Page updated 11.5.2016

Getting to know Finnish working life

In the beginning of April, journalist Bahaulddin Rawi visited TUAS to get to know Finnish working life. You can read his thoughts on the week below.

With a beautiful and sunny morning the training program "On the Job Learning / Getting to know Finnish working life" began to enlighten my career from Monday 4.4.2016 to Friday 8.4.2016.

The visit was to Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS). On the first day, 4.4.2016, there was a lovely welcome from Liisa Kairisto-Mertanen (Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Environment and Business) and the meeting was really nice with Martti Komulainen (Communications Officer), Leena Saarinen (International Coordinator), Anniina Jaranne (Planner) and Anna Tenho (Finnish Red Cross). They gave a presentation with details about TUAS and the goals, visions, facilities and the educational system of the university and we discussed various topics smoothly.

On the second day, my morning coffee was with the Circular Economy group, which included various departments and students in order to show the cultural diversity in knowledge. This lecture inspired me a lot through the presentation of the Nurmi collection (by Anniina Nurmi); she talked about her ideas and experiences in the field of design in an economical vision, and I liked her way of thinking, which confirmed that she fully agreed with the importance of circular economy, but provided that the products which we design should be recycled economically or should follow this system. Nurmi added that she is passionate about ethical values and transparency in her work. What made that day bright too was the next visit to the Department of Journalism & TUAS Radio, there I met Jussi Kokkola (Principal Lecturer). He enlightened my mind with many things like the new techniques they use with their students plus motivation, the educational system, communication skills and, also, we discussed various topics about different cultures, the future vision of the media in general and the close relationship between Finnish community and the media.

What impressed me most was that the students had a wonderful media environment and all what they need to practice diligently, a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of colors that provide psychological comfort in addition to the relationship of the teaching staff with the students (I wish I were a student again).

On the third rainy day I visited the Technology Center. It was a new experience for me to see the students’ activities and their brilliant technological skills and ended up with a smile and an optimistic spirit for the next day.

The fourth day was a pleasant day. It started with a Finnish coffee, then a visit to the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, and later on to the advertising agency Zeeland. I found the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE a streamlined system, I got to experience the journalistic atmosphere and the journalistic staff was focusing on its work like bees. I met Antti Korhonen (The Boss) and we exchanged different views about media around the world nowadays, and then he told me that transparency and reality are the YLE’s policy and the politicians are far away from putting their nose in the business of YLE’s streamline. It was nice to hear that compared to what we see nowadays in the Middle Eastern and European media. Then I visited the advertising agency Zeeland where psychologically I found it a comfortable place through the bright and various colors in all corners of the agency as well as the smiles and sense of humor that did not depart from the spirituality of the ladies I met (Anni Jaakkola and Teija Himberg). Moreover the sense of family in the agency, aesthetic work, and the diverse ideas in designing the smallest things: all these things reflect their work in an artistic way and as creative designs.

At the end of the day I had a nice visit with the university staff at the campus of the Faculty of Technology, Environment and Business and we discussed various topics such as cultural differences, religion, education, social tradition and, on the other hand, some personal experiences as a young man from the Middle East (Mesopotamia).

At end of the week, I visited the Joukahaisenkatu Campus and I met Mari Hartemo (Brand Manager) at the Communications head office of TUAS, Johanna Mattila (Marketing Officer) and the staff of communications office. We learned many things from each other, and then I and Johanna Mattila worked in good cooperation in terms of evaluating the website of TUAS and other brochures. We had good time in exchanging different information about communications and educational system. This day was a great addition to me personally; I really got to experience first-hand the working life in terms of intimate communication, the sense of community and sharing ideas at TUAS generally.

This experience for me as an Iraqi man means a lot and the most important thing that I got through discussions and meetings with the Finnish scientific elite is to be free ideologically, as opposed to what is taken prevails our concept of the meaning of freedom. I learned that freedom means to be a human being, generous, unique and you have a specific vision in your career; now I realize that I can say my opinion without hesitation and without any obstacles.

Over the five days of intensive training I learned about working life in Finland and the educational process. Otherwise I was able to give a positive image to reflect the extent of my enthusiasm and be interactive with the discussions. Perhaps the differences of cultures diverged us somewhat but the positive spirit that was prevailing in the corners of the university and the beautiful moments that we spent together brought us closer to each other, and this is the beauty of a rainbow.

Heartily, I thank the Red Cross and Turku University of Applied Sciences for giving me this wonderful opportunity and it was an honor to meet them. In the future I hope to be a candidate for such an amazing program and visits like this.