Green pass for future opportunities - Alexandra Lazarin enjoyed her Master’s studies in Tourism
Alexandra Lazarin graduated from the Master’s degree programme in Tourism back in 2017. She moved to Finland in the summer 2015 and wanted to get a higher degree and specialize in the hospitality field with a Master’s education.
The Haaga-Helia Master’s programme suited her needs perfectly, according to her. She enrolled to the Open university of applied sciences and eventually became a degree student in January 2016 through the open path application.
— I felt like the process was very smooth. I was so happy to hear about the open path option to enrol, as I missed the entrance examinations in April because I was not in Finland at that time. I felt like it was just like a miracle to find this opportunity and be able to enrol as an open path student after reaching the required number of credits during the first semester, Alexandra says.
Before Haaga-Helia, Alexandra had worked in project management in Italy for five years with a consulting firm that offered training within the hospitality industry. There she handled reports and organised training among other things.
At Haaga-Helia, her studies included, for example, project management, communication, and leadership. She says that she was extremely impressed by the study methods, they were something she hadn’t experienced before in her previous studies. She describes that Haaga-Helia’s approach was very practical and hands-on, and it was possible to connect all the things she learned with her work.
— The classes were also very fun and the teachers were always innovative, coming up with new ideas and projects. With some, we did so many out of the box activities, like role plays, videos on communication, things that, for me, were hard to do but they pushed me out of my comfort zone. Those are the things we will remember. Everything was so well organized, I can't express enough how much I've enjoyed my time at Haaga-Helia. I loved my education and I would do it all over again!, she says.
Alexandra tells that the study group was very diverse and international, where everyone had very relevant work experience from different layers of tourism. This was an eye-opening experience for her, and it helped her to broaden her perspectives and learn from others. She has also stayed in touch with some students within and also from outside of her programme.
One of the best memories from Haaga-Helia is her thesis project, which also had a very practical approach. She finished all her courses in May 2016 and then moved to Canada. She had to finish her thesis, and she wanted it to be an important one, so she took part in several networking events and eventually got connected with the Congress Centre of Montreal and offered to make a study for them.
— I was very much interested in the event industry at that time, so I talked with the commissioner about feasible research topics. We narrowed it down to attendees’ engagement and the technological impact, and how technology will contribute to their experience while attending an event. The findings were related to various technologies and how those will be useful for future events. It was a successful project and the commissioner was very satisfied with the work.
Alexandra tells that she currently works for Airbnb, where the effect of COVID can also be seen – she still has hope for things to get better.
— In addition, the travel industry is going towards a major shift, and long term stays and digital nomad communities will be more and more on the rise. An increasing number of people will want work with flexibility, being on an island or somewhere else in the nature, where they have access to Wi-Fi and are able to work remotely, she explains.
She was lucky enough to experience the digital nomad life herself while working on an island for 4,5 months. This not only helped her improve her knowledge, learn about new destinations but also grow as a human and see the world through a different lens.
”This is a world of flexibility and we have to embrace the change”, she describes.
She greets future and current students:
— It was just fantastic to be able to study in Finland. For me, this was life-changing and gave me a green pass for future opportunities. Of course, you have to do your part and knock on doors and seize the opportunity. This is what I did and eventually got my dream job. I wanted to work for one of the major companies in the world and did not give up on that dream. I am so grateful to work now for Airbnb Montreal. I fully recommend Haaga-Helia and this programme to anyone. I cannot say enough how much this experience improved my life and my career path. Remember to network! I used to go to networking events every week and make connections with various professionals.