four people sitting in a row, one is wearing headphones and using a laptop

Alumni Insights

The podcast series shares inspiring stories and tips from Alumni who graduated from the University of Turku. 

Alumni Insights is a short Podcast series that aims at supporting international students in their transition from their studies to their first position in working life. Each episode welcomes two guests who answer questions prepared by current students of the University of Turku. The series has been coordinated by the Alumni Relations Department of the University of Turku.

Episode descriptions and text alternatives

Episode 1: Internships and Summer Jobs

Episode description

In this episode, we welcome Lotta Metsärinne who works as a Career Counsellor at the University of Turku and Natalia Szergejev who is working as an International Liaison Intern at the University of Turku. They will discuss applications to internships and to summer jobs, tips to reflect upon your career goals and will remind you what kind of support (educational, psychological and financial) the University can provide.

Guests: Lotta Metsärinne and Natalia Szergejev 

Student participants: Aleksei, Andreï, Enyu, David, Dzmitry, Fateme, Julián, Olesia

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Lotta Metsärinne: Hello my name is Lotta Metsärinne. I work at the Career Services of the University of Turku. I previously have been studying social sciences like over 10 years ago and then I proceeded to do career guidance first at the University of Åbo Akademi at their career services, and now I'm working as a career guidance, career counselor at the University of Turku helping both International students and also Finnish students finding their way in the working life.


Natalia Szergejev: Hello I'm Natalia I'm originally from Hungary, but I have lived in four countries in my adult life already and I'm moving to a fifth one soon. I've lived in Finland for three and a half years now and I currently study and work here full-time both. I study education and learning here at the University and I also work at the Partnership and Strategic Engagement unit as an intern. Before that I did my bachelors in the UK in sports coaching science, a bit different field.

Noemie Hueber: Hello everyone and welcome to the episode number one of Alumni Insights. Today we are going to discuss internships and summer jobs or part-time jobs, which is often an option considered by International students or even Finnish students when they are still studying or have recently graduated. So today we have two experts of internships and employment in general: we have Lotta who is working in career guidance and Natalia who is a pro at internships since she has done at least four, from what I understood. So can you introduce yourself a bit briefly? Maybe Natalia you can start?

Natalia Szergejev: Hi, I'm Natalia. I study education and learning at the University and I'm also doing a full-time internship currently at the partnership and strategic engagement unit.

Lotta Metsärinne: My name is Lotta Metsärinne I work at the career services as a career counselor I have been working here since 2015 and now my special focus is on international students and their career guidance.

Noemie Hueber: I have a sort of introduction question that I will ask every episode. It's a question prepared by Julián and he wanted to ask you both: "How long did it take you to find your first internship in Finland what about your current position?". I think we can start with you Lotta.

Lotta Metsärinne: Well my situation is maybe a bit different because I speak Finnish and Swedish as my mother tongue, so I'm not technically in any way an International student in Finland. I actually I did my first internship maybe on my third or fourth year of studies, probably in an organization that many of you know as the UBC, which is in Turku and works with cities in the Baltic region. So, it's the Union of the Baltic Cities. There was an internship advertisement, and then I applied, and they interviewed me and I started there so that was my first internship.

Noemie Hueber: pretty efficient. Was it the first internship you applied to or...?

Lotta Metsärinne: I think it was the first time I applied for internships if I remember correctly I applied to two others but those didn't work out so that was really good.

Noemie Hueber: So we are reassured even finish natives...

Lotta Metsärinne: I mean, if I can continue just briefly on this topic, because many times I feel that International students think that Finnish students automatically get internships and automatically like get job positions wherever they like. But it's not like that. Even Finnish students struggle with finding suitable positions and struggle finding kind of their position in the working life. So we're all kind of in the same boat and that's why we also have the career services for both International and Finnish students.

Noemie Hueber: in the case of Natalia it's a bit different because I don't know in which country you did your first internship but how long did it take you to find it and maybe then your first internship in Finland?

Natalia Szergejev: I was already living in Finland I had a job. And then I quit that job and I haven't started University yet and then I was thinking I want to do something and I was fortunate enough that back then I had a support system. And they were just like "just go for whatever, even unpaid" and then you know it was September, I kind of started my studies. It was really just my own initiative that I just sent an email to the Finnish Paralympic Committee that said “hello I studied Disability Sport as my bachelor. I'm studying Education now. I just started this month. Can I do something?”. And they were like “oh my God! You studied disability sport specifically!” and they were just like “we have this International project going on”. And then for the rest of the year, so for eight nine months, they just gave me a job and then it was officially unpaid, but some of the hours that I did they paid for those. So, you know it wasn't like an official internship that they advertised or anything. It was just me sending them an email and they really liked my background so they were never really up for it. That's how I found that one.

Noemie Hueber: That's a good point: don't hesitate to contact organizations or associations that are working in the field that you are interested in and they might be interested in your profile if you show motivation.

Natalia Szergejev: And also, even if they would be interested but don't have the possibility right now they could have it like in six months’ time or something, and then they might remember you. I think you know the hardest is more just like considering “Can you do something unpaid internship or do you rely on a salary?”. Because I think it limits your opportunities, or you know, it's going to influence you. Because it was agreed to be unpaid so I still had to have a job, and then I was also studying full-time and doing this internship. Some people have the support or a background and they don't actually have to have a job. And then I think an unpaid internship is just as a good experience as if it would be paid. Sometimes it's the only option that you have.

Lotta Metsärinne: However as the Career Services representative, we will never like promote unpaid internships and we will always try to get companies and organizations to pay interns a salary. That's why we also, in the universities in Finland, have the subsidy that is paid to the employers in order for them to have more money to pay.

Noemie Hueber: Can you explain a bit more what is the subsidy?

Lotta Metsärinne: This internship subsidy works in a way that you, as a student, you find a position where you want to work and then you can say “Hey I have a subsidy from my University”. You can use it once during your studies and that subsidy is then paid to the employer after the internship at the University of Turku. We have an electronic form, an internship commitment form, that can be found on the internet that you can fill in when you have found your position. Basically they cover a part of your internship so the employer is more motivated to hire you because you're cheaper. This lump sum is 1,800 € so it kind of covers one month's salary costs for you.

Noemie Hueber: I discovered it pretty late and then I was like “wow”. It really motivates some companies to hire you and sometimes it's even mandatory to have it to apply. So don't hesitate to check this out! But now I would like to ask Lotta… this is a question from me actually a bit to introduce the topic of looking for a job I would like to ask you “What would be the first three things to do when you are looking for a job in Finland?”.

Lotta Metsärinne[NH1] : I was thinking about this this question quite a lot because obviously there are some things to know generally that when it comes to looking for jobs in a global setting. But I think in the Finnish setting, since Finland doesn't have or especially Turku, I mean of course there are some big companies, but there are not that many big companies there are really many smaller companies in Finland and also organizations.

So, the first thing would be to get to know what kind of organizations there are so just like market research. Really just like Googling in your field what kind of positions are there. If you're studying education, you put “education company Turku” for example on Google. And just see what pops up. Keeping your ears open at all times, keeping your eyes open at all times. When you hear somebody talking about something interesting, or just a company, you go check their website: what do they have? What kind of services? What do they tell about themselves? Just like market research on what kind of possibilities there are. And ask questions.

So, this would be the first thing. The second thing: networking. In a simpler way: get to know people. Get to know people from the University, get to know especially people from outside the university. Find some find some hobbies or anything that you do that is outside the university. Because the university bubble is quite strong and it's easy to kind of be lulled away by it. It's comfortable to be in the University bubble, it's comfortable to speak English, it's comfortable to be with people who kind of understand where you are and who you are. But really stepping outside of this is the key when it comes to finding networks. For instance if you want to go to a company or another like NGO or something like that. So that would be the second thing

And then the third thing, as a career guidance, as a career counselor, I cannot stress this enough: get to know yourself. Really, put down on paper what you want to do. Do you have any specific goals? If you don't have, then what is important for you in in your life? In your working life, what are your strengths? How would you describe them? What are your weaknesses? How could you work on them? What are your needs? What are your values? Dig deep in the self-reflection.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, from what I understood, you have this online course available on the Moodle of the University of Turku.

Lotta Metsärinne[NH2] : Yes. “How to work in Finland”. It's a Moodle page. You can call it course, but also just a page where we have a lot of information on the Finnish working life, but also information and tips on how to kind of discover yourself and do self-reflection. And of course you can also book a career guidance session if you feel that you're really stuck and don't know like where to start.

Noemie Hueber: Don't hesitate to book appointments because they are free and sometimes we are not aware that they exist. So just check "carrier guidance University of Turku" online and you might find some nice courses or meetings or free appointments or CV clinics. Don't hesitate to just look for “how to get a job with the University of Turku” because often we forget that the university is providing services for free.

But you said “networking” and I would like to ask both of you “How would you build a network in Finland?”. This is a question from Fateme. Natalia I think you are good example because you are super active in a lot of associations and you did these different internships. How did you build your network in Finland and did it help you to get your current position?

Natalia Szergejev: I have never really been a networking person. I just got to know people by chance, or I never consciously networked. Because I tried and I was like “yep I suck at it, it's not working out” or you know I talked “okay yeah I'm networking at the moment”. But then it's not like they're going to offer me a job out of nowhere so you know I just didn't agreed with the concept of networking. And they just put so much social pressure so it was more informal for instance just sending an email exactly. In my student years, being involved with like the student organization, it's not actually the students that I networked with. It was more the other board members, and the active members are volunteers who I networked with. Eventually it wasn't networking it was more actually building rapports and friendships. Later that friendship becomes like handy. You know on LinkedIn, adding each other and just like praising each other's skills, proving that “she's very good at that, indeed she did those and those things by being at the student organization…”.

