Eve Weckström started her master’s studies in Forest Sciences in 2022, specialising in Forest Bioeconomy Business and Policy. She is also studying chemical engineering and is hoping to put her interest in the environment, knowledge of bioeconomy and technical skills to use in the corporate sector.
Who is this master's programme for?
The Master’s Programme in Forest Sciences is for anyone interested in forestry and environmental questions. The programme has two study tracks, the Forest Bioeconomy Business and Policy, which was the one I chose, and the Forest Ecology and Management. You need to choose your study track when you apply as the courses on each track are quite different.
The programme I chose is for anyone interested in forest economics, and for those interested in addressing global challenges through innovations, methods and tools relevant to bioeconomy and business. Since the programme focuses on the economic aspects it is useful to have some previous background in economics as well as an interest in sustainability and global challenges to make the most of the programme.
NOTE: Forest Bioeconomy Business and Policy study track will be renamed as “Forest Economics, Business and Society” since autumn 2023.
Why did you end up studying in the programme, and does it have some special features that can’t be found elsewhere?
I did my bachelor’s degree in Forest Sciences at the University of Helsinki and enrolled to study in this master’s programme last year. I have always been interested in the environment, and forests in particular. I also knew that I wanted to work in the corporate sector in the future, which made this master’s programme track in Forest Bioeconomy a natural choice for me. What’s great about this programme is that it approaches global challenges from an economic perspective, but with an appreciation of the environment. The business cases studied in the programme are always explored with a focus on sustainability and responsibility. Given Finland’s expertise in forestry and forest economics, it’s an inspirational place to study in this kind of programme.
Another attractive feature is the international reach of the academic work: the research groups and projects associated with the programme are internationally recognised and there seems to be a lot of international collaboration.
There is also a lot of freedom: the programme allows students to explore different courses and topics that really interest them.
What is it like to study in this programme in practice?
In addition to weekly lectures, the studies are structured around case studies, group works and projects. Students have lots of opportunities to engage with professionals working in different sectors. My personal favourite courses so far relate to business strategy, sales management and business models, because they offer practical insights from the professional sectors which add to the more theoretical understanding we’ve gained in the programme.
What kind of career options do you have with this degree?
There are many options, depending on your own interests, the study track and the courses you wish to take. Many large forestry-related companies in Finland employ forest sciences graduates, and what’s particularly exciting is the increasing number of start-ups which can offer interesting opportunities for bioeconomy graduates.
There are also many opportunities to influence forestry-related policies in various public sector roles, or as advisors and consultants. Some careers extend beyond forestry, and students could also consider roles in the financial sector where a background in bioeconomy is valuable.
What do you want to do after you graduate?
As well as this master’s programme, I’m also studying chemical engineering as I’m keen to develop my understanding of bioeconomy as well as technical developments. I believe that the further I go with my studies, the better understanding I will have of the challenges I would like to address in the sector. My main aim for the moment is to gain as many different academic experiences as possible and meet interesting and inspiring students and professionals along the way.
How is your student life at Helsinki/Viikki Campus?
Students have lots of comfortable study spaces both in the Viikki Campus and in the City Centre Campus. Helsinki as a city is student-friendly and international, and there is always something culturally interesting going on. Student life within the University is active: there are many different associations and societies students can join and people are really friendly. If you keep an open mind and engage with opportunities and events on offer, you are sure to meet people who share your interests!