Tapio Hautamäki’s speech on Teekkarielämää

Tapio Hautamäki

A speech held in the welcoming ceremony of new technology students 2th of August 2019.

It's a pleasure to meet you on behalf of the Aalto University Student Union, or AYY for short. Welcome as members of the Aalto community.

I'm now talking like one technology student to another, to explain what this community has given to me. I'll also be talking about what you all can get out of it.

My path in this community began pretty much the same way as yours did. During the first week of orientation, they poured a huge amount of information into my head about what this community could offer. The evenings were spent at various events and learning to know people. I remember how relieved I was at the end of the orientation week when I finally had a moment for myself. I spent the day getting things organised in my first home in the students' village, going through all the material I'd been given during the week.

The beginning is pretty similar for everyone, but after the first week everyone will find their own path. I'd decided to become involved in student organisations. I remember realising to my annoyance during my last year at upper secondary that the student association's board had been up to all sorts of fun stuff. I'd decided not to make the same mistake at university.

I spent the first autumn term mostly observing things. I wanted to know all about this community. I went to all kinds of events, learned about various volunteer groups, studied and talked to the senior students. When spring arrived, I started organising things myself. I remember that a friend of mine had started volunteering already in the previous autumn. I was annoyed that I didn’t realise I could already have applied to a board position. Fortunately the student union rode to the rescue by advertising about the annual party committee in February. And that's how it got started.

I've persuaded schools to the Tempaus2016 project that praised and developed the Finnish comprehensive school system. I've recruited volunteers for various jobs, and companies to become partners to the student union. I've led committees, boards and a team; I've been in a panel, delegation and steering group and worked as a cleaner, research assistant and data analyst. I've studied in Otaniemi and Singapore.

Through all these experiences, I've grown and learned a huge amount about myself. I've gained self-confidence and learned to be merciful to myself. I've developed as a performed, learner and co-worker. But the best thing in all of this have been the people I've met along the way. They've made me what I am today.

This has been my story, my description of the opportunities offered by this community I have taken. Nobody has time to do everything, there's no point in even trying. Head towards what genuinely interests you – whether it's a course in Mechatronics, a volunteer job, a start-up or a civic organisation. Especially now, as Aalto University and the Student Union are celebrating their 10th anniversary, there are plenty of opportunities.

There are no ready-made paths, only the ones you make for yourself.

Tapio Hautamäki

Chair of the Board

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