My name is Titta Ahola. I’m 42 years old and live in Kouvola. I received my B.Sc. (ICT) from the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in 2000 and M.Sc. from the Helsinki University in 2014. I joined VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in 2000 as system analyst, and been acting as research scientist since 2012. In my daily work I participate as a project team member or project leader to national and international R&D projects. IBM studies I started at 2015, and now all courses are done and the thesis is ongoing.
Why did you choose a Masters Degree in International Business management at Xamk?
Nowadays work of a research scientist contains many other things than just participating technical projects. We have to understand customer relationships, marketing, selling, finance, and so on. Even if you can learn also by doing, I felt that I want also theoretical knowledge, and thus a wider viewpoint for the business perspective of R&D. For the studies, Xamk was a practical choice because I live in Kouvola.
How did you manage to fit studies around your day to day life?
Combining the everyday life and studies naturally required organizing skills and a strong will. My husband helped running the household and two primary school aged children also helped; on one hand they gave a peace for studying, and on the other hand being with family took thoughts completely away from studies. At least I realized that it was also very important.
In addition, the studies are organized on a part-time basis, and we had only two contact days per month. Therefore, you can practically design your studies to fit to your own schedules.
Have your studies improved your career or developed your current role? If so, what?
I already have a Master’s degree in science, so for me the motivation was not to receive upper level degree. However, the studies provided a broader understanding of business management, which is important also in today’s R&D. Moreover, becoming acquainted with different teamwork and process models, and finally Lean philosophy, I found a new interest and topic for my thesis.
Why should you study for a Masters degree?
In my opinion, studying more is both interesting and useful. For example strategy management, understanding customer relationships, and efficient project management skills are vital for all employees despite their area of business.
What advice would you give someone considering studying for a Masters Degree in English?
For me or for my career the studying in English did not make a big difference. I my daily work, I already commonly use English, because many of the projects in which I work are international.
Studies contained a lot of projects, teamwork, and discussions with the co-students. At least in our group, we had professionals from logistics, industry, sales, marketing, customer relations etc. So, we all had different backgrounds and thus different viewpoints and perspectives. This made discussions very educative and fruitful. For me, becoming acquainted and networked with new, interesting people and learning from them was definitely one of the best experience during my studies. Theory you can always learn from the books, but the practices not.
Titta Ahola, student of the Master´s Degree Programme in International Business Management.