Priyanka Sebastian is determined to have an impact on society

“Everyone is put on the planet for a reason. Just living isn’t that reason. We all have to figure out our purpose,” says Priyanka Sebastian.

Sebastian is pursuing her purpose with a sharp focus. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Mumbai, India, she worked for five years in marketing and advertising. The work was hard and exhaustive and something that left her unfulfilled.

“In India, work takes precedence to personal life. I spent nights in my office, working on campaigns and launches. It was crazy. At 24 I felt burned out already, and so I took a break, doing volunteer work,” Sebastian says.

In the end, Sebastian left marketing. She wanted to get into a field where she could add value to her environment. She was also adamant to study overseas and get the “full international experience.” She chose Finland because the country is so well known for its technological advances and research, and its educational system. 

She decided to enroll in the International Business Management programme at the University of Oulu. The biggest differentiating thing for her? Sustainability.

“Every single thing in the programme focuses on sustainability. People are taking it so seriously, and it applies to my courses. We are living in a critical juncture of human existence, and sustainability is the future of all corporate structures and organizations. Consumerism is not going to stop, so we have to create a different kind of consumption pattern. In Oulu I can really feel the urgency people have for the climate crisis,” Sebastian says.

Another thing that Sebastian really appreciates in her studies is the focus on industry. As she puts it, theories are taught with practical applications. There are also several opportunities for internships for business school students, she says. She has also settled in to life in Oulu very well.

“Finns are very polite and helpful. They really go out of their way to help you. You ask for directions and they will walk you to where you need to get to. Who does that?” Sebastian laughs.

And as for the long term, Sebastian says she is determined to do things that have an impact on society.

“I understand business and I want to have an NGO of my own at some point. Or work for the UN. Work on social development, climate change movement, fight hunger. These are the things that satisfy me at the most basic level. That is my purpose,” Sebastian says.

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Last updated: 12.6.2020