Lasse Palomaki ’16 calls himself a collector of quotations.

Whenever he finds a quote that resonates with him, he instantly writes it down. Most recently, he’s been guided by author Will Durant, who famously summarized the words of Aristotle in this way: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

“Every day starts from zero, and every single day provides opportunities for development,” he said. “Being successful is a habit, not just one single act.”

For Palomaki, practicing excellence means returning to UNCG as an MBA candidate to continue to learn business theory, apply his knowledge practically and grow his professional network.

A native of Finland, Palomaki moved to North Carolina as a high school student to study and play soccer. After graduating from high school in nearby High Point, Palomaki enrolled at UNCG as a student athlete.

“I heard UNCG had a very diverse student body, which was important to me as an international student,” Palomaki said. “The business school had – and continues to have – a great reputation. It was the right fit for me.”

After graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in international business and business administration with a concentration in human resources management, Palomaki decided to return to his alma mater. The Bryan School of Business and Economics’ mission statement, which focuses on developing problem solvers and global leaders, was a big factor in Palomaki’s decision.

Additionally, he was attracted to the way the program could be tailored based on his professional interests. Palomaki, who wrote his undergraduate honors thesis on foreign direct investment, is very interested in international business and organizational development.

“I love the fact that we can work across the world and it’s so easy to keep in touch,” he said. “I’m very interested in multinational companies, especially the collaboration techniques that teams within those companies practice.”

He’s also looking forward to continuing the close relationships he has built with Bryan School faculty.

“The professors have been absolutely wonderful. I didn’t expect to make connections like that,” he said. “In Finland, students typically don’t have the opportunity to get to know their professors on this level. At UNCG, I had relationships with nearly all of my professors as an undergraduate.”

Outside of the classroom, Palomaki will serve as student president of UNCG’s chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honor society that encourages and honors academic achievement in business. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student can receive.

His long-term goal? A career in organizational development consulting and, later, a doctoral degree.

“Organizational development is an opportunity to do what I really enjoy – help others learn and develop themselves – while working in the business world,” he said. “It’s the ‘golden path’ for me.”

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications