"Vocational Teacher’s Education taught me to help others improve"

Communication and listening are increasingly vital skills in working life. That was one reason for MBA Catarina Myllärniemi to apply for Vocational teacher studies at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.

Alumni Testimonials

 The degree in English is recommended for persons who are working as teachers in Finland but are not able to complete the studies in the Finnish language.

Catarina Myllärniemi is a communications professional and an entrepreneur with nearly two decades of managerial experience. In addition, Myllärniemi acts as a mentor and tennis coach.

— Mentoring is an important way to pass on work experience for those who don’t yet possess it, Myllärniemi describes.

Nowadays Myllärniemi has got a vocational teacher’s degree. Her growing interest in HR skills and teaching got her to apply for the 60 credit point Vocational teacher’s education programme at Haaga-Helia in 2013. She got in on her second attempt and graduated in 2015.

— Lessons and the skills that the Vocational teacher’s programme provide are more relevant than ever, says Myllärniemi.

— Listening skills and anthropocentrism are growing trends in working life. Bossing around in an authoritarian way isn’t today’s way to lead.

Studying in a diverse group

Myllärniemi completed her studies partially along with her work projects. Studies consisted of lecture days, personal learning with literature, essays and assignments, plus practical lessons in guidance and teaching.  

— I spent a lot of time in University of Helsinki’s library studying education theory. That literature still plays an important role in my mission to understand personal development and growth.

— Even though the studies did require some practical and economical arrangements in my everyday life, studying in a diverse group was very fruitful. Among my fellow students were a police officer and an engineer, to name a few. My own background was in economic science. I remember a number of all-round and intelligent conversations.

The curriculum of Haaga-Helia’s Vocational teacher education is personally customized for every student. A simultaneous job in teaching helps but is not necessary. Myllärniemi did part of her assignments regarding changes of learning in her work at Microsoft. In addition she taught communications at Haaga-Helia StartUp School.

Myllärniemi praises the teaching quality in Haaga-Helia.

— The teachers were among the best of Finland. They had lot to give also for the more experienced students. I would describe the teachers as professionals who are interested in change.

The teaching methods reflected the trends of future learning: co-creating, information management and critical thinking.

Versatile learning for those interested in change

What happens in the human brain in the moment of learning? And how to create the best possible environment for adapting new?

The most crucial realization for Myllärniemi during her studies in the Vocational teacher’s programme was to understand how to enable learning for individuals and groups.

— Vocational teacher education includes studies in psychology and education theory. They provide one with important tools in one’s everyday work, Myllärniemi says. 

Myllärniemi wanted to learn a new set of skills: managing and guiding on a personal level. For those goals, the Vocational teacher’s programme in Haaga-Helia was a perfect fit.

— I believe every person has the right to become seen and heard as his/her own self, says Myllärniemi.

She recommends Vocational teacher’s education for everyone who is interested in other people’s development.

— If you want to help others go forward, this is the place for you.