Student Story - Che Guevara Mwakanjuki
Che Guevara Mwakanjuki
Energy and Environmental Engineering
Home country: Tanzania
What are you currently doing: Kitchen Helper
How did you find out about TAMK and what made you choose it for your studies?
I became aware of TAMK in 2002, through my younger sister, who visited me back home in Tanzania during her industrial training. She told me a lot about her studies and how similar it was to what I was doing here at that time. I worked at Zanzibar Sustainable Programme as a Coordinator in the Environmental Planning and Management department, which was under the Zanzibar Municipal Council. But, it was my younger brother who took more steps to enable me to join TAMK, after sending the application forms in 2004. Same year, in June, I was on a flight to Finland to attend the interview and join the university.
What did you like most about Tampere and Finland?
Living in Tampere was great, due to the fact that I lived with my brother, who has already been in Finland for six years. So it was simple for me to get integrated in the Finnish culture through him and his family. However, my young sister was there too and she made me feel like home. On the other hand, my classmates and schoolmates were friendly and the other Tanzanians studying at TAMK. Since I had a three month visa, after the interview, I spent most of my time travelling within Finland to attend other school interviews and to accompany my younger brother to his workshops on how to play drums. I met many people in a very short period of time and explored different Finnish towns.
In what ways have your studies contributed to your professional and personal life?
After I graduated from TAMK in 2009, I wasn't able to find a job. However, that year, the Finnish government introduced some changes for foreign graduated students in Finland to grant them a visa, which allowed to work full time. The aim of these changes were to encourage students from abroad to work in Finland. In my case, the obstacle of not finding a job was the language. In five years spent at TAMK, I used English both for studying and communication, but it was totally different when starting to apply for work as Finnish language was required.
I was able to share some of my knowledge with organizations by writing articles on environmental issues in their journals, such as ECOKEM and Tampere Water.
How has TAMK supported your needs as a student?
The reason I joined TAMK was to increase my knowledge on the environmental issues, and TAMK supported well enough that aim throughout my time there, from an academic point of view to basic human needs. Being a student at TAMK brought many advantages in terms of accommodation, transportation and entertainment.
Nevertheless, TAMK supported my participation in several community activities: reviewing "Guidelines of Solid Waste Management " in the city of Mwanza, Tanzania, participating in environmental conservation in some towns in United Kingdom and working with local schools in Mwanza for compost making. These were achieved by receiving full support from the environmental department and the international students office at TAMK.
What would you say to anyone considering studying at TAMK?
TAMK is a university which provides all facilities needed to pursuit your dreams and I will never hesitate to recommend it to anyone who would like to join it.
This story was written in February 2016.