It’s a windy yet sunny evening of April 21st. I arrive at Swissotel, located in downtown Tallinn. The signs lead me to the 6th floor.
Stepping out of the elevator, I can hear buzzing, laughing and clinking of the classes. I’m welcomed by two cheerful girls who wish me a magical evening.
Turquoise, electric red, patterned black, sparkly fuchsia – all of these tones decorate the bright-eyed ladies. Shiny shoes, fancy suits, snow-white blouses and, of course, the guys weren’t missing their chick bowties.
Obviously, everyone was dressed up for the event of the year – EBS Golden Haba Gala 2018. This year’s event was especially fancy since EBS turns 30 and our dear Estonia celebrates its 100th anniversary. That’s why the atmosphere was full of Estonian vibes, music, theme and cuisine.
Guests were offered sparkling wine while the popular songs by Estonian musicians were playing in the background. After the first greetings, the hosts Maksim Baitsov and Jürgen Jürgenson invited everyone to the main event hall – Golden Haba Gala 2018 was about to begin. The time had come to acknowledge our outstanding ebsters with Haba trophies.
The EBS pop choir along with Anett Kulbin gave a warm musical welcome and the rector’s speech was given by Sirli Kalep. Then it was time to introduce the categories and nominations.
The first Haba trophy was given to Partner of the Year – Estonian Labour Union. They have created a lot of extra value to our ebsters in addition to their studies. The second Haba trophy went to the Campus Fairy Nina Troškina who makes our EBS cleaner than ever with her magic wand. Triin Sillaots is a true Colleague of the Year, without whom the university family wouldn’t see themselves working. The students know very well that the craziest times of the school year are the declaration and exam periods. These two are overcome well thanks to Karmen Aasanurm, the Helper of the year who creates systems and guides students through the mayhem.
Then came the time to enjoy the fabulous dinner prepared by the Swissotel chefs.
If last year’s entertainment was the game Jeopardy!, then this year there was an auction. Offers could be raised by 5 Euros by raising your hand. There were a lot of offers for the EBS parking card, the EBS ring, the EBS windcatcher and the bogshoeing trip. After that the glamorous award ceremony could continue.
The EBS family’s favourite Greek Vasilis Krystallakis was chosen as the Erasmus of the Year. He’s described as having unlimited innovative ideas, energy and friendliness. The Genius of the Year is a student who is remarkable both inside and outside school. A student who does more than expected and completes her tasks incredibly well – Lisanna Pihlak.
Liisa Maide, the amazing chairwoman of the Student Council is a true EBS patriot, who well deserves The Activist title. She lightens up the room, knows how to appreciate and guide everyone in her team and her dear mission is to improve the daily life of the university. Superwoman!
The Lecturer of the Year
Tiina Tšatšua does her job with great commitment and is someone students can always turn to. She has won the students’ trust due to her kind heart and helpfulness. Tiina listens to and helps her students in every way possible. As a cheerful lecturer, she has already worked in EBS for over a decade.
What was your reaction when you found out you were chosen as the Lecturer of the Year?
Honestly, I was amazed and confused, it was very unexpected.
It took me quite some time to realise that the kind words said by Randy Padar were about me. I am incredibly happy and thankful from the bottom of my heart, my dear partners-colleagues fellow lecturers from the Study Department, EBS Print, EBS Campus, IT Department, dear founders of the school and alumni, wonderful Student Council and the amazing organisational team of the Golden Haba Gala – together we’re all the Lecturer of the Year to each other. Go Estonian Business School!- Tiina Tšatšua
Then it was time for the long-awaited dessert. We were served delicious rhubarb-apple pie with warm vanilla sauce and curd cream with buckthorn jam. Mmmm, wonderful! In addition to that one could enjoy coffee and tea.
Having eaten the dessert and taken pictures in front of the photo wall it was time to gather round to the hall and give out the final Haba trophies.
In the beginning of the third part, the award for the Most Awesome Instagram Photo was handed out, sponsored by Fresh Go.
Now back to the main part.
Kristjan Luha is the Golden Alumni who solves seemingly impossible tasks very easily and gives the EBS family a reason to be proud. This year for the first time the Hebster of the Year award was presented that was won by Timo Kortelainen who is probably one of the funniest people on earth and you’ll never get bored as long as you’re around him. Ebster of the Year is the 20-year-old first-year EBS student Jürgen Jürgenson who is always full of energy. It’s not a problem for him to get his Bachelor’s degree within 1,5-2 years.
The EBS Student Council gave out the Life Prize to Viljo Kallas who has done more for EBS than anyone would have ever expected and therefore improved the EBS life. His career in EBS began in 1994. The mark he has left in the students’ and alumni heart could be heard from the loud applause and see the audience standing up chanting, ‘’Viljo! Viljo! Viljo!’’
First of all, I would like to tell the story of how I ended up in the teaching field. I used to have a small company with my friend that sold computers. It happened that I was better at consulting and teaching the clients than of doing the sales work. That was followed by several training sessions in various companies. One day I got a call about the Estonian Higher Commercial School looking for a teacher. That’s how I ended up here.
My wonderful colleagues and students are the ones who have kept me here. The summer freedom is important as well. I’ve developed a kind of an addiction to hiking in the mountains during the summer and that fits well with my current job. The thought of having worked 24 years in the same place sounds scary. It has been supported by short-time extra jobs in different fields. I’ve had moments of being tired of it all but that quickly passes with the arrival of autumn.
To me, my life work has been raising my children until they’re adults. My youngest son is 14 now, so a part of it is still unfinished.
The prize came as a total surprise, as well as the reaction from the audience. I’ve never really thought of my work as anything special. -Viljo Kallas
EBS would like to thank everyone who helped us organise the big event: Swissotel, Äripäev, EBS Gift Shop, Estonian Labour Union, FreshGo, Sofikoh, Nobenaps, Šikk, Sokos Hotels, Suitssupply, Tööandjad, Tallink, Tallinn Dolls, Tan Tan, Truman, Vabank, Varrak, EBS.
The 2018 Golden Haba Gala was full of laughter, Estonian shine, tears and wonderful people. As a first year student, I’m proud to be a part of the EBS family. The people are simply so amazing, ambitious and unified. Together, we will achieve great things and show how awesome we can be!
Editor: Kärt Mättikas
Translator: Triin Tikk
Pictures: Kretel Kuusk