Noemie Hueber: In which student organization are you?

Natalia Szergejev: The Erasmus Student Network. I think these kind of relationships are going to become kind of the network that I have at the moment. Then again, in my first year, because I did an internship at the faculty of Education, I kind of became in contact with some of the people in Admissions [services].

One of my friends was also doing this other job at the admission services and then next year around in the Autumn, I was talking to him, so kind of my network, and I was asking him about this position that he did last year. I actually found the offer posted and then I could apply in a way that you know I already knew what I was expected I knew what was the job about even if the job description wasn't that in depth. I think that really helped because they actually asked me on the job interview: what do you think this job is going to be? and I was like “oh I know that” and I got the job. It's really nice because now that I'm doing this other internship at the Partnerships, I'm also still in contact with those people at admission and I'm actually organizing a conference with them.

I think it really made me know people at the University and it's kind of the network that I didn't build consciously. It kind of just happened because I was involved in so many things at the University and the same people were always involved with the same things or similar things.  That's part of the network: you make friends at the beginning and then they recommend you to someone and then you meet another person realize okay this has built my network.

Lotta Metsärinne[NH3] : I would also say like networking of course it can be a skill. But it's also just about being friendly to others and getting these acquaintances or friends that you can then ask for insights. Or they tell you about things that they know about, so for example in your case, about that position. I would say, if you feel like it's really hard for you to approach people, for example in events or something like that, I would suggest that you really just start small. If for example you don't want to go to all the events and you don't want to go really deep in this kind of networking thing, which you don't have to because you can just have a small network, even this can be efficient. But if you want to go to a networking event, maybe just as a goal, have to speak or introduce yourself to one person in that event. Just to become familiar with presenting yourself to complete strangers.

But then of course in an association setting you don't have to do this very formal introduction because you can just start to do the projects together. You can just have fun together, and that's what I think networking basically is. It's not necessarily about professional networking it's more about just becoming familiar with other people and having fun with them and be open to opportunities, because every time someone said "oh you could do these kind of things".

Noemie Hueber: I think that's also a part that not be shy, or not be lazy sometimes when [you think] "oh this is just a coffee meeting I'm not sure, I might stay home” and in fact you would meet a person that would present you to someone else Etc". So you never know: don't hesitate to go even to super small events.

Lotta Metsärinne[NH4] : You should become a career counselor. Now actually, there's a theory, you can check it up, it's called "Happenstance" [theory by John Krumboltz]. It describes exactly this: taking, seizing the opportunities and just going to the coffee, talking, doing things that you like which will then generate possibilities that you can catch. It's way smoother, and you are yourself also when you go to an event and you are not looking especially for something where “okay I want to meet people and let's see what happens”

Noemie Hueber: Low expectations.

Lotta Metsärinne[NH5] :  Always.

Noemie Hueber: But you said that so one of your friends was doing this internship and then you could find [the offer] on the website. So Olesia asked "Are there international internships for MA students and where to look for them?". In your case they are, where did you find this internship?

Natalia Szergejev: So, there were two internships that were actually advertised for the people on my master's program. It was only our cohort, and then the other cohort, because they're two years so there's always two cohorts. We received the email that they are specially looking for someone from the learning program. That was one with the Language Center. And then the other one was with the actual faculty of Education.

But then this job that my friend did as his internship, it wasn't actually an internship it was a temporary position. But he could have credits for it. Because he just he did the job and then he wrote his internship report about it, and then he got the credits. So, for him it was an internship, but it was actually a temporary position. Because by the time I finished those internships, I just took it as a temporary seasonal job but that was actually publicly advertised on the University website. I think they also sent an email about it. So it's good to read your emails but I'm not sure if they send it to every International or the whole university. That was available on the on the University website as well

And then the current internship I'm doing now was also on the University website. You just have to regularly check. And then a person from our master's program did the internship the year before and then again, I could just ask her like any tips, or I could ask her so what is this internship actually about. Because you know, based on the job description, I didn't get much. But even that was an internship, it was on the University website.

Noemie Hueber: What you said about emails is true because often people don't read the newsletter. Big mistake. Read the newsletters! There are so many events that are free and where you can have fun. Or I don't know, some walks around, or even at the uni some conferences, some moment where they share food and coffee, where you can meet your teachers… All these kinds of things. And often people don't read the newsletter. There are people writing them, so read them!

Natalia Szergejev: Yes read them. Because most of the time it's a big newsletter, there's many things going on, and then pictures, and then links, and then an internship position might be just in the little corner at the end. Just read through it. It's interesting anyway.

Noemie Hueber: You can check. Often, it's like: Finnish, Swedish and then like the English version. You always find something interesting, even just advertisement for Campus Sport or career services that you had never heard of before. In your case, you are the professional of looking for jobs and internship, what websites would you recommend to look for them?

Lotta Metsärinne[NH6] :  No website. You know me at this point. It's good to be aware of the private sector which uses more hidden jobs so in the private sector or smaller NGOs, they don't have to publicly post their jobs anywhere. So there it's easier to find an internship by being directly in touch with the company, the team leader, the CEO or the HR department, if there is one. There are me many more hidden jobs on the private side. On the public sector they have to put their openings online.

Job Teaser is the portal that the university moderates. It's a portal job board for 700 universities in Europe. So it also has like a very wide range of positions around Europe, and also globally we try to get as many companies to publish there as well, and in English. But it's work in progress and it's something that we always emphasize to companies when we talk with them, to kind of always offer also positions in English. It's a cultural change that needs to be done hopefully rather sooner than later.

Jobs in Finland is a website where you can find positions. Also, and the Business Turku site. They also kind of gather together positions that don't need Finnish. But still my biggest tip would be to be in touch directly with the organization or the team like for you are apparently it works.

Natalia Szergejev: Not all the time. I mean that was a very lucky moment in my life. But I also remember I tried to find internships before and I sent an email to, I don't know, 40 to 50 companies. And like two of them replied that “sorry no” and the other ones didn't even reply. It’s you just kind of right time in the right place or the right moment. And you need to insist also, to say “oh I'm still in“.

Lotta Metsärinne[NH7] :  I wouldn't recommend maybe 40 emails. But if you have sent like five emails and well written CVs and they haven't heard back, you can always remind them of yourself, remind them to answer you. Sometimes many times companies organizations don't necessarily have that much time to do recruiting, even if it's really important. So, it's good to be kind of persistent. I also got my second internship by being persistent: every two weeks I emailed them like “Hey is it okay if I apply now? Is it okay if I apply now?” and then finally they said “Okay now you can send your CV”.

Noemie Hueber: And something to ask also, when you got refused to a job application. Do not hesitate to ask feedback. At least in my case it was really useful to understand “Okay, what did I do wrong in my application?” or “What did I do wrong in the interview?” because for the next time you will be better prepared.

Lotta Metsärinne: Also do remember that the recruiting process is also subjective process. It's not necessarily that there's nothing wrong about you. You just didn't fit in, or match with the recruiter. It's also about luck,  like you said the right time, right moment, with the right company.

Noemie Hueber: In the case of Natalia, since you did different internships in the university, Dzmitry was wondering "Did this accumulation of internship experience make it easier or more difficult to find a job or your current position?". because he was wondering, when you have already worked for the University, are they more likely to hire you again? Or they say “okay now we give a chance to someone else”?

Natalia Szergejev: My very first internship was only like 130 hour fixed over two months. it wasn't like full time or anything. And then my second one was also 130 hours throughout the whole Autumn semester, so then again it wasn't full-time. When I was applying for this job, I was told by this previous student who did the internship the year before me that you are only allowed to do one internship at the University. I'm not sure where did she get that idea from. But you know I was panicking and I was even considering not to apply for this internship because I was like “but I already did two internships. They're not going to give me another one”. I think I actually didn't write one of the internships in my CV because I was worried that they were not going to give it to me. Because of the other position that someone did as an internship. But I did it just as a seasonal job you know, so I didn't consider it as internship. So I put that one in my CV.

Noemie Hueber: And it's not full time also.

Natalia Szergejev: Exactly. That was my thought that “okay it was only like 130 hours” and I didn't put the other one in my CV. Technically, you can't compare a full-time whole semester.

Then it's funny because when I got the job, actually one of the things that they were looking for is that I was already familiar with the university system. I knew the intranet, I knew Kellokortti [system to put the working hours for UTU staff], I knew all of the administrative stuff behind the scenes as well. Because I was already in the University system as well, I also didn't have to fill out new forms for HR and things like that. They actually took it as a good point that I already did internships at the University. I didn't know where that idea was coming from, that you are only allowed to do one internship at the University ,because actually my previous internship contributed to get this internship because of the experience and the knowledge.

Noemie Hueber: Did you do more interesting tasks than during this following internship? For you, was it more useful? Do you feel that since you had some internships position or part-time position before… now this one, do you enjoy it more because you are learning different things?

Natalia Szergejev: Yes, I think so. Because again, if you got into a new place and you have no idea how anything works it's kind of stressful in the first month. You also have to adapt to the new working culture, to the people, you have to get used to your new tasks or different roles that you had before. I always find like you also have this like honeymoon phase when you get into a new job. And then after the honeymoon phase, it's a culture shock. It's a different kind of culture shock but it is a culture shock. You have that moment down when you are just like, you don't like it, you don't want to do it. But then once you adapt and once you come across that one, you actually really find yourself and you can really enjoy it. If it's actually something that you can enjoy.

