or demonstrated an interest in lifelong learning.


Alum of the Year 2023: Bambi Dang

A total of 238 members of the Haaga-Helia community voted Bambi Dang, double alumna, as the Alum of the Year 2023. Dang is the CEO and co-founder of Finest Future, an education company. Said about her: "Bambi is a true role model for all Haagahelians. She has the ambition to be a strong leader. She wants to make a difference in this world and promote equality."

Kulttuuritoimittaja Pauliina Grym on Haaga-Helian vuoden alumni 2022

Alum of the Year 2022: Pauliina Grym

Journalist and media professional Pauliina Grym, who is a double alumni of Haaga-Helia (Bachelor of Culture and Arts and Master of Culture and Arts) was chosen as the Alumni of the Year 2022. The criteria included Grym's alumni cooperation with Haaga-Helia and her continuous self-development during and after her studies.

Iida Ritokoski
Jyrki Paajanen

Alum of the Year 2021: Iida Ritokoski

Iida Ritokoski, a multi-talented rhythmic gymnastics coach who has also served as an Olympic youth coach, was chosen as the 2021 Alum of the Year. She graduated from Haaga-Helia with Bachelor of Sports Studies and later studied for a Master's degree in Sports Management and Coaching. The nomination for Alum of the Year was based on her energy, broad expertise and inspiring innovative thinking.


Alum of the Year 2020: Marko Väyrynen

Väyrynen graduated from Haaga-Helia with a Master of Business Administration in 2012. In the selection of the Alum of the Year, Väyrynen was praised for his good cooperation with Haaga-Helia and for being an inspiring lecturer.

Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson

Alum of the Year 2019: Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson

Alexandra has a Master degree in Communication Management. Since graduating, Alexandra has continued to work closely with Haaga-Helia. Among other things, she has been active in speaking to students in various courses. She has also recruited Haaga-Helia students as interns at Amcham, where she works as the CEO.

Eucalptus Ncube

Alum of the Year 2018: Eucalptus Ncube

Eucalptus graduated in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management in 2006 and completed his Master's degree in Tourism in 2013. He has been actively involved in Haaga-Helia's alumni activities, and a familiar guest at lectures and panels.


Ten alumni of the anniversary year 2017

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Haaga-Helia selected ten Alumni of the Year in 2017:

  • Master of Hospitality Management, palveluliiketoiminnan koulutusohjelma, Satu Orismaa 
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, liiketalouden koulutusohjelma, Miia Toivola
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, liiketalouden koulutusohjelma, Sebastian Lindberg
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, johdon assistentti ja kielten koulutusohjelma, Maarit Rapp
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, Jaakko Eskola
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management, matkailun liikkeenjohdon koulutusohjelma, Anna-Maria Mettin
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, myynnin koulutusohjelma, Mikko Junkkari
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, liiketalouden koulutusohjelma, Lasse Kylmäkorpi
  • eMBA, Jukka Jalo
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business, Tuomas Nirvi

Alum of the Year 2016: Elena Van Leemput

Elena Van Leemput is a multi-tasker who has successfully managed to combine studies, work and family life in her everyday life. Van Leemput, who works in the ICT sector, graduated from Haaga-Helia's International Business Management Master's programme in 2014 with excellent grades.


Alum of the Year 2015: Ville Vihola

Ville Vihola has graduated from Haaga-Helia as Bachelor of Sports Studies.


Alum of the Year 2014: Suvi Mannonen

Suvi graduated from the Tourism degree programme in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. She was chosen as the Alum of the Year for her active cooperation with the Porvoo Campus. Since graduating, she has been working in various commissioned student projects, as well as lecturing and sharing her expertise with current students.


Alum of the Year 2013: Juho Salminen

Juho graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Culture and Arts from the Communication, now Journalism, degree programme. The award was based on Juho's very active role in cooperation with the Journalism degree programme.


Alum of the Year 2012: Katja Kanerva

Katja Kanerva graduated from the Hospitality Management programme with a Bachelor's in Hospitality Management and was awarded the first ever Haaga-Helia Alum of the Year award.