Tampere Ambassador: Melissa Gonzalez-Soto

Where are you from and what would you like to tell about yourself?
¡Hola! I am Melissa Gonzalez-Soto, I am a Mexican entrepreneur in the area of Education. I grew up in Mexico City with my family. In 2014 I applied for the Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Research and Innovation in Higher Education, which had the University of Tampere as one of the consortium partners, now Tampere has become my home too.

Why is Tampere the best place to live?
Tampere received me with a white paradise: forest covered by snow, snowflakes that stuck in my window creating unique nature masterpieces, frozen lakes and activities that became part of my hobbies such as ice skating, snowshoeing, hiking, snowman construction and snowball fights.

Tell about your professional activities?
In my academic activities, Tampere, was just my ideal on how universities should be: collaborative, engaging and innovative. With the merging of the universities in the city I could immerse myself not just in UTA but also in TAMK ad TUT, learning more about how higher education can be and can offer. As an education professional this was very relevant for my experience, since I discovered how community, government and universities could work together to rebuild the concept of university.

To integrate myself in the Tampere community has been smooth and enriching, Tampere is diverse and secure, from Tango lessons to eating mustamakkara, this is a place where you can bring your culture and share locals. Tampere is definitely a wonderful place to live, to be an entrepreneur, to study, to explore and to invent yourself because of its beauty, its location, its people, its student culture and, of course because you are always welcome.

What is your involvement in international activities?
CampIdeas Mexico, the project I founded in my country delivers Science and Technology learning experiences for teenagers with the aim of empowering in leadership and innovation. Here in Tampere, I have learnt about how TUT builds relationships with the industry and community, how UTA develops its students and how TAMK prepares students to work. This has been relevant for the future of my project, and of course the network I had created here.

Also, I am the Academic and Culture Cooperation Coordinator for the Latin America and the Caribbean Chapter of the Erasmus Mundus Association, I work with the development of partnerships with the universities and European delegation in the region. I would like to capitalize on this position and improve the relationship with Finland.

What is your mission as a Tampere - All Bright! Ambassador?
My mission as a Tampere-All Bright! Ambassador is to spread the culture, potential and network of the city in the places I visit and live. Tampere is a hub that needs to grow and attack more talent and doers. I believe that Tampere can become an entrepreneurial region and an intercultural city.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
I would be glad to work with other Ambassadors and make Tampere the city we all dream of. Together we are more.

Link with Melissa on LinkedIn >>

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