Hanna Yli-Yrjänäinen is VAMK’s alumnus of the year 2023

Hanna Yli-Yrjänäinen is VAMK’s alumnus of the year 2023

An alumni event was organised for the third time on October 25, 2023 at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. In this warm-hearted event, attendees enjoyed interesting speeches and had the opportunity to network with each other. The event culminated in the selection of VAMK’s Alumnus of the Year for 2023. Hanna Yli-Yrjänäinen was chosen as the Alumnus of the Year.

At Vaasa University of Applied Sciences’ annual alumni event at the Palosaari campus, Hanna Yli-Yrjänäinen was selected as the Alumnus of the Year 2023. Yli-Yrjänäinen completed both a Bachelor’s degree in International Business in 2009 and a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Competence in 2017 at VAMK. After earning her Master’s degree, Yli-Yrjänäinen started her own business and has built a successful interior design firm, Design by Hanna K, serving a range of clients from both large and small companies in Finland. By consistently listening to customer needs, Yli-Yrjänäinen has developed her services and successfully grown her business.

”Hanna is a great example of courage and how, through education and personal passion, one can build a career for themselves”, comments Kati Komulainen, Rector, CEO, VAMK.

“I am truly surprised because I had prepared to only give a speech on entrepreneurship today. But I am delighted by this recognition because VAMK has been with me for a long time, both through my studies and work,” rejoices Hanna Yli-Yrjänäinen about the acknowledgment she received.

Inspiring speeches and networking opportunities

In addition to honoring the Alumnus of the Year, at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences’ alumni event, we heard welcoming words from the rector and CEO, Kati Komulainen. The program also featured two interesting speeches. First, the 2021 alumnus, Lukumanu Iddrisu, spoke about the importance of personal branding. According to him, personal branding plays a significant role in job hunting as it helps distinguish an individual from others. “Authenticity is crucial in personal branding because it builds trust,” Iddrisu emphasises.

The second keynote speaker of the evening was the newly appointed Alumnus of the Year, Hanna Yli-Yrjänäinen, who inspired the audience to boldly pursue their dreams. Yli-Yrjänäinen doesn’t consider herself exceptionally courageous but has never left important matters undone, even when they were outside her comfort zone. In her speech, she encouraged others to step out of their comfort zones. “Trust in your own abilities and be authentic,” Yli-Yrjänäinen told the listeners.

At the end of the evening, participants had the opportunity to network with other alumni.

“These are great opportunities to meet other alumni and catch up. You can stay in touch on LinkedIn, of course, but face-to-face interaction is always more enjoyable,” says VAMK alumnus Joonas Kevari.

Regular communication is at the core of alumni activities

VAMK alumni include all individuals who have studied or worked at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences or its predecessor institutions. The alumni network enables regular contact with alumni and fosters connections among alumni. VAMK’s alumni activities are coordinated by a Career and Recruitment Specialist and a Talent Coach.

“We aim to provide our alumni with the opportunity to meet and network with other VAMK graduates. Our career services are available to our alumni for up to a year after graduation,” says Pia Kivelä, VAMK’s Career and Recruitment Specialist.