I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in engineering from an IT program. I started to work with small privately-owned company where I had done my final year project. An industry giant acquired the company out of blue. That was my first encounter with the effects of global business and how sudden the changes can be for an employee. Ever since then, I have been working in the corporation supplying IT and telecom solutions for operators and related industry partners.
Initially my work was mainly development work but that was soon followed by design and team leading responsibilities. The emphasis has been gradually but steadily moving towards non-technical work like team creation, business model creation, sales support and in general leading others and participating business related decisions making.
Why did you choose a Masters Degree in International Business management at Xamk?
It was natural for me to select another line of studies from the technical journey I started around 10 years ago. While my work has been mostly global I saw MBA International Business Management program as a good opportunity to give me additional theoretical background for my current and also future career choices. Also, I was interested in communicating and hearing the experiences from class mates from different fields of practice.
I have been working quite long time in the same company so putting effort something new is very refreshing. Also, if I want to change my career to totally something else in the future, I think MBA degree supports that. I see that in the future it is more and more important to have cross disciplinary degrees and competence to be competitive in the global labor market.
Have your studies improved your career, or developed your current role? If so what?
I have learnt some totally new things from my studies that I could have used in my daily work already! On other topics I have enriched my existing knowledge to get better results by understanding things in more detail. I have a feeling that my current employer and employers in general appreciate it when an employee is keen to develop themselves!
Having the degree in English was very natural choice for me for two reasons. Firstly, I mainly communicate with colleagues and produce documentation in English, so it is maybe easier for me to continue in that path. Secondly, I see an English diploma has more value outside of Finland.
How have you managed to fit studies around your day to day life?
For sure doing degree alongside full time work is not easy. At least it requires some time to be freed for studies both from work and family. It’s crucial to secure support from your employer and family before starting your studies. I have been fortunate that my work is quite flexible. Also Xamk seems to understand that it is not always possible to be onsite or meet some deadlines because situation in work might change rapidly.
What advice would you give someone considering studying for a Masters Degree in English?
I would want to say for anyone thinking of applying to MBA program: be brave, apply now and enjoy the ride!
Riku Toimela, student of the Master´s Degree Programme in International Business Management.