Noemie Hueber: In your case, you have a good level in Finnish already. At work you are most of the time using Finnish, so Aleksei was wondering "How long did it take you to reach this level in Finnish and do you have advice for Finnish Learners?".

Natalia Szergejev: I've been learning Finnish since I knew that I was going to move. I was coming to Finland.

Noemie Hueber: Very good tip. Start already beforehand.

Natalia Szergejev: I moved to Finland in June 2020, so basically after the first lockdown. Before the second lockdown, I got to know that I was moving to Finland, a day before the lockdown, the first one in March. I straight went to the library, took this teach yourself Finnish book and then I just started to learn Finnish from that. That was very basic but it didn't really matter. When I came to Finland I was already kind of using the Finnish language because I was working with children. Then I went to these evening courses, like these Suomen Mestari evening courses twice a week. I did the first two books parallel. I did those at the same time and then you know by the time I started University I had a pretty good level. Then Suomen Mestari is really good book to self-study as well and it has all the answers so you don't even have to go to a course.

Anyway, when I came to University, I already kind of had like a better level so I didn't want to do just those basic courses. I went to these Finno-Ugric study modules. It's like 60 credits in Finnish language for non-native speakers and you know I did that quite intensively. I have not finished it yet but I've got 40 credits at the moment from it.

Lotta Metsärinne: I have some comments because obviously we sometimes come across of people like you, who know Finnish really well. I think there's one trait that is a pattern that is similar for all of you who know Finnish really well, even if you have been here for just some years. It is that you really put time and effort to do it and like carve out the time or the weeks to just kind of focus on it and really kind of try to immerse yourself in the language. Generally, Finns know by now, at least at the University, we know that we have to always start with Finnish and always try to offer the possibility for International students to speak in Finnish. For example, I have also done career guidance sessions with International students in Finnish or Swedish, depending on what level each language is. Definitely, you don't have to learn both languages, but depending on your background languages one can be easier than the other.

When it comes to learning a new language, you need to kind of be persistent and ask the others to talk to you in that language and really just try to if you're looking, if you're reading the news or listening to the news, do it also in Finnish. There is try to find these kinds of small interventions in your life that are in Finnish. For example, what I did when I was living in Italy many years ago and learning Italian: so, there were forks and knives and spoons and I could never remember which was which. So I just put it a Post-It note on the forks that said “forchetta” and then there was “coltello” and the “cucchiaio” so then I knew like “okay, every time I open the drawer I see forchetta” and then I remembered it's the fork. Athese little things that you can kind of try out. I just wanted to add that.

Natalia Szergejev: Then with this like you mentioned, that obviously this is like pushing themselves and wanting to and making the time to learn Finnish. There's always going to be times when you set back a little bit, like writing your thesis, or having to focus on your studies at some point, or doing a full-time job with your studies. Then sometimes Finnish language wouldn't be a priority, to sit down and learn it. Those are the moments when I think it's really important that, in the shops, you just speak in Finnish. Or at the airport, if they stop you with your luggage and they ask you “Finnish or English?” then you would just say “Finnish”. I think these are the little experiences that you can still bring in your life even though you don't have the time to actually study Finnish. That's also okay because then you're going to have it later.

Noemie Hueber: Or be stuck at the airport. But it's true that often, if you struggle to learn Finnish, it's also because it's difficult to make time to learn Finnish. So don't hesitate to enjoy this small moments of interactions where you can make mistakes. They don't care if you make mistakes in Finnish.

Natalia Szergejev: Just choose those moments you know.  If you don't have other chances to speak Finnish then I think you know just saying “Kiitos” then I think that's okay. It's perfectly fine to talk like a mixture of languages, so you start in Finnish and then you throw in some English words. Everyone is going to understand you but at least you have tried.

Noemie Hueber: I had a more general question about legal status and this kind of thing from Olesia who asked, maybe more from Lotta, but I know you know some things about it "What is the best resource to learn about unions, legal rules and taxes in Finland?". It's a question that I'm asking often myself also. I think the website of Kela is really good because everything is translated in English but then sometimes you receive papers at home and they are in Finnish and even if you scan them and you translate them it's not the best so where do you look for these info?

Lotta Metsärinne: If you have no idea where to look you can always be in touch with the career services and we can help you. International House Turku probably also has really good information on like legal rules and taxes. On the taxes, websites like is also really well written in English. There you can find information. But many times, I feel, or as a Finn, even though I also pay taxes, I don't really need to kind of look out for information about that because that's also something that goes automatically if you're employed. It just kind of happens backstage and you don't really necessarily have to do anything about it yourself.

I would be more concerned about where to find a union if you want to join a union. I at least at the career services can help with finding what is a like a suitable Union for you depending on what you're studying. There are some levels of this in Finland, like different unions for different types of workers but just, I think it's also a good site. Or Just kind of Googling this information is also good.

But if it becomes too overwhelming and there's too many things, the “how to work in Finland?” package that you told about before that we have made in the career services, I feel that's really comprehensive but easy guide on these legal and Union rules matters. The job seeking in Finland course that we also have that is like that has specific dates, there also, in the first info session, we cover more of these legal and union matters. There's a lot of information. The web is filled with information when it comes to these topics and if you feel overwhelmed or confused, just reach out to us and then we can see how we can help.

Noemie Hueber: Don't hesitate to ask Finnish natives I think, because often they can help you to translate a document if your own phone is not translating well enough. Or you can check this kind of course.

Lotta Metsärinne: It's different if you're an entrepreneur. If you have a company, if you are self-employed, then you need to keep track of these things and there are services also for that. For example, in Business Turku, they have people who can help you with these kinds of things. And also at Vero, the tax clerks can help you with these things. But if you're like a general employee, you don't really need to worry about it. It's good to know about where like this money is going and what the Finnish state is doing with it and how the union work, what benefits you get if you enroll in a labor union… But you don't really have to know all the details.

Noemie Hueber: I would advise also to not hesitate to call directly if it's Kela, if it's for the tax card, because they are super helpful even in English. You ask is it possible to ask a few questions in English and they explain you how it works. I love this in Finland that they are really careful with explaining why they do things and not just do it automatically.

I had a conclusion question for both of you from Fateme and it is "Do you still face challenges nowadays?". You have really different positions. You are a native but still it's interesting because your life has evolved. You have also a family now so you have to work with home and work life balance. In the case of Natalia, you are also soon leaving to a new country so you are at a moment of changes also in your life. What kind of challenges do you face nowadays? I would like to start with internships.

Natalia Szergejev: It's always an uncertainty because you see the end that it's fixed term. It's until then. And then you are just like “so what's going to happen after that?”. And because now I'm actually leaving on erasmus a day after my contract ends. At the moment I'm not afraid because I know I'm going to go on Erasmus. That's fine, that's sorted.

But now again, I know that the erasmus is going to end at the end of May, and I'm going to come back in June, and it's summer so I'm going to miss all the summer jobs already. For me, now again, I see the end, but I don't see the next beginning. And I like to know what's going to happen. It's hard with like fix term internships or Erasmus. “What's after that?” I want to come back after my erasmus in a way that like I have a place settled again, but it also depends on me: “Am I going to finish my thesis by then?” or you know “Am I going to apply for summer jobs while I'm on my erasmus and trying to enjoy a different country?” or do I want to worry about it when I come back to Finland?

I would say it definitely is always a challenge when you have these kind of opportunities that are fixed term but I'm actually kind of positive about it because now I had this fulltime internship during the semester and then I'm going to go on Erasmus. So I going to have even more International experience. I'm kind of very positive that after that I might have a long summer break.

Lotta Metsärinne: Which is good.

Natalia Szergejev: Because once I graduate, I might never ever going to have a summer break like that again. But these kind of the more experience I have, now I feel more confident about that something's going to come up. In that sense I'm pretty relaxed. Because before this semester, like last year March, I was just constantly worried about what's going to happen. Is anyone going to give me a job? No one was giving me a job, everyone was rejecting me, and you know that was pretty stressful. But I think that once you have the experience and the confidence in yourself it becomes easier.

Lotta Metsärinne: My contract at the university it's also like temporary. It has been temporary since 2015 so there is always this feeling of “What am I going to do if my work ends or if I don't get a new contract?”. We work with a lot of projects that are EU funded so it goes with the EU funding timetable. A lot of times, a lot of places or positions in Finland are like this. I'm a generalist as many people in Finland, so I have studied social sciences and there is no direct like path for me to go unless I want to go to a certain position. Professionally I'm not too worried because I know I have the experience and now I'm also studying like specialization education for becoming better at career counseling. It's always a struggle and then of course yes with a family… of course Finland is a good country because… well that also depends on your boss and so on, but it's really flexible. If you have a child who is sick for example, you can stay home. And the child care is very well organized many times so it's not something I worry about. But of course, I would like to spend more time sometimes with my family. Actually, previous years I did 80% so I wasn't full-time employed and that's also a possibility. Then of course your income goes down also but you feel better. It's kind of a balance. Generally, I'm quite confident also about the future I trust that there are good things to come even though the world might seem to collapse sometimes and globally there are very big struggles and very big like things that are going in the wrong direction. But I like to stay positive about it anyways.

Natalia Szergejev: Can I have a question to you? Because you mentioned that you're a generalist and then I also always struggled with that because I just study Education but it's not a teacher training. So I'm not going to be qualified for anything. There are some profession which qualifies you to do a job like a physiotherapist or a teacher or you know dentist or something. Sometimes I think it's hard because you have all the opportunities to do whatever you want with your degree but then again sometimes it can be so much opportunity that it paralyzes you what you want to do with it. So what would you suggest to those who study these kind of fields that doesn't really qualify them for a certain profession but more just a general one?

