Successful Alumni Stories: Milka Holmberg

By: Nhi Nguyen, IBL 18

Who you are and about your history in Metropolia Business School?

My name is Milka, I’m 27-year old Finn-Swede coming from a small town in South-West Finland. I’ve always had a passion to see the world and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to study in MBS despite other educational offers. I started as Katja and Sachin in the last European Management class 2014. Nowadays EM is incorporated in the EBA track and does not exist as it did then. My exchange was in ESC Sup de Co La Rochelle. The school succeeded in delivering according to my expectations within the HR track. General courses left cold as I was already looking for a specialization in the 3rd year. My internship was in the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the UN Representation in Geneva. My daily work included supporting Finnish diplomats mostly towards Human Rights related tasks. It was one of personally most exciting times in my life: I experienced daily the core of world politics. I graduated (in time) in 2018 and finalized my thesis for the “Perille asti” project in cooperation with Metropolia.

Guest Speaker at Metropolia Business School

What you have done after graduation, how have you ended up to where you are now and what kind of role MBS did or did not have in it? Have you always had a clear image of your future and how studies in MBS supported it? How life has turned out overall. 

My goals after studies were not clear at all. Who knows how life will turn out before you experience it? I don’t wish to plan too much and thus set limitations to my future. I kept a quiet summer after graduation to just pause and think. When I was ready for the next step I decided to join an AI startup in Stavanger, Norway. It’s been very rewarding and hectic to work for a company with a goal to become Norway’s 1st tech unicorn. I work as an AI Supervisor today and oversee AI projects in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Before covid19 my work included monthly travels to kick off projects. I enjoyed that time period fully. Now when covid19 came, I have more time to do work tasks due to not needing to sit on an airplane as much. Life has overall turned out to be great. To start working in a startup means that you get to see your work’s impact very quickly. It also gives a life lesson on boundaries; how much you have capacity to give energy. The reward is high and that’s why you may, at times, give more energy out than what you have time to gather. Does that make any sense?

Nordic Women in Tech Finalist 2020

Any tips and tricks to current students, what to take out from this experience. Greetings you would like to send.

I have three tips:
1. Be interested and kind to all of your fellow students who may be different to you. Being able to work with diversified people and learning to see their strength will impact both your personal and professional life. The success outside school goes beyond grades — much of it is based on your capabilities to get other people work with you, for you. 
2. Invest in finding a kick ass internship. Your internship is the door opener to your next career step either in the same organization or another one. There are plenty of organizations out there who are just looking for cheap or free labor. Don’t aim for those, aim higher!
3. Think already now how academic theory can provide aid in practical life (in startups you tend to focus on more practical problems rather than take the “google earth” perspective. It’s always important however to ask yourself (or others) for the most basic questions when you face a challenge: why are we doing this and what impact it may have? Those questions can from time to time require a look at existing studies to provide a macro view.  

Further information:

Find out more about Milka’s career path in LinkedIn!