Meet Y-kampus: Maria Ruokonen

It's time for us to introduce you to another team member! Maria is our coordinator at Y-kampus city center and we think she's rad. Here, she tells us more about herself:

It’s time for us to introduce you to another team member! Maria is our coordinator at Y-kampus city center and we think she’s rad. Here, she tells us more about herself:

What do you want us to know about you?

I’m a team learning and team entrepreneurship enthusiast graduated from Proakatemia, the school of entrepreneurship and team leadership at TAMK. Before Proakatemia I worked almost 10 years in clothing and interior decorating business. Besides my work, I’m just finishing my Master’s Degree in the University of Vaasa. In my thesis I studied psychological safety in teams. I’m also a flamenco aficionado. I’ve been practicing flamenco for almost 20 years and for several years I co-organized Tampere Flamenco Festival.

What do you love the most about Y-kampus?

I love our fearless and caring team and the feeling when our students and alumni are doing great stuff and exceeding themselves.

What do you do at Y-kampus?

I coordinate Y-kampus activities at Y-kampus City Centre at Tampere University city centre campus. In addition, I coach our brand new C-LAB programme and spar people and teams in business developing and entrepreneurship.

Why did you choose to work in entrepreneurship?

I’ve been interested in entrepreneurship since a teenager because of the freedom and the chance to make an impact. After graduating form Proakatemia, I continued as an entrepreneur coaching the skills of team learning and entrepreneurship in different organisations. Now for the last two years, I’m lucky to work at Y-kampus to empower students in making and impact.

What are your superpowers?

I would say listening, patience and considerateness.

If you could work with any company in the world, where would you work and what would you want to learn from that experience?

Probably in Patagonia. I would want to learn how they actually “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, [and] use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” (quotation from their mission). As an employee, I would also like to experience their “work as play” culture.

If you had unlimited funding and could start any business, organization or movement, what would it be and why?

I know it’s a cliché and blurry, but it would be something related to making an positive impact in our planet. If I knew that exactly, I would have started that already! 😉

What entrepreneurs and leaders do you look up to?

Sulapac and its founders Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen. Sulapac is a sustainable and fully biodegradable alternative to plastic that’s on a mission to save the world from plastic waste. Also the climate activist Greta Thunberg.

What 3 books do you recommend for future entrepreneurs and leaders? Any podcasts or YouTube channels?

  • A classic: Peter Senge: The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
  • A new one: Alf Rehn: Innovation for the Fatigued: How to Build a Culture of Deep Creativity
  • About learning and potential: Carol S. Dweck: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  • A podcast: Talk about talk with Kai Alhanen + several other tracks about dialogue and other skills in Finnish made by our university community’s students!
  • A YouTube channel: TED Talks

What is your dream for the students who come to Y-kampus?

That in Y-kampus, they can find their fullest potential and do something they have dreamed of or even didn’t know they were capable of doing.

Want to connect with Maria?

Connect with Maria on LinkedIn: