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Alumni Spotlight: Valtteri Virkkunen '13 and Lasse-Matthias Nyberg '12

Alumni Spotlight: Valtteri Virkkunen and Lasse-Mathias Nyberg

By Stephen "Reno" Reed  

Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with two students from Finland who studied here ten years ago. Valtteri Virkkunen and Lasse-Mathias Nyberg came to Northwood to play hockey and sharpen their English skills. Both became integral parts of their teams and the school community. The post-Northwood careers of these two testify to their sharp intellects and extraordinary drive. Lasse graduated with distinction from Aalto University with a degree in finance and from the University of Helsinki with a degree in law. After a few years with Boston Consulting Group, he is now an MBA candidate at Stanford. Valtteri has both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree (with distinction) from Aalto. He started his career at Greenhill & Co. in London and has recently moved back to work as a first-year analyst in Helsinki.  In my most recent FT chats with them, I asked if they would comment on the significance of their time at Northwood in relation to their career success. They obliged (by the way, I can’t imagine writing in any foreign language as well as these guys write in English, their second language). Their thoughts follow: 

The Northwood experience had a profound on me and my career.  It was one of the most transformative times of my life, and I cherish the memories I carry with me.  I vividly remember the Northwood people – both classmates and staff - and all the cultural and social nuances the Northwood community introduced me to. I came from a small Nordic country far away. It was eye-opening to realize that we share many common values across different cultures and that anyone with any background can strive for great things. I can also still feel the great passion and purpose the Northwood community lives by. Having gone through Northwood, I opted for an international, impact-driven career -- first in law and management consulting (e.g., at BCG) and now in pursuing my own entrepreneurial path. The Northwood experience gave me the courage, international experience, and strong drive that have been vital on this journey.  I wish all the best for current and future Huskies. Believe in yourselves and assume the best of others. Strive for positive impact. Lasse-Mathias Nyberg '13

My time at Northwood gave me tools that have been useful during my later studies and career. I learned about the importance of time management by handling the busy hockey schedule and demanding studies. After I hung up my skates, the time management skills have been crucial in balancing my university studies and banking internships simultaneously. The international exposure at Northwood also enhanced my language skills, which has been beneficial during my university studies (all coursework in finance at Aalto is in English) and made working in an international setting more natural to me.  The hockey experience at Northwood was amazing. Living with my teammates made the experience very different from playing junior hockey in Finland. Our team was a tight-knit group, and I was lucky to be part of it. Learning from the ups and downs that we went through as a team has been valuable during my career off the ice. I want to thank all my friends and faculty at Northwood for making my experience unforgettable. Special thanks go to Mr. Reed for all his help during and after my time at Northwood. Valtteri Virkkunen '12