Warning: LONG application coming up
My name is Apollo Ailus, and I’m a second-year Digital Systems & Design (DSD) student. In the year and two months I’ve been studying here, I’ve taken the initiative to throw myself at just about every opportunity I’ve been given to immerse myself in Otaniemi’s vibrant student culture, and I’m extremely willing and eager to highlight the glorious opportunities that new and old DSD students – and students in other English-language Bachelor programs, for that matter – have at their fingertips. Through being our guild’s first English-only songleader to my knowledge, to taking up an ISO position in my fuksi year, to joining Teknologföreningen without speaking a lick of Swedish, to being the first ever AS student to do programming homework during a sitsit, I’ve definitely set a lot of precedents, and I think any of our lovely DSD fuksis can take things into their own hands and set their own precedents with the guidance and advice of someone who’s done it all before. Thus, I’m applying for the brand-spanking-new position of DSDeputy, and I’m ready to do everything I need to do to put our university’s wonderful English Bachelor students on the map. I’ve been in my bag this past year, and with me as DSDeputy, every DSD Fuksi will be in their bag too.
How things currently stand:
I think DSD is in a pretty good position at the moment, and I’ve gotten to see several of my amazing fellow 2021 DSD Fuksis get involved in our guild and the greater student life of Aalto, all of whom I’m very proud of. Still, I think there’s a lot of work to be done – not just within our guild and amongst ourselves, but especially with regards to other English BSc programs.
One area that I think we can all agree needs to be improved is our interaction with these other programs; last school year, we had a whopping one event with the other English BSc programs, that being the English Bachelor Fuksi Sitsit in March. Other than that, we’ve had very few opportunities to meet and make friends and lasting connections with these other students, all of whom are in a very similar situation as we are. Thankfully, we’ve hit the ground running with this year’s English Bachelor Fuksi Sitsit having been held in October, but things absolutely shouldn’t end there, and I’ll touch on what I think we need to do to bring all these programs together shortly.
Similarly, I think we as DSD students still feel somewhat blocked off from the rest of the guild – not because of anything the guild is doing, and I actually think the board has done just about everything they can thus far to make things work for us, but I’ve seen numerous students in both my fuksi year and the current fuksi year essentially section themselves off into small groups or stand away from greater guild events and other big events outside of just our guild. I actually haven’t seen some of my classmates since my fuksi orientation week. I’m obviously not trying to put any of these guys on blast, but what I’m trying to say is that I think a lot of DSD students don’t keep many of these valuable student life opportunities in mind, or they simply feel intimidated by the prospect of entering a big event full of people whose native language you don’t speak. Even a number of the Finnish students in DSD aren’t getting very immersed in our guild or student culture, simply by not showing up much when given the chance to do so. I can’t exactly put my finger on why this is in a few lines of text, but regardless, I want to take up the position of DSDeputy to slowly but surely break down any and every boundary that stands in the way of our highly promising DSD students and everything they can get out of student life here at Aalto.
As someone who did truly try to immerse himself in the massive and multifaceted student culture of Aalto, as someone who did try to throw himself at event after event, opportunity after opportunity, and always felt determined to make the most of any situation no matter the language surrounding him, I thoroughly know the fears and challenges that can easily stop a non-Finnish-speaking student from giving student life a chance. I’ve faced those fears and hesitations myself and tackled them head-on, and I want to use my experiences and accounts to encourage DSD fuksis to at least consider giving these student culture opportunities a try. As an active guild member, I’ve used my various committee memberships and frequent participation in events to bring additional attention, recognition, and respect to DSD and its students, and I’ve served as a frequent source of information and encouragement for exchange, DSD, and Master’s students courtesy of my knowledge of how things truly work around here. As shown through being a Hyperfuksi for 2021, I tried my damndest to get as much mileage out of my fuksi year as I possibly could, and I’m ready to keep fuksis posted on more niche and less-clearly-announced events, often outside of our guild, through frequent announcements and discussion. Additionally, I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to organize and run events, as well as manage budgeting for events, through serving as the Vice Chair of Aalto A!dventures for the year 2022; I’ve played a big part in keeping our events in line and supplying information to new and old participants, and it’s gotten me in touch with a huge number of international students as well, who make up a large number of our participants.
