“Software development projects are an amazing learning experience where you can get hands-on experience and create new bonds with people.”

Michal Wiselka started his Business Information Technology studies at Haaga-Helia in 2023. Soon after starting his studies, he found employment from his field in Finland. Currently, he is working in a Finnish company as a Cloud and Data Specialist in the data engineering field. He is responsible for the collection, transformation, processing, storage, and analysis of large-scale data.

Student testimonial

Michal Wiselka, originally from Poland, moved to Finland and started his studies at Haaga-Helia straight out of high school. In the last year of high school, he specialised in IT.

– My general interest in the broad world of IT was sparked in junior high school by an IT teacher. During high school, I learned a lot and did a lot of self-learning. Also, I completed an apprenticeship and worked as a Tech Engineering intern, he says.

He decided to apply to Haaga-Helia, because of the hands-on approach to learning: project-based approach and work placements. He also appreciates the flexibility of the variety of courses that students can choose from.

Regarding the process of moving to Finland, it has been a relatively easy process for him.

– In my case, there were no complications, and the Haaga-Helia staff has been nothing but helpful. Before the start of the semester, there was a welcome event for new students, and I was provided with all the needed information there, Wiselka describes.

Bridging theory and practice

Due to his previous experience in IT field, Wiselka has been able to advance in studies also through recognition of prior learning, meaning that he has been able to transfer credits and competences to his current studies. Most of Wiselka’s courses at Haaga-Helia have been face-to-face implementations and a combination of group and independent studies.

– I believe that software development projects are an amazing learning experience where you can get hands-on experience and create new bonds with people. It might be one of the best, if not the best, courses for software development students. 

– I have especially enjoyed the technical courses, such as “Database Developer” by Kari Silpiö. Course focused on technical aspects: how databases work 'under the hood'. Knowledge and skills learned through this course can be directly applied in my workplace, Wiselka describes.

Balancing act

Wiselka has been working in IT field full-time alongside his full-time studies. On certain days, he has had to rush from the campus back home to make it on time for a work meeting.

– I have to admit working and studying full time can be challenging at times. Fortunately, due to the vast number of course implementations offered by Haaga-Helia and the flexibility of my manager, combining work with studies is possible. I am not the only one combining full-time work with studies. It's inspiring to see other hardworking students trying their best – especially in evening courses, when most people are tired after having been through a long day, Wiselka says.

Comprehensive student support network

Every Haaga-Helia student is supported by a large network of specialists in study and career counseling and student wellbeing, as well as teachers. International students will also have opportunities to learn Finnish and learn about the Finnish work life.

– I have received a lot of support from Haaga-Helia staff, in particular my guidance counselor Liila Mäntylä Peuralinna and Eszter Kiss. Liila helped me with study scheduling, course selection, and exploring different study possibilities. Eszter Kiss introduced me to how the Finnish job market works. She reviewed my cover letters, CVs and shared her suggestions, which helped me find employment.

– Although I am not fluent in Finnish just yet, I would also like to express my gratitude towards my Finnish teachers and highlight the great work they have been doing. Both of the Finnish teachers whose lessons I have attended, Taija Hämäläinen and Anna-Reetta Kokkonen, have made tremendous efforts to make learning the Finnish language as easy and straightforward as possible. Their hard work has enhanced my language skills and confidence.

Your greetings to future students

– In my opinion, it is worth it to study at Haaga-Helia. Students have the flexibility to choose from a vast number of courses. Haaga-Helia staff is genuinely interested in helping students achieve their goals and start their careers. There are many foreign exchange opportunities, which are worth a consideration. I have made many great friendships, and in general, I am having a good time studying here, Wiselka says.