Valtteri Markula studies midwifery in Metropolia, and he currently represents students in Metropolia Board of Directors. There is only one student in this demanding, yet rewarding position. What has Valtteri learned during the year? Application period for student representative in Metropolia Board of Directors is now open.

I have been a student representative in the Metropolia Board of Directors since May 2019. The representative is chosen by METKA Student Parliament for one-year term, and the decision is finalized in the Metropolias Annual General Meeting.

The term lasts one year, starting from a Annual General Meeting and ending to the next one. The student representative is member, with a voting right. Other members of board represent the cities that own Metropolia (Helsinki, Vantaa and Espoo), completed with Metropolia staff representative.

Before this, I was a member in METKA Board for two terms. After my time there came to an end, I felt I still had something to give for student advocacy. That is why I decided to apply to this position and got selected.

The year in Metropolia Board of Directors has been both a positive and important learning experience for me.

Finances, strategy and campuses

The Metropolia Board of Directors has a meeting about once a month, which takes a few hours at a time. However, most of the work is done before the meetings: there is usually a lot of material to go through. In the meetings, important and complicated matters are sometimes decided in a quick pace. For me, getting a full understanding of financial documents and making conclusions based on them was at first quite time-consuming.

Metropolia is a LTD company. The board makes decisions on strategy, the number of study positions and budget. In addition, the board makes final decisions concerning for example campus moves. The board takes care of the administration overall and that accounting and finances are properly executed.

Financial matters are heavily emphasized in the board. Other matters are usually prepared so thoroughly that there is not much to do at the time they come for the board. For me, despite the financial matters I recall most vividly the discussions about the new Metropolia strategy and changes in Metropolia staff collective labor agreement and bonuses.

What do you have to know to be a student representative?

Naturally, there are not many board professionals among students. That does not matter, and I do not count myself being one either. Skills that helped me early on in this position were knowing the meeting practices, how Metropolia functions as a company in general and networks with students and the student union METKA. Being interested in educational policies helped also a lot as the conversations in the board were usually around current political matters and how they affect Metropolia.

I think one of the most important things for the student representative is to be interested in all study programs in Metropolia, not just one’s own. In addition, they need to be willing to work with the student union and be able to fit the meetings in office hours to their schedule. Moreover, they need to definitely be ready to be vocal and have good argumentation skills in order to bring up students’ voice in the board.

Application period is now open

The student representative in Metropolia Board of Directors for next year is chosen again this spring. I will not apply again, which means that you could be the next one in line, keeping students’ voice heard also in the future.

When applying, it is good to know for what one can actually have an input in the board. The board does not decide on courses or contents, issues with teachers or finances of particular study programs.

Valtteri Markula

Student, midwifery

Student representative, Metropolia Board of Directors 5/2019-5/2020

The application is open to all Metropolia degree students from 10 March to 31 March 2020. The application form is open on the METKA website at METKA wishes for applications from a wide range of different degrees and annual courses. Apply now!

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