Lotta Metsärinne: Good question. Listen to your values…

Noemie Hueber: Listen to your heart.

Lotta Metsärinne: Yes as Noemie said. Try to find an organization that you think and feel is doing something that you can kind of collaborate with and want to work for. So for example, in my position, I really want to help people. But I don’t want to exploit them for the money. So that's why the university. Because this is a free service for you, and I get to have these meaningful conversations with people. So really trying to see, not so much maybe the tasks that you are doing, but more like in what setting are you doing. That would be my advice.

Noemie Hueber: Well thank you for coming today. That was the end!


Episode 2: Employment and Research

Episode description

The second Alumni Insights episode welcomes Xiaoyu Hu (Shawn) who transitioned from working in a laboratory to working as an account manager and product specialist at ArcDia International. Our second guest is Mariia Andreeva who studied the Baltic Sea region and is now employed as a Communications Coordinator at the Union of the Baltic Sea (UBC) - Sustainable Cities Commission. If Mariia is working in a field that directly relates to her studies, Xiaoyu switched his career path from science to business while making use of his experience and knowledge in biotechnology. In this episode, they discuss career paths and career transition, but also how to network and to be active and efficient in your job research. 

Guests: Mariia Andreeva (Communications coordinator at UBC Sustainable Cities Commission) Xiaoyu Hu (Account manager & product specialist. Biotechnology, InVitro Diagnostics at ArcDia International Oy Ldt) 

Student participants: Aleksei, Andreï, Enyu, David, Dzmitry, Fateme, Julián, Olesia 

Text alternative


Xiaoyu Hu: My name is Xiaoyu and I studied Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics at the University of Turku starting from 2015 and graduated in 2017. Now I'm working as account manager and product specialist at ArcDia International Oy Ltd. It's a biotechnology company for the Diagnostics of infectious diseases.

Mariia Andreeva: Hi my name is Mariia Andreeva. I'm from St Petersburg in Russia and I have been living in the city of Turku for around 9 years. I studied at the University of Turku, I studied in the Baltic Sea region studies program and at this point I'm working exactly on that issue: Baltic Sea region. I'm working at the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), in the sustainable cities commission. I am coordinating Communications there and work with projects on environmental sustainability.


Noemie Hueber: Hello everyone and welcome to the second episode of alumni insights today we have two guests to discuss employment and research. Can you tell us your names? Mariia Andreeva and Xiaoyu Hu (or Shawn). Perfect. We have asked a few students from the University of Turku, current students, to check your CVs and to prepare questions specifically for you, but also questions for both of you. So, we will start with the common questions so you can both answer if you have an idea. The first question is from Julián: how long did it take you to find your first job in Finland? What about your current job?

Xiaoyu Hu: For me it was quite smooth because basically I'm done with the thesis work and other study work in the beginning of 2007, or somehow in the middle. And then I got the research assistant work from the laboratory reference. We got a post-doctoral so he applied from his BST so I got hired at a Junior Researcher or Research Assistant until the graduation. Then my title is changed into Junior Researcher. Well it’s more or less the same, just a bit increasing the salary basically. Still nice, good progress. I guess I stayed in the university for around eight months to a year and then I guess one day some of my friends are asking that some of their friends’ companies are looking for some people who would have a scientific background in diagnostics. Not necessarily in Diagnostics but from the biology or biotechnology part. And it's preferred that that guy can speak an Asian language.

Noemie Hueber: So, it was pretty specifically designed for you.

Xiaoyu Hu: Well sort of. Then I sent the CV and shared the CV with the friend and the friend shared the CV with the company.  It took one week probably before I hear that “okay can you come to take the interview”. And then luckily, I was available by the time. But of course, I'm willing to attend. And it took about four hours for the interview because you test everything from the R&D site then from the management side. Luckily they all they were all conducted on the same day and what is even more straightforward is that I got the decision that afternoon. “When are you available to come to work for us?”.

Noemie Hueber: You are an efficient example.

Xiaoyu Hu: That's sort of efficient because that's a sort of luck I would say. But from my understanding, if you're a student and you want have a chance to stay in Finland to work, don't hesitate to look for a job already on the first day when you arrive in Finland because it's a lengthy process normally.

Noemie Hueber: True. I realized this later also. I focused too much on my studies first and I forgot the CVs, interviews, Etc part and maybe I should have started sooner.

Xiaoyu Hu: Also, when you are learning something, you should polish your CV with time. There are some kind of CV clinics organized by the university that are free of charge. Go attending those, not necessarily every session, but one or two sessions. So you know how it goes in in reality when people are talking about your CV, to make them conscious, concise, and the follow of the activities you have attended, but not lengthy or not full of those kinds of conjunctive words. Try to make them precise, simple and easy to read but with a nice layout that will help you to stand out.

And another important thing from my mind would be that you should try to attend those social parties, whatever parties or activities. To try to expand your network. You never know which one will be helpful for your future career. Maybe some of those friends, they suddenly come up with the solution. There's a need for a job from some company of the acquaintance. Then you probably will fit there, that probably was designed for you just like my case.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, you answered the second question which was “What would you have liked to know when started to look for a job in Finland?” from Andreï. In that case I will ask you Mariia, can you answer both questions? So how long did it take you to find your first job in Finland and your current job and if you have would have liked to know some things more when you started to look for them?

Mariia Andreeva: I think I have to agree with also what Shawn (Xiaoyu) has already shared with us. So for me it was also a bit of a lengthy process. In the end I started to look for the job when I finished most of my studies as such and I was starting to write the thesis and I started to look into what are the job opportunities within this quite specific but still very wild and wide field of the Baltic region relations. Because of course, like it's not very clear for the Baltic Sea region studies what is exactly the profession to come after this.

So, as I studied, the idea started to crystallize in my head of what I want to do in principle and then I started to look for the openings. I started to map the organizations that work in this field of Baltic region in the cultural and sustainable sector what is being done on the macro Regional level, and what is also in Turku or in Finland. So that maybe to narrow the search down. Or maybe in Scandinavia.

And while doing that, it was actually a very helpful learning process because whenever you pick an organization that you want to apply for, you need to prepare a very concrete motivational letter to not only explain to them how your amazing, but also probably to try to find some synergies and connections. What can you bring to the table. And this helped me a lot to realize “this is maybe not something I really want to do”. Maybe I narrowed the search a lot while writing those motivation letters. And concretizing what is my exact passion in this field, what I really want to dig into.

And well I sent a number of CVs and motivation letters. I got be honest: yes, I got a number of polite negative replies back. Because, as I see now from the inside, it's not always the season when you're looking for new employees. Maybe you're looking for it when you are finishing studies before summer, and nobody needs an intern in summer. It comes to very simple somehow criteria sometimes.

But eventually, when I was done with all of that dissemination of emails and I started following those organizations that interested me the most on LinkedIn, there was a job application opportunity on LinkedIn one day which I responded to. I got to the interview and it was a very nice also to hear from the inside what were they looking for. I think we found each other in that way so I got also the reply the next day I think, a positive reply.

Noemie Hueber: So you didn't pass an interview?

Mariia Andreeva: It was an interview. I sent the documents. They were reviewed so there was of course a competition and the selected participants were invited for the interview. And after the interview it was quite clear. I think that, for me it was clear, I don't know how it was from their side. That confirmed my interests that yes, this was the topic I wanted to work with.

Noemie Hueber: Okay and then you continued there?

Mariia Andreeva: Then I continued yes exactly. I got the internship and it progressed naturally into the position of a project officer and a project coordinator. I've been working there six or seven years now.

Noemie Hueber: Okay professional of the Baltics! I have now more specific questions for both of you and we can start with you Xiaoyu. A few students were quite curious about your transition from science to the more finance-business field. So Dzmitry asked you “Have you ever considered working in a lab?”.

Xiaoyu Hu: Actually, during my bachelor study, I finished that in China, I had three years working in the laboratory already. So luckily, we have a nice tutor… not tutor but mentor. He's a professor and I expressed my interest in doing the laboratory work from the molecular aspect. Then I committed to do a few years work with the professor then he was happy and he took me and then I continued for three years so that is another reason that when I came to University of Turku, after well jointly two years probably overall. So in total actually, I have five years laboratory work the background before I took the new the job. After taking the job, I don't believe they took me because of the business background, because I had zero background from there back at the time. It's still is the scientific background. And while I started the new work also from the laboratory for around half to one year to get familiar with the technology with the platform. It’s normal, like which scientific category or territory we're trying to focus on.

I would say it's quite important for you to figure out what you like. You need to try laboratory work, of course. Good if you can tolerate that. But for me, I guess I had several years already. I wanted to try something different.

This is also another advice for the student who prefers to look a job in the future in Finland. Don't pay too much attention about your personal interest in the very beginning. Because you know nothing. You don't know about them, you simply need to get yourself employed then you can pay for your rent, you can pay for your personal life. Then you start to feel, in this company, whether my talents or my interest can be realized. If you find that they can be realized in the same company, perfect. If not, then go with a different job. Then if you don't find your personal interest or talent can be realized here, or you already have the work experience, it is more flexible for you to jump to your next position. That would be one of my advice.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, concerning what you said that you had no background in business, one student asked “During your professional transition, did you rely on your academic background or did you take extra courses in business for instance negotiation skills?” said Fateme.

