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Our Alumna Henna Paakinaho: I want to make professionals’ voice heard

Published on 24.10.2022
updated on 28.12.2023
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Nainen seisoo kattoterassilla ja taustalla näkyy Näsinneula
Tampere University of Applied Sciences’ Alumna of the Year Henna Paakinaho is an advocate of TAMK. Henna did not leave TAMK behind after her studies but has continued marketing the master’s degree, promoted sales expertise and participated in TAMK’s projects. She is described as a cheerful and positive person. She is also one of Tampere Alumni Ambassadors.

Nomination as the Alumna of the Year was a pleasant surprise for Henna.

“I was really surprised and excited about being chosen as TAMK’s alumna of the year. It also reveals how meaningful alumni’s active work is,” she tells.

She ended up in the sales and marketing field with an engineering background thanks to her work. Her work as a chief business officer in a small software company also drove Henna to study for a sales degree.

“Before coming to TAMK, I had completed an engineering degree in information technology at Karelia University of Applied Sciences. I worked as a chief business officer in a small software company. I worked a lot with marketing and sales but I did not have any related education. That is why I started to strengthen my competence and know-how in the field.”


Towards Tampere

The way to TAMK and Tampere was clear for Henna. The new Master’s Degree Programme in International Sales and Sales Management immediately felt as the right choice.

“I chose TAMK because there was no such education elsewhere. I have always found TAMK an interesting study place. Me and my husband chose to live in Tampere because the higher education possibilities are so good here.”

The studies at TAMK gave Henna new competence and strength.

“The best memory of my study time was our close community and our time together in rural tourism destinations where we shared information and supported each other. We learnt about modern sales and marketing from Finnish top-level company representatives.”

The education increased Henna’s self-confidence and gave her more courage to fulfil her potential.

“Most of all, the master’s degree gave me self-confidence. It gave me courage to make new career choices and strive for things I did not have courage to do before. I found a great network which helps and supports me when need be.”

It was however not easy to complete studies alongside full-time work.

“The most difficult thing was to combine the intensive studies with the everyday work. The studies called for being fully involved. It was quite strenuous alongside work.”


Dreams can come true

Henna is now in her dream work. She is in charge of Finnish recruitment marketing at Solita.

“The best thing is that I can help our specialists to bring out their ideas. I am inspired by building jobs, helping people to find suitable jobs and helping Solita to find the right employees for us.”

Even if three years have already passed since her studies, Henna has not forgotten what she learnt but uses it daily in her present-day work.

“I diversely use what I learnt at TAMK: I learnt a specific way of thinking and tackling matters during the master’s degree programme.”

Henna wants to advice future and present-day students:

“Pursue your dreams bravely even if they feel funny or difficult to reach. Do not pay too much attention to your study attainments. When you start building your career, think bravely what you want to become and what meaning you want to create through your work."


Text: Kukka-Maaria Korko

Photo: Saara Lehtonen