“Business takes you anywhere!
“Always keep in mind that every student you meet in these corridors might be your future business partner,” the 21-year-old Azra Arnautovic says. As a fourth year International Business student she already knows that in her field of choice networking is just as important as number crunching.
“Of course I started off getting on the tram in the wrong direction,” Azra says with a laugh. The self-proclaimed small town girl arrived in Helsinki four years ago with map in hand, and it didn’t take long before the vibrant coastal capital felt like home. Uncertain of what her future would bring career-wise, she had opted for a degree programme which gave her as many paths to choose from as possible.
“I couldn’t think of a single field where business competence isn’t valued,” she says. “There are also excellent options for master’s studies and no end to the combinations possible with other subjects. Now, with graduation just around the corner, I’m leaning towards human resources. I’ve always been a social person and good at getting people to open up, so I think I’d be a great fit.”
So how come a Swedish-speaking Finn, such as Azra, chooses to study in English in her own home country?
“I grew up in the small town of Närpes, but I was born in Bosnia and speaking multiple languages has been a natural part of my upbringing. And when it comes to your education, and maybe for business students in particular, it’s such an advantage to take an international approach. Have you noticed that there is hardly a single work ad even here in Finland that doesn’t include the requirement ‘fluent English, both written and oral’?”
And language skills haven’t been the only benefit of Azra’s international approach.
“If you’re studying International Business it’s quite clear that you’re aiming at a career either abroad or working in an international company in Finland. Then the intercultural experiences you have here at Arcada are invaluable. I get to spend my days alongside Asians, North- and South Americans, Africans and people from all over Europe. Learning to understand their cultures is both important for my career and an amazing experience.”
As an International Business student at Arcada you can choose one of four majors: Marketing, Logistics, Tourism and Financial Management. Additional course modules further increase your options. Azra, majoring in Financial Management, chose to combine most of her elective studies with her ten-month period as an exchange student in France.
“I attended the Ecole de Commerce Européenne in Bordeaux and came home with over 60 ECTS credits, which was even more than I actually needed. I mainly took courses in marketing and I loved every second. Arcada encourages you to study abroad for a time, and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.”
Another way to add a personal touch to your education is through your choice of work practice assignments.
“I found a position as a Financial Assistant at the ecological food-vendor Anton & Anton here in Helsinki,” Azra says. “Choosing a smaller company meant that I got to work closer to the CEO and management, which made the experience so much more rewarding. I really appreciate Arcada’s practical approach to studies in general. Nothing compares to learning by doing, and stepping outside campus always gives you new perspectives.”