Student Story - Sebastjan Brezovec
Home country: Slovenia
What are you currently doing: Customer Happiness Specialist at Piceasoft Ltd, Tampere.
How did you find out about TAMK and what made you choose it for your studies?
Before starting my studies, I was already living in Tampere. After losing my job, the idea was to get a new set of skills. I have opted not to apply for a Master's degree at the University of Tampere, nor at Tampere University of Technology, mainly due to the length of the studies (6 or more years). I was looking for a university degree that I would be able to get in a shorter period of time.
Any English programme was a priority, because I can express myself much better in English than in Finnish. In 2012, there were 5 English programmes to choose from: International Business, Tourism, Media, Environmental Engineering and Nursing.
Two major factors have influenced my decision on which programme to choose. First one was my previous degree in Food Science and Technology. I did not want another degree from the field of Life Sciences, so Environmental Engineering was not an option. Nursing and Media were not my cup of tea. The unemployment office has indicated to extend my financial support for two years if I were to be accepted to International Business (IB) studies. So there it was: IB!
What did you like most about Tampere and Finland?
I came to Finland in 2003 with a one-year work contract and stayed mainly because of work. After getting married, there was no reason to leave. Tampere has been my hometown since my arrival to Finland. The town grew close to my heart mostly because everything is within walking distance. Also, the nature is close; there are no spots in Tampere that would be more than 500 meters away from forests, which usually offers peace and tranquility.
In what ways have your studies contributed to your professional and personal life?
If I would have to single out one thing about my studies at TAMK, I would summarize it in a sentence: "I have changed my view on life from extremely negative to moderately positive." Of course, this requires a little bit of explanation otherwise it's just empty words. In only three years, I've seen more business opportunities than in forty+ years before. Business study does not include only sitting in lecture rooms; it encompasses company visits, occasional conferences or seminars, study trips, interdisciplinary projects like the International Business Week or Demola. All these have opened my eyes to new ideas and made me change my attitude. Successful projects wouldn't be possible without people. During the studies I met lots of interesting people: colleague students, professors and business people. I hope some will be part of my life for years to come.
How has TAMK supported your needs as a student?
I'd say I'm rather modest and I don't have many needs. But TAMK has spoiled me a bit: very affordable and tasty food, a wide selection for lunch and dinner including healthy options (soups and salads), free coffee at the student union. TAMK's library is a modern facility, a place to go when you need a book, a magazine, a copy machine, a scanner, or a place for teamwork. With its wide selection of e-books, one can even read on the go, without even visiting the library. Did I mention helpful staff? When talking about people, it wouldn't be fair not to mention study counsellors, teacher tutors, lecturers and social counsellors. All have been there to offer support or for an occasional chat. After graduation, I must say I do miss the excellent food, the relaxed environment and of course, the people.
What would you say to anyone considering studying at TAMK?
Don't come to TAMK if you are happy with your current situation and you think progress is something for people living in the third world. Don't come to TAMK if you don't wish to learn anything new. Don't come to TAMK if you are uncomfortable with working in teams. However, if you would like to expand your horizon, update your skillset, meet new people including students, lecturers, future employers, then TAMK is definitely the place for you.
This story was written in June 2016.