Furthermore, communication is key for this position, and my ability to serve as a down-to-earth communicator and legitimate friend to our DSD Fuksis will be tremendously beneficial for taking up this job. I simply love getting to discuss new opportunities and solutions to problems with others (you can probably tell considering how long this application is :D), and I’ll bring that love for communication to every meeting and interaction I’m bound to have with other guilds’ English Bachelor representatives and Fuksi Captains. I’ve already been able to serve as a role model for the new DSD fuksis through hosting checkpoints during orientation week and at the overall adventure, volunteering at our guild’s Fuksisitsit, and especially through being a songleader at the English Bachelor Fuksi Sitsit, where I got demonstrate the joy that being involved in our guild and in our student culture can bring to both yourself and everyone else around you. Simply put, every aspect of my decision to run for DSDeputy comes from a place of love. Whether it be a love for communication, for enhancing the experiences of fuksis, for serving as a role model to promising new students, or for continuing to serve and work for the guild that made me, I’m ready to take on every task I need to with passion, and I hope that passion can trickle down to everybody I’m working for.
What do I plan on doing?
I’ll keep this section relatively brief (by my standards, at least ), but I think we should treat our new coalition/committee with other English Bachelor representatives almost like how we treat our own guild. Us representatives essentially act as the coalition’s board, and we organize a lot of the same types of events we usually host within our guild; this includes typical events like sitsits and sauna evenings, as well as more niche events like English-language business excursions, outdoor sporting events like paintball, kayaking, or football (soccer ) similar to our R-AK-AS event with AK. Plus, if we can fit it into our time and budget, it might not be a bad idea to host something similar to an annual ball for our English-language community, potentially with exchange and Master’s students as well. I also don’t think it would be a bad idea to organize some events and activities with the non-BSc English bachelor students as well, such as the English-language Economics students, and build as big and bright of a network as possible amongst our English bachelor students.
Within our guild, most of what I plan on doing is communication- and advocacy-based. I’m here to put DSD on the map, plain and simple. I think I’ve done a lot to bring additional recognition to DSD in my fuksi year, and I’ll continue to do that both on my own and by getting DSD fuksis excited and active within our guild. I’ll also continue to direct them towards events with exchange and Master’s students through frequent and active communication and collaboration with our Master’s and International Student Captain, whose events I can hopefully take part in organizing as well. Not to mention, I’ll keep them posted on Finnish-language events, both in and outside of AS, and use my accounts as a non-Finnish-speaker at these same events to give them all the encouragement and genuine excitement they need to take part in them and immerse themselves in Teekkari culture the same way I had the pleasure of doing.
My sincerest apologies for the crushing length of this application, I really like writing But I’m proud of how far we’ve come as a major and as a body of guild members and Teekkaris, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to bring us further and further in the landscapes of AS and Otaniemi as a whole. I’ve written this much already, but there’s still more that I want to say and do if I get the chance to. Even if I don’t get this position, I’m still eager to give plenty of suggestions to whoever gets the position and do as much as I can to further the experiences of DSD students and English Bachelor students across the board with whatever position or influence I may have.
Feel free to message me on Telegram (my @ is below) for any questions, comments, or concerns; I’m really looking forward to plenty of fruitful discussion and work being done this coming year!
Who? Apollo Ailus, @realapolloailus on TG
What? Running for DSDeputy/DSDaddy/DSD Captain
Why? To put English Bachelor students on the map!
Where? Aalto-yliopisto, Otaniemi, 02150 Espoo, Uusimaa, Finland
Which? The only Apollo you know
Whose? Ours, the best guild in the history of the world.
How? With a little TLC
Guild/Otaniemi CV: Hyperfuksi ‘21, DSDent, Songleader, MinIEn, Trip-prentice, Exchange ISO (2nd semester of Fuksi year), Vice Chair of Aalto A!dventures