Laura Willgren, Autumn 2012
During my International Business studies at HAAGA-HELIA, I have majored in marketing. Unlike many others, I did not start my studies in Finland. I lived abroad for a number of years and my studies started in southern Germany back in 2008.
During the first two years of my business education, I studied International Business in Germany, where the focus was on leadership. When I first started there, I had no intention of switching universities, but life can take one to unexpected situations.
I loved my time in Germany, as it gave me multiple opportunities to meet people from around the globe and to work for a major global company. But in 2010, after almost 10 years abroad, I wanted to come back to Finland.
In August 2010, I started my studies at HAAGA-HELIA. Combining my previous studies in Germany and starting studies in Finland had some challenges. However, without a doubt, I am very glad that I started studying. At the beginning I felt that a lot of what was taught was more or less common knowledge. What I did not realize back then was that parts of it were so, but there were other factors I had no knowledge of and I learned them easily, as they were combined with ideas and processes learned before.
During my studies, I have grown as a person and become more considerate when working with other people. I am sure that this is so thanks to a lot of teamwork at school, even though there might have been times when I wished I could have worked on my own. I also have a good overview of international business as a whole, and this is due to the variety of courses during the studies. It might be that my personality is strong minded and determined, but after being a project leader of multiple team projects, I have learned how to adapt my skill set. By this I mean that I have been able to plan and accomplish the tasks at hand with people around the globe and learned a lot during the projects. I believe that understanding how the same things can be viewed from different angles is a huge advantage for anyone and this can be achieved by studying/ working with a diverse and international team. One might even realize that his/ her view, after all, is not the most fitting one.
I was already working before I started my studies, and also during them, but when I look back now, I can see how I could have performed even better. This is simply because of the things learned during the past years. With this background, I feel that I am capable of transferring my improved skill set into different working environments, which will benefit not only me but also my future employers.
Writing my thesis showed me how I can carry out a major research project for a company and create something that will be beneficial for them. To me, this proves that I have learned a lot, as I know that I would not have been able to do so four years ago.
I can also add that International Business, as a study field, may not always offer a specific job title for one to go after at the outset of studies. However, because so much is included in the field, one will find the fitting path during one's studies. In the past, while everyone else knew what they wanted, I was clueless. But now I know exactly what I want to do in the future. It is funny how life can teach you in the most unexpected ways.