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1993 alumni to our 2020 graduates: Be open and positive and give forward

We interviewed Anders Stenbäck about his bumpy, but exciting ride from graduating from CIS to being a director for digital services at a large corporation in Finland.

What did you want to be when you graduated from High School?
"I loved tinkering with electronics, computers and lab equipment and always wanted to be an engineer of some sort. I initially wanted to study Electrical Engineering in Cambridge or Oxford, but ended up doing my mandatory military service in Finland and then studying telecommunications engineering at the Technical University of Helsinki [today Aalto University]. I didn’t speak very much Finnish when I moved back to Finland, but that didn’t turn out to be a big problem after all. I quickly engaged myself with the student union at the University and found a lot of new friends that way, which then got me my first job at a newspaper, where I set up first the Wireless Application Protocol pages, then an online site and then a digital subscription service. After 10 years trying everything from sales to marketing to IT and startup partnership management, I was asked to join the largest insurance company in the Nordics. I knew nothing about insurance, but in the end, it wasn’t that different selling news online to selling insurances online. From there I moved on to the biggest bank in Finland developing new car-sharing and financial services, and since September 2019 I’m Digital Services Development Director at a large Finnish construction company. Again, I knew nothing about the construction industry when I started, so I learn new things every day at work and that’s very exciting and motivating."

What is the most exciting part of your job?
"In addition to learning new things every day it’s seeing my work concretely standing there as a new office or apartment building now being constructed increasingly from wood elements, using
geothermal heating, solar panels and energy recuperation solutions with carbon neutral or even carbon positive footprints. These buildings will be there 50, maybe even 100 years from now and I’ve been able to make the world a little bit more sustainable."

Any words of wisdom for our students graduating today?
"In the words of Forrest Gump 'Life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re going to get'. Don’t worry too much about what life will bring and what choices you need to make - there is always a new exciting opportunity behind the next corner. Be open and positive and give forward. If you’re kind and help others, you will be rewarded in the long term. Enjoy the ride!"