Xiaoyu Hu: Not really. I think you should try to cultivate your interests. For me, not in English but in my mother tongue, I attended a lot of speech competitions. I know how to come up with the negotiation or come up with conversation in a logical way. That is quite important I think nowadays when students are giving a lot of presentations. Don't take those negatively. Those will be rather important for you to develop your logical skills. That's very important. Think about it. You're always giving a presentation from something you're unfamiliar with, so you need to improvise a bit and you don't need to remember what you have presented after many years. For example ,I don't recall anything about speeches I have given in the past. But it really helps me to have the right logic whenever I'm taking about a new topic. This will be my recommendation.

I did not take any courses but I have many colleagues who have the Executive MBA, so degrees. I got a lot of mentoring or instructions from them so they are more or less cultivated during the career progress.

Noemie Hueber: For you it was more asking questions to your colleague or hanging out with different people that made you learn this business skills?

Xiaoyu Hu: You learn while you're working.

Noemie Hueber: Very practical advice. Then a bit more specific for Mariia. Some people were wondering  “Did you need Finnish skills to get your first position? What about now and what level did you reach?”. It's asked by Aleksei.

Mariia Andreeva: Great question Aleksei. Ironically, I did not need Finnish skills when I was applying because as it turned out that the office languages are exactly like 50/50 Finnish and English. We work with the international projects and international processes. For the context, it's a network of cities in the Baltic region, so of course we work with cities located in different countries and English is the main common language. So English was also and it's still the main kind of exchange language within the office.

Finnish is quite important to know, I think, for living in Turku and in Finland. Of course, you still want to be integrated into the community, you still want to probably enjoy some cultural events, some other events that the city of Turku offers. It's quite important.  I am also happy to know Swedish language which helps me quite a bit in different matters in the city. On the topic of languages, in principle, we have quite an international office. We also have colleagues from Poland, Ukraine, Denmark… so we also bring our own languages on board. While the common language is English for networking, for personal networking, it is actually really helpful when you know the language of the person that you're trying to convince on some sustainability matters. It is also actually a very good help for us that we ourselves know several languages. Of course, Finnish is important but also for our context, knowing more languages in principle is always a great asset.  Actually, that's what allows you also to get your job to know another foreign language it's interesting.

Xiaoyu Hu: Very good answer from Mariia. But a bit of a different angle from me. After few years work experience in the company, I would say that Finnish language is very important. You try to think about people as equal. Foe the human resources manager or the hiring manager, they're equal. You can speak English, okay. Then the Finnish candidate can speak English too.

What's your added value for the company? That is something you always need to find out if you don't have any strong added value versus the Finnish student who can speak same level of English. It's good very to recommend for you guys to start learning Finnish language at least into entry level. That will be helpful because similarly, for example, if you're trying to find a job in France or in China… okay, you don't speak Chinese. Then there's another Chinese or French who can speak local language plus English at the same level. What's the point? They will hire the one who can speak both languages.

Noemie Hueber: I mean the French they don't speak English.

Xiaoyu Hu: It's just a bad example.

Noemie Hueber: Another question for Maria. “How does your job relate to your studies?” from Enyu. Then if I understood well your studies are directly connected with the Baltics?

Mariia Andreeva: Our program, Baltic region studies, actually used to be the main source of new employees for a while in our organization and in some other organizations that work with sustainability. Because what we have studied there was a multidisciplinary program and we studied there both kind of cultural and historical aspects of the Baltic cities’ corporation. So, history, memory studies, cultural studies and more specifically environmental status of the sea, which is really helpful for you to understand what could be the main challenges that the region might be facing. I'm working now with sustainability so that was like one of the very good inputs that I that I got into the topic.

We studied a very applied course on project management which was actually taught by the expert from Interact program which is supporting the International projects which are organized in the Baltic region. In our organization, launching International projects is one of the more concrete ways how we can establish cooperation for example with the cities or with experts. You prepare a project application, you apply for it, you want to solve challenges that the cities are facing, you launch some pilots there. But to start all of that process which is three or five years process you need to write an application and our program had a course on how to write a winning project application. That's exactly one of the things that I do. So, very concrete advice there.

This program has closed actually by the time that I was employed. It has refocused itself, not anymore in the Baltic region. It was, I think, responding to the changing interests and changing needs of the students. But this was this was definitely a very good match for working there because it's so specific. If you really want to work in this field then it's much easier for you to know the background like all of the context of the International relations and how it functions at least from the theoretical level. My example is very specific.

Noemie Hueber: It's funny how like clear cut the path is for students who study there and they become interns and then employees. It's nice because then it was way smoother your integration. Now you solve challenges at work but Fateme wanted to ask you “Do you still face challenges nowadays?”. In your career and as an international career?

Mariia Andreeva: I wouldn't maybe focus on challenges as much. I mean I've been working there for several years now and it's not a challenge. But it's the everyday context that you are working in, the international environment which is by default very multicultural. It's not a challenge, it's something that you're always ready for. It's just the mindset that you're in. Maybe a bridge here to the previous answers that, of course, Finnish language, knowing Finnish language is naturally core for finding the job in Finland. It's something that is maybe slightly challenging for me. Still I'm still learning it. I have spent nine years learning it and I'm still doing that now.

Noemie Hueber: But you have Swedish you have already done your part.

Mariia Andreeva: I'm trying to keep the balance so that would I would have several languages that I can actually hold at least some general conversation small talks. Also I'm trying to recover my Polish language. It really helps with the communication so the challenge, or not challenge, the mindset is that there is always a lot of cooperation, there is always a lot happening. So, you try to be ambitious and you try to cover as much field with the high sustainability ambitions that we might have in our commission and cities have in their country. We try to respond to that. We work with sustainability, we work on climate, carbone neutrality and we were just discussing before this podcast how several cities have very ambitious climate neutrality goals like Turku in 2029. As a present for the city of Turku residence for the 800 years anniversary of Turku. Again, regular challenges, supporting cities in achieving this.

Noemie Hueber: So you don't face challenges personally but you feel that now you are fighting for the challenges professionally at your workplace to help sustainability.

Mariia Andreeva: Yes, that's how I take this question.

Noemie Hueber: Then for you Xiaoyu, about the challenges that you could face, Julián asked “Did you need some soft skills in the academic and in the industrial field?”. I feel that you answered this a bit by saying that you were doing this contest of debating contests.

Xiaoyu Hu: You do need some soft skills which you can develop with time going. I will emphasize again, about the presentation skills. It's very important to be logical. Why, for example, now I'm doing the business or account management work? When you try to develop your business or when you try to discuss something with your potential customer or customer to increase your sales, you must be rational you need to illustrate something based on your profession in a reasonable way. And the people can understand it. You're not just throwing pieces and pieces information to the other party, you're describing a story which can help the customer to solve their unmet demand. That's the core. And this core, when talking about soft skills, it comes from your presentation skills, your speech skills, where you always try to make your brain aligned with the logic. When you try to explain something, the logic flows very smoothly. That's important. You don't get that in one day or in a flash, but you get it with time going. There's always a saying: tomorrow you present better than you did today. Try to keep this kind of mindset. It'll be cultivated, it'll grow by itself. It'll develop by itself with time.

Noemie Hueber: I have one final question for both of you. It concerns one of the biggest challenge for Internationals when they arrive in Finland and it is about networking. Because I feel that a lot of people get their job through networking, maybe a bit like your friend who advised you about this job offer. so Fateme asked “How to build the network in Finland?” do you have advice Mariia?

Mariia Andreeva: I don't have that advice unfortunately because in my case it was not so much thanks to the network contact that I learned about these job opportunities but it was actually part of the study. While we were studying different existing organizations, connections and their constellations of cooperation, we actually had the site visit to the office where I work now. We got the presentations from colleagues that I work with now on what they work with which helped us to get a very get a bit clearer idea on what we can expect when we enter the job market. This was actually incredibly helpful for the educational program that it was organized. It was not only very theoretically organized but there were very practical elements which helped us a lot to find our place at least from our course it's me and another colleague that works in another organization now but in the same building which is called Baltic Sea House in the city of Turku.

It's network that I'm building now through the work. But of course, having the network somehow built would help the process of finding the job. And I think, maybe the job markets could be one entry point here that are organized between business and educational institutions. Maybe that's the place also to meet some employees or to get a clear idea about what you might look into to when you research this.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, an advice could be that what helped you in your field was to meet the professionals directly. Maybe don't hesitate also to contact people who work in a company that interest you and to ask them “could we grab a cup of coffee?”. At least in my case that's what I have done and then I realized “okay this is a job that I'm not interested in” or “oh this is a job that could really match my interests”. So don’t be too shy to go to events where professionals are coming or events also because then it's the right moment to ask someone who has studied in your exact same field or this kind of situation. In your case, what's your advice for networking?

Xiaoyu Hu: I would have two angles. One is a bit similar to Maria. A first one would be that you should attend some social activities which are organized by the students or by the university, whatsoever. Just go and have a look if you find that you have no fun in this activity and you have no chance to expand your network, then you just come back. You lose nothing. Some people are complaining “I'm losing time”. No, when you're student your time is not precious. I have to tell you. Just try to be a bit diligent, to expand from the self initiative. If there's a network chance, you get it. If the activity is fun, you're enjoying both. Then you lose nothing. If there's no chance for networking, at least you're enjoying the activity. So enjoy the party, you have nothing to lose. Just go and attend those.

This is one way, and potentially you get a good night. Somebody who already worked in the company, they might hire q student and they're desperately and looking for someone. You're the perfect fit with your master, or an extra language, or some past work experience. You had opportunity in your past. This is one way.

