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Laurea alumna of the year Pauliina Törnqvist has embarked on an international career in gaming

Pauliina Törnqvist, who graduated as a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2015, has worked as a producer for numerous international game projects.

“Pursue your dreams” This statement accurately describes the career of Pauliina Törnqvist, who was named Laurea's Alumni of the Year for 2023. Pauliina, who now lives in the United States, graduated from Laurea in 2015. Right after graduating she got a job in Paris at the gaming company Ubisoft. Since then she has worked as a producer in several different gaming companies and many internationally well-known game productions, including Call of Duty.

At present Pauliina is a senior producer at Meta developing games that use Oculus virtual goggles. In addition to her work, she is also active in speaking and mentoring, with a focus on promoting equality and non-discrimination in the gaming industry.

Project-type studies teach problem-solving

Pauliina Törnqvist has played computer and video games since childhood, but the spark for a career in the gaming field did not emerge until she was a student at Laurea. Pauliina was an active participant in the activities of LaureaES, promoting student entrepreneurship, and she participated in activities including the Cambridge Venture Camp (CVC) entrepreneurial accelerator program.

- It was then that the idea arose that a real career in games could be possible. With a couple of friends, we set up our own gaming company. I practised producing games and got a traineeship at Rovio before our last year of study, Törnqvist says.

Törnqvist studied at the Laurea campus at Otaniemi, where business administration studies involved project work. Pauliina linked her final year's studies closely to the running of her own business. As a game producer the many skills and extensive knowledge that she acquired from her business administration studies on topics such as budgeting have proven very beneficial.

- In addition, I have recognised in my work how much I learned during my studies about problem-solving and creative thinking. This largely stems from a project-type manner of study where we had to solve real business challenges on a very tight schedule, she observes.

- It has had a great effect on how I work today.It also shows that this learning method works both in Finland and elsewhere.

Growing gaming sector offers many opportunities

Pauliina Törnqvist has worked nearly ten years in gaming studios both in Europe and North America, while observing the development of the gaming field in North America as well. Today the gaming sector is a massive global business – even bigger than cinema, television, and music combined.

Törnqvist expects growth in the gaming sector to continue, and that it will offer career opportunities to increasing numbers of people. She encourages students to recognise the opportunities offered by the gaming industry on a broader scale.

- The gaming industry constantly needs new people, and this certainly does not mean that you need to know how to write code. Games are part of the entertainment business, containing all possible operations from development and testing to marketing and the artistic side, she emphasises.

Each year the alumni of the year award is given to a Laurea graduate who has highlighted their training and background as Laurea students in a positive manner. As this year's winner, Pauliina Törnqvist wants to encourage today's students to boldly pursue their own dreams.

- If someone had said to me while I was studying that I would be working in Los Angeles, producing call of duty someday, I would have said “Yeah right, I bet, Paulina laughs.

- It is not a good idea to limit yourself with the nagging suspicion that you may not be up to it. It is absolutely worthwhile to pursue your own dreams in your career, because someone who has graduated from Laurea has every possibility to do so.