The business of mastering five disciplines
Eevi Bengs, a student of the Degree Programme for Multilingual Management Assistants at Haaga-Helia, is looking forward to the most exciting spring in her life: She is competing for a place in the Rio 2016 summer Olympic games. Thanks to the flexibility of the studies, it is possible.
In an average week Eevi Bengs, 25, trains 25–30 hours. Modern pentathletes have to master the five disciplines of fencing, swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting and running, and their training schedules can be hectic.
Despite the demands, Eevi has managed to successfully combine studying and competitive sports. – “Thanks to the flexibility of the studies,” she says.
Eevi started in the Degree Programme for Multilingual Management Assistants, or MUBBA, in 2011. She ended up at Haaga-Helia almost by accident. Eevi attended the Mäkelänrinne Sports High School, and although she knew that she wanted to study something alongside sports, she had no clear idea of what it could be. The MUBBA programme seemed versatile. Eevi applied on the last day of the application period — and got in.
The most important factor for Eevi was that Haaga-Helia is part of URHEA, the Metropolitan area sports academy, and thus committed to offering flexibility to athletes.
Despite her busy training and competition schedule, Eevi has managed to fit in her studies. She plans her study schedule based on the amount of free time available in each semester. For example, with all the upcoming competitions this spring, Eevi is taking less courses.
"It has all worked out surprisingly well. As long as you have some idea of alternative ways to complete your courses, it's usually possible."
Eevi enjoys studying at Haaga-Helia. "This programme offers so many career opportunities. Language and IT skills will benefit me in the future."
Eevi is a multiple Finnish and Nordic champion in pentathlon. The athletes for the Olympics are chosen based on this spring's competition results.
"It's going to be an exciting and interesting spring. I'm really looking forward to it," says Eevi.
Her overall goal is to have a long career as an athlete and do well in the European Championship, World Championship and World Cup series.
"One is always thinking about how to better one’s performance: swim faster, hit the target more accurately, or get more points in fencing. Sports involves a huge range of emotions, from top-of-the-world moments to massive disappointments," she describes.
Sports also offers opportunities to meet different people and make friends with athletes from different countries. According to Eevi, pentathletes tend to have a great team spirit: they are one big, international family.
The best thing about pentathlon for Eevi is its versatility.
"It's great how, in a competition, you don't know your final standing until you cross the finish line in the combined event," she says.