The second way is that you should know what are your basic interests. For example, if you learned a specific information technology, biotechnology or mechanical engineer, you should begin to look for those company where you would have a genuine interest in. Then you try to search in LinkedIn whether there's any kind of connection. Try to connect with them and send your CV to them. It does not hurt. You may have a chance, you never know. Leaving the open application in their website is the lowest chance because you probably will not get a job there will as there will be tons of thousand CVS over there and nobody's paying attention to those. But that's one other thing you should do continuously. You never know. Maybe one day some HR will open and see there's a nice CV over there, this is the candidate we will be needing. Great.

But the point is that you should try several different ways to achieve your goals. Don't set yourself a limit like “I can only look them from LinkedIn”. No, try to open your eyes. There are more opportunities behind classmates, teachers, society and City, even Supermarket, wherever. Well supermarket maybe it's a bad example. But you might want to work in the supermarket, you may want to work as a logistic manager.

Noemie Hueber: It's true that, for instance, I'm always shy to ask my teachers. Nut maybe in Sciences or I don't know in your case also the teachers were directly connected to the company. It might be a good advice also to ask your teachers which companies might be interested by someone.

Xiaoyu Hu: I have a very easy recommendation for alumni, for junior students. You simply ask your teacher that “I'm genuinely just look looking for a job or a profession”. Do you have any recommendation? Which company or which person I may have a chance to connect with? It's okay, you should not be shy to ask. This is actually a very good point. Teachers have longer connections, wider network connections than students so they might have personal knowledge or personal connections that they might share. And they will not share those actively. No, you have to look for it.

Mariia Andreeva: Maybe just one more thing on top on this is that. not necessarily for the job opportunities. but from the public sector point of view, all of the organizations which work on the decision- making level are always looking to the youth involvement. It is also an interest on the Strategic level to have the youth voices heard and student voices heard. There are different youth councils in the cities and countries established. This is not necessarily for your immediate job opportunities but this is for growing network, to make your voice heard, to make your opinions heard, to make sure that's nothing is decided on the regional level without you. That is an actually an inclusive process.

Noemie Hueber: It's true that as Internationals we often feel like 2it will be too complicated for me to vote” or even the student selections often we are a bit too scared to check because it's written in Finnish. But it's really a part where we could intervene and say that it would be nice, for instance, to have some candidates who give a speech in English or these kinds of things to be more included. The student life is   good if some of you want to start political careers. Then I am done with the questions of the students. I would like just to ask one final question and that would be “What would you say to your you from the past who has just arrived in Finland?”. Like not looking for job, just arrived to Finland.

Xiaoyu Hu: Learn the Finnish language. It needs a bit more time. That's the top one thing I want to tell to myself. And then another thing is “keep your interests”. It can be the physical interests or musical interest, whatever. Keep it. It helps you to spend the tough time. Winter is long.

Mariia Andreeva: In my case, it's “study everything that you want and everything that you're passionate about. And you will find the applications for it in the future.

Xiaoyu Hu: I totally agree with you. Whenever you're facing something, you're thinking, you're imagining all kind of scenarios. You may fail or you may encounter all kind of obstacles but start it, just kick it out. Start it right away when you have that kind of idea in your mind. Don't be afraid. Do it. But this is the most difficult part even for noways me.

Noemie Hueber: But it's good to repeat it here. Thank you for joining us today and this was the end of our episode two of Alumni Insights bye!


Episode 3: Entrepreneurship in Finland

Episode description

The third Alumni Insights episode focuses on entrepreneurship, the start up field in Finland and how to combine a business with a full-time job. The episode welcomes Megha Goswami who works as a Marketing Coordinator at Hidex while developing her career as a Content Creator. Under the name Couple of Expats, Megha and her husband Kristaps Kovalonoks share their experience in Finland. The second guest is Tolga Karayel. After getting his master’s degree in Future Studies, Tolga co-founded the company Preloved Coffee which aims at upcycling spent coffee ground. He currently works as a Research Assistant at Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) while developing his own company. 

Guests: Megha Goswami (Marketing Coordinator at Hidex and ContentCreator) Tolga Karayel (Research Assistant at Finland Futures ResearchCentre (FFRC) l Founder @prelovedcoffee) Student participants: Aleksei, Andreï, Enyu, David, Dzmitry, Fateme, Julián, Olesia Alumni Insights Team Project Direction - Noemie Hueber Project Supervision - Ameya Foujdar

Megha Goswami (Marketing Coordinator at Hidex and ContentCreator) & Tolga Karayel (Research Assistant at Finland Futures ResearchCentre (FFRC) l Founder @prelovedcoffee)

Student participants: 
Aleksei, Andreï, Enyu, David, Dzmitry, Fateme, Julián, Olesia

Text alternative


Megha Goswami: Hello my name is Megha Goswami and I work as marketing coordinator for Hidex. I'm also a light entrepreneur. I'm originally from India but Finland has been my home for the last 5 years.


Tolga Karayel: Hi my name is Tolga I'm from Turkey and I have recently graduated my master degree in Future Studies. Currently I have a company which is named the Preloved Coffee. Basically, we are upcycling spent coffee grounds. Rather than that, it's been almost like 2 and a half years that I have moved here and now I am currently a project researcher at the Future Studies Research Center on Smart City Digital Twins. I'm researching on the features of cities and urban development.

Noemie Hueber: Hello everyone and welcome to the episode three of Alumni Insights. The theme of the day is “entrepreneurship and freelancing”. Today we have two persons who have already started their own projects and company and thanks to them you will have a bit of insights into the word of entrepreneurship. Maybe Tolga, can you start to introduce yourself?

Tolga Karayel: I'm Tolga and I'm founder and CEO of Preloved Coffee which is upcycling spent coffee grounds and we recently registered our company. It's based in Turku and we are hoping to penetrate all the market of the coffee industry in the future.

Noemie Hueber: Megha, what is your project?

Megha Goswami: Hello and nice to meet you. My name is Megha and today I am very happy to be here. Thank you for the invitation. I'm here to talk about Couple of Expats which happens to be my blog and YouTube channel as well where we share information about building a life in Finland. But I think we're going to dig deep in entrepreneurship otherwise. Happy to be here!

Noemie Hueber: Perfect. So you have two different projects: one is more about culture and integration and for you it is more about recycling, sustainability… I will ask you one broader question that was recurrent among the students who prepared the questions for you and it is “How long did it take you to find your first job in Finland what about your current job?”. This question is from Julián. Maybe Megha you can start. How long did it take you to find your first job? And the current one?

Megha Goswami: It took a few months of effort but then again I think I had the mindset of finding a job from the day I landed in Finland. It is a difficult question to answer from that aspect because I was already laying the ground work for months before I even sent out my first application. I think it might be difficult to say exactly how long it took but I started applying for summer jobs for example in January and I already knew what would be the company that I would be working for by end of March. So that's approximately three months and in the case of my current job it took less than I would say two months. But that really just depends on good timing. I think this really depends for each candidate and you can't really say what is the perfect number or time.

Noemie Hueber: The other guests also answered that it's a matter also of luck, as you said, of timing. Because sometimes someone is retiring or changing position so when you can you are the best candidate at this moment exactly. And what about you Tolga?

Tolga Karayel: Maybe it's kind of different in the normal explanation of finding a job here but it was like the second week that I arrived in Finland. As a student and as a kind of expert, you know have the education. Here we are just trying to secure. The first thing is accommodation so it's rather than like Germany or other European countries it was easier because you get a place to stay from TYS [student housing in Turku]. So you're getting this information and you're relieved.

After that, the second thing is how will you secure your expenditures, that kind of thing. The first thing that you're looking for is an odd jobs, right? Cleaning or restaurants and other things. When I arrived here it was the first thing that I focused on because it's a challenge that you should tackle with as soon as possible. When I did it, it was the first week and the second week they called me and I started to work. What I can advise is that you just secure, because the money is not that much, enough to cover your expenses and other things. Meanwhile, when you find when you jump to the job, look for another one. That first job secures your like expenses and like rent and other things and then you just look other files or other organizational level rather than gig jobs. As I said, it was the second week.

Noemie Hueber: What kind of jobs did you?

Tolga Karayel: It was like a cleaning job. It was something that first it was like cleaning and then kind of fundraising because it's something like stepping up. First secure your expense and meanwhile “okay I'm not here for this” and you are looking for this kind of more organizational level like UNICEF or the Finnish Red Cross. When you're leaving one then you're carrying on the second one. It's like stepping up. About the real job, I can say it was before I graduate. My job offer so was in April 2023 and then I graduated. I'm still working at the same job place.

Noemie Hueber: It's interesting because I feel a lot of international start with a job like this and in my case, it was not so bad because at the restaurant where I worked, I was forced to speak with the customers. So I was forced to learn a bit of Finnish and it was of a great help after. I'm happy I worked there. But then I had more specific questions for both of you because you both are now working in a field that quite differs from your original studies or your original work experience. For that reason, Enyu prepared this question for you Tolga: “Do you feel that your long experience in municipality in your home country was helpful for your job research in Finland?”. Because we checked your LinkedIn profile and we were surprised by that aspect.

Tolga Karayel: I have worked in local authority for more than 7 years in Turkey and my studies was also related about it. The main idea was to look for AI mayors. It was my main motivation to apply this Future Studies. It was related with my experience, like my professional career and I see that some kind of challenges because of the ICT integration in the local services and also public services. I just think about “okay if we are going to transform this, then we should do it properly” and “how can I update my skills and competences about this?” and then the Future Studies were there.

