personal development
21 Nov 2023

EMBA fast track: insights from an alumnus

EMBA fast track: insights from an alumnus

Did you know that, depending on when you start your EMBA studies, you have the option to choose from three study tracks: 18, 24, or 30 months? The 18-month study track, also known as the 'fast track,' is perfect for those wanting to speed up their EMBA adventure. Meet Joonas Ketolainen, a 2023 graduate from the Hanken Executive MBA programme, who opted for the fast track. We had a chat with Joonas to unravel the insights gained during his journey and to grab his top tips for combining studies with the juggle of work and personal life.

What does opting for the EMBA fast track entail?

Choosing the fast track option in the Executive MBA programme means completing the course in a shorter duration, compared to the traditional EMBA timeline. This often involves condensed coursework, intensive study schedules, and accelerated learning methods. The aim is to provide professionals with the opportunity to earn their Executive MBA degree more quickly, all while upholding the programme's high standards of quality and rigour.

Connecting studies with personal and work-life

Embarking on the fast track of an Executive MBA is a big challenge, but our Hanken Executive MBA graduate, Joonas Ketolainen not only faced it head-on but excelled, earning the well-deserved honor of best in class. Alongside acing his coursework, Joonas figured out how to blend his studies with the demands of personal and work life. Here are Joonas' practical tips for finding the right balance:

  1. Handshake from home: Make sure communication, time management, and prioritization work well together.
  2. Stick to a study routine: Keep a consistent schedule as much as you can.
  3. Review and adjust: Flexibility is crucial; regularly check and adapt your schedule.
  4. Realistic time plan and goals: Set achievable milestones to stay on track.
  5. Talk to your employer: Be open about your study pace and workload. It's a two-way street — find solutions together.
  6. Manage your resources: Balance is key — do a little consistently, take breaks, and do things you enjoy more than studying.
  7. Set clear boundaries: Define separate areas for work, studies, and home life.
  8. Adaptability is key: As Mike Tyson said, "Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face." Be ready to adapt!

Lessons learned

Even with a toolkit full of practical tips and tricks, Joonas’ Executive MBA journey wasn't without some surprises. Here are Joonas’ main learnings from the programme:

  1. Focus on relevant study techniques: Tailor your study methods to what suits you best. Experiment with summarizing, rephrasing, recalling, note-taking, speed reading, repetition, and even video speed.
  2. Master referencing techniques early: At the start, invest time in mastering referencing techniques and establishing a consistent essay structure. This groundwork pays off significantly in time savings.
  3. Closely familiarize yourself with course goals: Understand the goals and deliverables of each course or module meticulously. Precision in your approach ensures you neither overwork nor underwork.
  4. Start early, finish fast: Procrastination has no place in the fast-paced world of an EMBA. Commence your tasks early and aim for swift completion.
  5. Leverage peer insights: When faced with a challenging topic, tap into the knowledge of your cohort peers or work colleagues. Broadening your perspective through collaboration can provide valuable insights.
  6. "Off the grid" learning: During module days, disconnect from distractions and avoid multitasking. This not only enhances your learning effectiveness but also fosters a conducive environment for group work sessions appreciated by your cohort colleagues.
  7. Early thesis planning: Decide on your thesis topic and execution strategy as early as possible. Engage discussions about the topic in your workplace to align it with your professional context.

Plan your timeline

Embarking on the journey of pursuing an Executive MBA requires careful planning to guide you through coursework, personal life, and professional commitments. Crafting a well-thought-out timeline is crucial for not just surviving, but thriving in this transformative experience. Take a look at what Joonas' timeline looked like during his EMBA studies:

Joonas' EMBA timeline

Remember, your EMBA experience is more than a series of courses; it's a strategic investment in your professional future. A well-planned timeline ensures you make the most of this transformative opportunity.


About Joonas

Joonas Ketolainen (BBA, EMBA), is an alumnus of the Hanken Executive MBA class of 2023. Over the past four years, Joonas has worked as an Operations Manager in the fintech and finance sector. His previous working experience includes roles in the VoD/streaming, telecom, and travel industries. Beyond his career, Joonas is happily married and a father of two. In his leisure time, he indulges in his love for music, guitars, vinyl records, ice hockey, various forms of exercise, and the pleasure of reading good books.

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Joonas Ketolainen
2023 graduate from the Hanken Executive MBA programme

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Henrich Nyman
Growth Area Director, Degree Programmes - Ph.D.
+358 40 352 1481 henrich.nyman(a)
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