Meet our Alumna! “I know that any task, any assignment or presentation is possible to do brilliantly – you just need to do your best.”

Anna Yukhtenko
Anna Yukhtenko
Study field:
City Center Campus
Employer and position:
Danone Finland, Category and Field analyst trainee at Danone

Hi Anna! How are you?

Hi! Fine, thanks. Going back home from the gym 🙂

How did you end up in Finland and studying in the programme?

After finishing the Bachelor’s degree, I figured I wanted to study abroad. I have been to Finland many times before, and really liked the country. Knew my way around Helsinki etc. One of my Finnish friends at the time was actually studying and the UH. Then I checked the webpage of the University, found the programme that I liked and applied for it!:) I was studying in the best University in Moscow, and when it was time to choose the place to continue studies, I would settle for no less than the best University in Finland.

You have studied economics here at the University of Helsinki. What motivated you to apply to that programme and how would you describe your studies?

I guess the motivation for applying for exactly this programme was the fact that is was pure economics (not narrow, because I personally value professionals that can do many things) and the fact that it was in English. I did not speak Finnish at the time. It was also for 2 years, which I thought was a reasonable time.

What is your profession at the moment and have you worked somewhere else before that?

Now I am a Category and Field analyst trainee at Danone. Yep, I very much did 🙂 my first real job in Finland (not counting dish washing one summer) was at the Bank of Finland. Then I moved to Analyse 2, assortment planning company, to work as a product category analyst. After working there for a year, I switched to Danone. And here I am!

How did the studies support your employability aspect?

Actually the first push came from the University. My scientific supervisor asked me if I would be interested in applying for a position of a research assistant at the Bank of Finland. I went to the interview and got the job! Can you imagine my excitement? I was working and studying at the same time that year. It was my first real job in Finland, and I learnt a lot there.

When looking back, how did the University of Helsinki provide you with support, advice and guidance?

I guess the University, apart from giving me super high-class education, also taught me not to fear anything and be persistent. I knew that any task, any assignment or presentation are possible to be done brilliantly, you just need to do your best. In addition, the Uni taught me not to feel ashamed of asking for help. And, as I said before, it did develop my brain pretty nicely 🙂 I think what was wonderful as well is that always always always on every subject the professors were helping us to answer the question “why?”: Why is this model behaving this way? Why is this exact monetary policy result in this outcome? Why do these variables correlate? I think it teaches a student to look deeper and think harder.

What kind of plans do you have for the future in Finland?

As for future – for now it is my family and work, hobbies and just enjoying the Finnish honesty and pureness and in every aspect of life 🙂 also i am planning to take part in the Tough Viking competition next year. Let us see how it goes!

Any good advice for the readers?

As for advice….If you want to make it at the Uni, work hard and discipline yourself. Enjoy the student life, you will have time for it, the program is very optimal 🙂
And if you want to make it in Finland after the University, I have one important thing i have to say. Learn the language. Do it. Yes, difficult, not like anything else, bla bla bla. Yes you can, yes you will – there are wonderful courses at the University, btw 🙂 Believe me, you do not need to speak it perfectly. Fear not, Finnish people give a lot of respect to anyone who even tries to talk. But I cannot describe the feeling of how great it feels to have your first conversation in this beautiful language and be understood. Good luck!