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October 24, 2023



A Year Leading KY: The Unforgettable Journey

As October started, and the cold winds swept across Aalto University, just as the leaves were changing color. It is a time of new beginnings, but for me, it was also the realization that the final chapter of my journey at KY is coming to an end. The scent of the next year is in the air, and the anticipation of the new volunteers and KY Board fills my heart with excitement.

I vividly remember my first day in the KY office, a room buzzing with energy and ambition. The towering stacks of tasks to be done, the busy hum of students discussing plans, and the occasional laughter of my fellow KYSTO members created an atmosphere that was both overwhelming and exhilarating. It was in this room, amidst the clutter and camaraderie, that I embarked on a journey that would forever change my life.

Let’s take it back a bit. Before I became the Chairperson of KY, if you had told me that I'd be leading this historic organization, talking with students around Europe & CEOs from Finnish listed companies, and navigating the intricate world of university policies, I would have laughed it off. You see, I too once was just Mursu, trying to make sense of my academic journey and figure out my place in this university community.

The past year has included several interesting moments. I’ve experienced countless moments of success with my board. Banquets have become an everyday occasion and my network has grown to a huge amount of friends from all backgrounds. I had the honor of guiding KY through a challenging period, as government policies evolved and university funding grew scarcer. Discussions about language policies at Aalto University became an essential part of our agenda, and I even had the privilege of contributing to the legendary project of constructing the interdisciplinary student center in Otaniemi.

To simplify, my diverse job description can be divided into three parts. Firstly and most importantly, as the Chairperson of the Board I lead people in our community. Secondly, I lead various projects, some big, some small. Thirdly, I advocate on our members’ behalf at our University, on a national level, and even, on an international level.

But here's the real truth: I couldn't have done any of this alone. The most fundamental things I’ve learned during my time at KY isn't just about managing tasks; it's about mastering the art of soft skills and working with others. The privilege of leading KY has been an honor, not just because of the challenges and opportunities we faced, but because I've been surrounded by a group of smart, motivated, and fun individuals, some of whom have become my closest friends.

The best quote from a former chairperson that really makes sense now: "The year as the chairman of the board is an experience that I would never, ever, exchange for anything." This describes the year to the tee.  It has been a one-of-a-kind adventure, filled with surprising lessons, exhilarating challenges, and numerous opportunities to enjoy the community's victories while helping people in their own ways.

As we near the most exciting time in the student calendar, the yearly circus and a turning point in many lives, I can't help but think about all the students who will soon join our ranks. In December, we will welcome hundreds of new volunteers and a fresh KY board.

To all KY members, I issue a challenge: Dive in. Join a sub-committee, a subject club, an association, a committee, or even aspire to become the Chairperson of the Board. Regardless of what you do at KY, I promise you won't be disappointed. Instead, you'll grow, you'll learn, and you'll learn to enjoy every moment.

My time as the chairperson, and KY active, may be drawing to a close, but for you, it may just be the beginning.

Rasmus Räsänen

Chair of the KY Board

044 550 5696

TG @rasmusrasanen

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