Phuong Le says that he is very grateful for the quality of the university studies that Finland has to offer. He feels that Xamk’s studies gave him a solid foundation for the postgraduate as well as for the future overall.  


Phuong Le graduated as a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from Xamk in 2018. Le is working for the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio at the moment and doing research in his own field of study. He enjoys his job as a data analysis and hopes to get to do his PhD’s and become a doctor.  


Why Finland? 

Originally, Le comes from Vietnam. When he was 17, he moved to the States to pursue better education. After three years studying biochemistry in the United States he went back home to Vietnam. He laughs and tells that no more than one year after that, he found himself in Finland.  


How did that happen? “When I was in America, I heard some stories about European countries, like Holland, Germany or Finland, where one could have a quality higher degree,” says Le. Le´s family friends knew Finland and Finnish education, so they recommend him to apply one of the Finnish universities. The year was 2014 and Xamk was still Mamk. Le tells that somehow, he fell upon it on the internet, and it seemed like a great place to study. “I remember thinking that wow, this must be a great school as it is ranked as one of the best in the whole country.” 


“I have lived in Finland over 6 years now, so something must be right in this country”, Le laughs. He says that he enjoys Finland’s weather. “Different seasons – especially winter is beautiful, when the sun is shining and there is snow everywhere. Even though it can be very breezy sometimes…” 


Great teachers make great education 


Le points out that education is high quality in Finland. “Studying at Xamk was great. Even though teachers were strict and there were certain deadlines, the atmosphere was forgiving and helpful.” Le says that he didn’t feel like he was forced to study, but he that really wanted to do it for himself.  


I was very inspired to be a better version of myself. Not to compete with others, but to do it for myself. It is less stressful to study in Finland than in the States.  


Le says that lecturers at Xamk were very helpful. Especially compared to teachers in the States Xamk’s teachers were caring and considered students as individuals. “It’s great that in Finnish university you get a second change to pass a test for example. In the States, you would’ve to do the whole course again,” he adds. 


Career as a data analyst 

It is very challenging job to do, but it is rewarding at the same time. I learn so much more when I actually work in a concrete project. I definitely could do researcher’s job in the future.


Le is currently a data analyst for a project in Eastern-Finland´s University. Le found the job through one of the Xamk’s teachers, who advised him to apply for this specific university project as an intern. Le kept working with the project through his internship and later on did his master’s thesis about the same subject. After finishing his master’s at the University of Eastern Finland, Le signed the contract and works with the project until the end of this year.  


Le tells that his main responsibility at work is to extract useful information from the original data and convey the extracted information to the stakeholder for decision making through visualization and interpretation of data analyzing results. 


Xamk – a place to ask questions 


“Xamk provided me a good education, for sure, but more of all, it provided me a place to doubt and ask questions.” Le tells that teachers were always up for a conversation. “I am a person who asks a lot of questions. That is my way to learn. I also got my first internship through asking a right question from a right person. This led up to my master’s thesis and to my job nowadays.”  


Le also says that starting projects and assignments a little bit earlier will help your studies significantly. “Time managing skills are really important to learn, so you don’t always have to be in a rush. That is one of the best skills I learned at Xamk.”   

Do your best, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I would also recommend to learn the language. It will make finding a job much easier. It will get you everywhere and gives you a deeper connection to Finnish culture.



Text: Matleena Ahoranta


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