“When dreams get engaged with professional and systematic approach, it capitalizes into success. You learn to gain momentum through organized and timely work processes. This is what Finland gives you: the value of time.”, says Brown Onduso, who is a long term Marketing and Business professional from Kenya, now working for Glaston in Tampere.
Maria Opoku-Aikins, a university student in Tampere, describes the Finnish education system as “a flexible system which aims at making full package of professionals and thinkers”. Both Brown and Maria are pursuing their dreams and developing their professional competences in Tampere.
Brown, who came to Finland 15 years ago, says: “Coming to Finland was one of the biggest decisions of my life that changed my overall personality. I realized soon that Finns have a different approach and work style. Being optimistic, I took every single chance that rolled at me to learn from this difference. Things rolled when I started giving lectures in Tampere University of Applied Sciences TAMK. I took this as a platform to meet people and build my own social network. Gradually, meeting people and getting to know the Finnish work culture helped me to build a new self.”, says Brown.
A few months after coming to Finland, Brown registered a company that he runs on a part time basis. Through the company, he provides training to individuals and organizations interested in doing business in developing economies. According to Brown, it is smooth to set-up and start a business in Finland.
Brown’s optimistic approach is impressive. “Tampere gives you multiple channels to explore your talent. It made me, what I am today.”, he says. 11 years ago, he joined Glaston as a trainee where he now works on a full time basis. Brown says that Finland made him ‘grow up’. The Finnish culture made him learn to work in a more scheduled way. Along with the full-time job and part-time business activities, he still finds time to take care of the ever-changing schedules of his son and his own hobby of running marathons. “Scheduling your timetable is the best we can learn, being here.”, he says. “Everyone knows his/her job and works according to a timetable. Finns respect time and thus they have time for their families. “
Initiatives like Twinkle help strengthen the diverse and multinational culture of Tampere. Twinkle started as a movement to inspire bright people and bright business to interact and now Twinkle association is an operative arm promoting multiculturalism, co-creation and networking. In Twinkle 2015 event, Brown’s and Maria’s paths crossed which led to Maria’s traineeship at Glaston.
Maria Opoku-Aikins is an energetic young trainee who worked in Glaston’s Marketing department during her internship. She studies Peace, conflict and mediation research at the University of Tampere. Originating from both Ghana and Belarus, and having lived in several different countries, she is a perfect example of a multinational talent. Maria is very happy about the flexibility of the education in Finland: “Students have the flexibility of choosing and partaking in courses outside of their program, they can also take part in exchange programs, internships or extra courses. These options broaden your view.“
Maria is packaging herself with all knowledge and experience she gathered in these years. The traineeship at Glaston with Brown has given practical experience on working life. “Doing an internship in Finland is different as compared to other countries. Here, you are not just overwhelmed with random paperwork but you are entrusted with important tasks which are directly linked with other people’s job. A colleague’s ability to reach a deadline is directly related to your efficiency, hence creating a spirit of teamwork. A successfully completed internship helps you tremendously and you can proudly add it to your CV.”