Tampere Ambassador: Jen W. Johnson

Where are you from?

I am from Minnesota, USA, studied abroad in Segovia, Spain, completed my graduate program in Vermont, USA, and lived and worked in Bangalore, India. Now, I am in Tampere.

What would you like to tell about yourself?

I am an internationally-minded and creative individual. I love to travel, write, coach, and connect. I also love to build and develop networks, and businesses. I am passionate about meeting new people, connecting them with the resources they need to grow and develop, and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed.

What makes Tampere special for you?

I moved to Tampere in August 2016 with my husband, who is a doctoral researcher at the University of Tampere. I have found Tampere to be charming and peaceful and the people who live here to be hospitable and kind. I am especially impressed and inspired by the spirit of entrepreneurialism and intention. I am also very passionate about education, as well, and couldn’t be more excited to be living here in Finland, where education is so renowned. Finally, I love that I can have a coffee sitting at a cobblestoned café and, not too far away, find myself in a forest.

Tell about your professional activities?

For the last decade, I have worked in international education to manage the development of study abroad programs, university partnerships, and government and industry liaisons. This has included directing a startup company in India, growing a small international business in the USA, and working at a university. I am an international businesswoman and cross-cultural communication expert. Now, I am starting a coaching and consulting company called Engage International to help equip students, entrepreneurs, and startups with the skills and resources they need to succeed confidently in a global marketplace; specifically, the USA. I also help businesses and universities build strategic relationships and complete internationalization projects.

What is your involvement in international activities?

My vision has always been international, and my everyday work reflects this. I also recently founded the Nordic Bossbabe Network, an international professional network for female entrepreneurs in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark to be able to connect, collaborate, and support each other. I have big dreams for this network and am eager to see how it grows!

What is your mission as a Tampere - All Bright! Ambassador?

I believe that my mission as an ambassador is multi-fold. Tampere has so much to offer, and I am standing right in the midst of it.

I would love to continue to build and promote the amazing female entrepreneurs that we have here in Tampere to the rest of the region and the world, and, vice-versa, bringing the strengths and skills of international women into the city as it continues to develop in so many different ways. In addition, ever since I moved to Finland I have been astounded by the many connections between my home state, Minnesota, and Finland, and look forward to the many possibilities of further connection, collaboration, and development here in Tampere whether in business or education.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?

I think that Tampere has a great potential for growth. There is so much happening, and so many eager, skilled, and intentional people, agencies, businesses, and institutions. From Tampere3 to startup accelerators to SmartCity development, Tampere is on its way. I think it is important for Tampere to continue to use the skills and experiences of its entrepreneurial and international talents to benefit from truly all of the perspectives and skill sets and grow in both an innovative and global direction.

Photo: Jen W. Johnson