It was during the studies that I have mainly focused on my topic. I never got distracted. For example, they give you assignments and work like specific projects. I was always trying to align it with my thesis topic or my research area. For example, it turned out that the Smart City Digital Twins is something promising and something that should be touched upon and should be researched and the AI mayor and this ICT integration in municipal services is just coming to the team of the Smart City Digital Twins. So, I’m still in my topic, in that direction, but I'm still using some kind of challenges from my former experience.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, about this topic. It's interesting because you used your questioning from Turkey into your current studies. It's nice for the thesis also to keep on studying what you are already familiar with and apparently it was a bit the same for the first internship that you have done Megha. Some students were curious about your shift from laboratory work to marketing and they asked you “Did you have previous experience in marketing before working at Hidex?”. Maybe you can also explain a bit what's the goal of Hidex and how did occur to you that you could work in marketing instead of your field of study. This question is from Dzmitry.

Megha Goswami: Currently at Hidex, it is true that I'm a marketing coordinator but Hidex is also a life science manufactor. While it might seem that I am no longer doing anything related to my studies, I kind of disagree. I think what I have studied is very useful for my job currently and it is one of the most important things that got me selected in for the job in the first place. The fact that I had a background of Life Sciences. In my previous role, I started out as an R&D assistant. That was a summer job and with time I started to develop an interest in marketing and I was also not shy to voice the fact that I was more interested in marketing and I wanted to have more marketing related tasks. I was lucky to have supervisors who really cared about what I wanted and gave me the chance to also develop myself in this role so I started to take more and more marketing tasks and they were happy with my work.

Already during my previous job had I started my journey into marketing and then I was at a crucial point in the road where I had to either choose science or marketing. I felt like for my next role I needed to decide what I really love and I've been passionate about science but I've also been very curious about marketing and I thought “okay, marketing is my true calling”. But I don't want to do it just for like any company. It should not be like I am leaving behind a part of who I am and what I've studied. It was very important to me that I stayed within the same industry and I'm able to apply everything that I've learned and continue to learn but with a new role and that's in marketing.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, one student was curious about this. Andreï asked you “Do you think that your medical background might become irrelevant after a long career in marketing? Are they ways to preserve your medical knowledge?”.

Megha Goswami: Just to correct the question a little bit I don't have a medical background. My background is in biotechnology. I think that my daily tasks really require me to stay on top of what's happening in the industry. For example, our devices are being used by research groups and companies around the world and as marketing coordinator it is also my task to see how are the research that is being produced using our devices, how is that relevant or what kind of research is coming out. Are there drugs being developed? We even have devices that are on submarines and being researched in in Antarctica Alaska. Even the furthest parts. As Marketing Coordinator, I need to know what is happening and stay on top of the research.

For example, I was in Vienna earlier this year, earlier in the Autumn and a lot of our customer bases are scientists so I need to talk to scientists and I need to understand their needs to be able to know how our product is for the market. I think that I will need to put in some extra effort to make sure that I don't forget my scientific knowledge but I think the industry also challenges me in a positive way to not forget that information.

Noemie Hueber: It's nice that you can still use it also in your research is in general and I guess you have now this double vision of okay the scientific side and okay how do we market it and push it forward for a public that has not a scientific background also.

Megha Goswami: But you have to know your customer in any business whether that's coffee or whether that's life science you have to know the end user. You have to really know who it is that you are designing anything for.

Noemie Hueber: Talking about coffee, I would like to ask you a few more questions about your own projects and companies. We can start with Preloved Coffee because one of the question was, and I think it's a bit the initiation of your story, “Which competition would you advise entrepreneurs to participated to participate in?” said David.

Tolga Karayel:  Climate Launch Pad would be the good start. But if they want to learn the foundations of pitching… lots of things are framed, they have some principles, they have some perspectives and approaches, different like steps that for example they can follow to at least interact with the audience during the pitching. Like attitudes, like eye contact, or how to engage with the audience. I think that to understand who is your audience, who are you pitching to, it could be a good start in Boost. Because they are giving really good mentorship and they have, if I'm not wrong, this year also a Boost marathon and the Boost startup Marathon.

Noemie Hueber: What is Boost?

Tolga Karayel:  Boost is kind of a startup hub. Actually, and it is quite interesting. I don't quite understand why students are not aware of this. They have this treasure there and it's not that far from the campus of the University of Turku. You can also get credits from these participations. You can learn new things and maybe you can fund your company or you can find your co-founder. This is one fact. Keep that in your mind

The other thing is the Boost startup marathon. It is like a two days marathon where they are just giving you lots of insights and they are somehow really condensed. They just put you in this model and then after that you have learned something. It's really stimulating. Definitely. It also motivates and inspires you to maybe find a company or meet with potentially team members there.

Then it can follow up with the Startup Journey. it's 8 weeks long during the summer time and again you can get credits from this. Even if you don't have this kind of ideation. After things are following each other. It was the case for us after the startup Journey we got a demo day and we pitched and we get some you know plays there. After that we applied for climate Launchpad. The climate Launchpad is really globally known and reputable. This startup competition about circular economy, for example in our case, it gives you the different approaches from different regions, different countries within Europe. After that every region has like a classification and then you are going to Global One. At the end, you can make a reputation and even get a first investment in your company. These steps could be beneficial for them.


Noemie Hueber: Actually, we met during the marathon in which Preloved coffee was created. I saw the birth of the project and it's crazy to me to think that years after, it's still going on. When I participated to it, I wanted to learn more cooperation skills or IT skills, this kind of thing and how to think in a group. Because I never had this kind of experiences, it was great to see. The project I participated in, after I didn't keep in touch with the people, but to see that some teams stick together and they continue after years to apply to more competitions and develop into a company it was really inspiring for me to see.

Tolga Karayel:  And challenging. Look at my eyes. If you're ready for sleepless nights, you’re ready to be an entrepreneur.

Noemie Hueber: “Did you receive financial support from the Finish government?”. This is a question from Aleksei.

Tolga Karayel: About financials, there are different stages for this and there are lots of opportunities for this. For example, Business Turku has its network and they have also the financial instruments. In high level there is a big Finnish startup ecosystem here. In that sense, some part you don't need this governmental support because they are already doing it with Business Finland with the regional support and some like regional level or city level calls.

I think most of them don't know that the city of Turku has 600 000 funds for urban developing with different pillars and they are dividing it. One of them is circular economy or different areas of it. It is not that much known but they even for the city case, it's 200,000 geography people. That's like mind-blowing moment. It's good. You can use it so to support in some context. The government is already doing it with regional or city or in higher level like Business Finland but in some cases the ecosystem is really strong here. There are Angel Investors for example is one of them. Boost is also kind of opening this gate for these kinds of things and every city almost. Turku has an entrepreneurship society and other one. So, it's a full of opportunities in this ecosystem. And financially it's lot of abundance back.

Noemie Hueber: I feel that in general you should not feel shy to ask around. In Turku, you can take a free appointment with Business Turku and they explain to you how entrepreneurship work and what kind of funding you can have. So really don't hesitate to ask them, they super nice. You send an email and then they plan you a meeting for free. I think it's great. You can have also from International House Turku. You can have business recommendations or tips. But concerning your own project Megha, Enyu wanted to know “When did you establish your entrepreneur status and how?”. When did this blog about food and sharing passion for Finland turned into a proper enterprise?

Megha Goswami: It was around two years ago and the way it turned was maybe more casual than expected. It was the fact that I needed a system to make invoices so that led to us knowing that, okay, this is something that we can turn into some sort of a side hustle. I think me and Kristaps [Kovalonoks], we were pretty on the same page about the fact that we have not been very happy about the idea of being on a single source of income so since early, we've wanted to establish having multiple sources of income. We thought about that of course with long-term investment because, as opposed to selling a product, selling services takes a lot more of time to establish. It's not one of those things that you can maybe immediately cash out on. I wouldn't suggest blogging if someone is eager to make money fast. It's passion, being passionate and maybe slow process but when we realized that there is potential out there, and that we are getting opportunities for being speakers and hosts for different events and we need to be able to invoice, the organizations, it was as simple as that. I think that one of the things that we look forward to doing someday is registering ourselves as official. What would you call it? Registering your company?

Tolga Karayel: Business ID.

Megha Goswami: Getting your business ID. That's in our road map.

Noemie Hueber: I had the more general question, because the Auditors might have never heard from Kristaps or your project. Can you define a bit the a project Couple of Expats? What's your role in it? And who is Kristaps?

Megha Goswami: Who is Kristaps? Kristaps happens to be the person who is running everything behind the scenes of Couple of Expats, which is our channel. We are the couple behind Couple of Expats. My partner is from Latvia and I am from India which is why the name Couple of Expats. As opposed to many couples who have a Finnish counterpart, both of us are foreigners, obviously Internationals, who actually met at UTU, fun fact, while we were both students here.

Noemie Hueber: At the glow party?

Megha Goswami: Not at the glow party. But well, let's not dive into too much details at which party. But Couple of Expats. The way we try to describe it to a 5-year-old, or well maybe not a 5-year-old, but a 10-year-old, is the channel that we wish we had when we were younger. In Finland, things are moving really fast so even like two or three years ago, if you arrived in 2015, 2017, 2019, you had very different experiences. Because things are constantly evolving, constantly growing. But in 2018 when we arrived we were, let's say rather unprepared for life in Finland. And there were so many things that we did like wrong.

We are just trying to create content on what we think would be useful for someone moving to Finland, whether that be how do you survive winter, or where do you look for house for apartments in Finland, or why would you want to move to Finland in the first place for your studies… So, we're trying to cover a broad spectre. Or why do you not want to come to Finland… We're trying to tell you how it is, as it is through our social media channels and our YouTube channel. That is kind of what we do in a nutshell.

Noemie Hueber: The students were also surprised by both of your CVs because from what we understood, you are both working in English in a pretty International environment. So, there was one question for Megha concerning the Finnish Market: “Do you feel that the Finnish Market is receptive to marketing in English language?” asked David.

Megha Goswami: Right so this kind of goes back to what I said earlier. Your marketing is for your audience, so this really depends on who is your audience. In this case, for Hidex, not Couple of Expats which is my evening job, but Hidex, which is my main job, what's important here is that only 2% of our customer base is actually in Finland. And then, 36% of our Market is from Europe, and the largest chunk of our Market is actually North America. So our marketing does not need to focus on Finland at all. Our marketing is prepared for a very, very International audience. In that case, I am able to do all of my work in English and there is no need for Finnish language. But that also happens to be because I landed in a company that does not focus on the Finnish Market, which might be very special in Finland.

Noemie Hueber: Interesting. I didn't know they sold so much abroad and maybe that's one tip, if you don't speak Finnish: maybe target companies that are collaborating internationally. That can be a way, even if you should learn Finnish… like me… In the case of Tolga, it was a bit, of not a conclusion question, but a lot of International students are really encouraged to go to Finland. They receive a scholarship… we feel quite supported by the teachers and the university in general. And then, we start to look for a job and it's the big shock that, in fact, even if Finnish people speak English at work. They speak Finnish, so you feel limited in your job applications, or it's difficult, no one answers, Etc. “Do you feel that there is a gap between how International students are encouraged to study in Finland and how the job market welcomes them once they graduate?” this is from Juliàn.

Tolga Karayel: I think that we should put more emphasis of regional retention. It's really changes when you go to Helsinki and when you look at Espoo or Tampere. When it comes to Turku, in that sense, I think that this system, that the city has is affecting this. For example, I just put a broader perspective here, so as a you know Finland is investing in me. They give me like a scholarship. When you finish… I mean, I didn't experience it because as I said I even got my job before I graduated. But when you graduate, obviously you are looking for a job. There are jobs in some places, but you have been lived here like two years already, in Turku. And you are feeling kind of part of the city. You want to stay here. It's difficult to go to Helsinki. Your friends are here, you know the place. You feel that “this is my place”. Moving to another city and looking for this kind of opportunities is more challenging and in that sense.

You don't want to go, but on other hand, the market is small in Turku. You're trying to find a match, you want to stay here, but your skills, is demanded in a higher position. You're are feeling a dilemma: “Should I stay or should I go?”. This is the case, I think, where there should be more encouragement and more initiatives in that sense. Like not changing the everything but start from small, and maybe kind of a split over in different Industries. Because in some industries, for example, even if you are dealing with coding. So the codes is like, generally, like if I'm not wrong kind, for example like a python or other things is in English. Because of the language model or something.

But when you apply for this job, you have been part of this communication in the organization or in the company. So you're dealing, and you're asking yourself “okay I'm dealing with the code, I don't even need to communicate with anyone if I have any spread or that kind of thing”. But still you need to have a communication. In that sense, this could be more like you not radically changing suddenly, but a smooth transition would be maybe good for the attention of the students in Turku after they graduate.

Megha Goswami: I can add… but I don't know what are your thoughts about this. I was just thinking that we've already done our fair share of moving, we don't want to move anymore. If you want to, that's totally fine. But I think that a lot of people have spent those two years building connections and networks and everything, like you said. It's one thing to want to move but it's another thing to be forced to move. I would like to see how are Turku retention numbers changing. Like how has in the last 10 years. How many students have we been able to retain like, let's say, in 2013 versus 2023? Are we actually able to keep the talent here? Because I know a lot of people who ended up in Helsinki region, and guess why? I can give you a hint, it's because they found a job there, and they didn't find one here.

Of course, COVID opened doors with remote work, working policies becoming more and more common and employers also being open to the idea. That has really helped things. Of course, there's no doubt that Turku is a beautiful city which has everything and it's hard to let go of. For me it's the same, I see jobs in Helsinki. All my friends also.

Noemie Hueber: I personally had a last question for you two. About entrepreneurship and starting your company. Because you are both doing it on the side of your main job. What would be your advice for someone who really wants to start a company. Do you think it's achievable to focus only on this? Or is it better to secure a job, and then on the side to start your own business and see how it develops?

Tolga Karayel: Maybe I can start, because it was the topics that we have discussed in different occasions. There are some paths, as a really entrepreneurial mind, that they say “all in”. And it is not that easy as an expert because I have one bullet. I can't just say “all in”, all my money in, because I have to secure somehow my expenses that's can keep me alive here. I don't have any alternative income so, in that sense, if they are experts like us, first it doesn't matter if you fully work somewhere. But it could be a part-time work or something.

If you really want to do something about your idea or building your company, the first thing is secure your expenses with kind of a part-time job. It doesn't matter, it could in the organizational level like part-time, and the second one is the team. They shouldn't be hesitating about the shares about the money in the beginning if they have a team, it will be easier. I have four team members… You are the best! Really, if Preloved Coffee is Preloved Coffee now, it is not just me. It is all the ideation and all the discussions and the challenges.

About this ideation and turning around all team members. Because you put some idea and team members are discussing and adding “hey! You said something. What was it? Do we have any scientific background of it?”. And we have for example someone with a background in science, and I still don't know about informatics. But he is always bringing up that “it could be achievable, because it's scientifically a proof of concept”. And when you put it there, and the marketing for example, Loan [Tran, Co-Founder] she had almost more than 15 years background in a multinational company. It could be like a branding. Because she was the founder of our name Preloved Coffee. And we have Vincent [Ogollah] about sustainability. Everyone is putting an aspect. Also, the role of division if you manage within your team, if you trust within your team. It's easier to get these things smoothly.

The third one: learn Finnish. Learn because for example when you register or if you have anything related about business, like correspondence and that kind of thing, you're getting a post and you're using your Google Translate and you're hesitating “Is it right translation?”. Because it's official. Then you are directly going to the related public place and ask “Is it like this?”. The funny fact is that I believe that soon this language things and everything will be change. Because, as you said, the world and Finland is evolving and it will take some path. But I do understand the hesitation about keeping the language. There should be some balance. The retention would be increased or developed. Or if they want to create new innovative businesses in Finland, nobody has to give some leverage from their aspect so that could be like a common ground which could be transitioning in this system smoother. More like inclusive for everyone.

It's also when you look at the broader spectrum to translate more official documents, or could be translation or could be, I don't know. In some cases, it's really a core document, for example, from the start. The core documents like registration paper. I'm seeing my registration paper and just try to translate. How do I register? Start from small. The first thing that they are teaching you during the pitch mentorship is start small. It could be the core papers for these kinds of businesses. For example, for her, in business related topics. And then it will smoothly evolve in other areas.

Noemie Hueber: Actually, in your case, since you are learning Finnish and your partner was studying Finnish, did it make it smoother to create your company?

Megha Goswami: I think it really depends on the individual him or herself of course. Securing the basics is something I think. We all have bills to pay at the end of the game, no doubt there. But I think that each person needs to evaluate for themselves if entrepreneurship is the road to go down. I think Finland also kind of persuades Internationals to go down this road if they are not able to find a job now. That is something that I'm a little hesitant towards, and I feel like an individual should only do this if they are really, really invested and committed, like Tolga mentioned.

Because it is really not for everyone. We cannot start just assuming that everyone is built for entrepreneurship. Start learning, start figuring out if that that is something that you are suited for and then start getting used to the fact that there will be many, many sleepless nights. And there will be many, many weekends that are devoted to doing what you love. So, if you love what you do like we do, then we know that what we're going to be doing the whole weekend. And then on Monday morning, we're back to our jobs. The reason is because we knew what we wanted and we knew we wanted to also build our careers in Finland. And at the same time, we were dedicated in building and establishing our own brand, Couple of Expats. We knew that we're going to be working around the clock, and that was something that we were okay with. It worked, works for us but not every individual is the same mood. And if that is not something that you're up for, then that's totally fine, they can. But be ready for a lot of coffee.

Tolga Karayel: Yes, drink coffee. Please contribute to the common effort.

Noemie Hueber: Did you have some final remarks or do we just say goodbye?

Megha Goswami: Make sure you check out Channel Couple of Expats on YouTube!

Noemie Hueber: And make sure to… [silence] best advertisement.

Tolga Karayel: I wish you all the best. At the beginning it will be challenging, but believe me that after some time, it's getting it way. Don't be too hassle about it. When you come to Finland, you will understand. Let it go. It will somehow find a path, and then it will make you happier. This is what I can say.

Noemie Hueber: And find a team. For both of you, I feel that it one of the big help concerning your projects, that you had a good team members.

Megha Goswami: There's team members and then there's having a rock. I have a rock, someone who supports me 24/7 and someone who I wouldn't be here without. So, there's a difference. And I see also Tolga being so thankful for his teammates… Behind every successful man or woman, there is another person who is silently working around the clock as well. So, thank you to those.

Noemie Hueber: Thank you for coming today.

Megha Goswami: Thank you for inviting us. And if you have any more questions please connect with us on LinkedIn!


Alumni Insights Team

Project Direction - Noemie Hueber

Project Supervision - Ameya Foujdar