Interview with Elvira Petrova

Elvira Petrova
Student in University of Helsinki

Elvira, how did you end up in Finland?

I’ve always wanted to live in Finland since I was a teenager. I cannot really explain why, just felt that this was the right place for me to be. I started applying for jobs, but got more than a hundred of refuses. I switched my thoughts towards studying in Finland. The University of Helsinki seemed to be the most attractive for this purpose. I applied and got accepted.

You work for the University of Helsinki. What kind of process that was to apply for the job in Finland?

Internal job market is very important. People know each other and can recommend you, that is why great relationship with colleagues plays a great role in job hunting. Initiative is another quality that makes you successful in building up of your career. I myself was very initiative while attending the Guidance Tutoring course and my tutor recommended me afterwards to do the same kind of job. Once I became a part of the university staff it started being much easier to get promoted or find some similar work tasks based on the professional image I obtained during my first job.

You have also studied in the university here. How would you improve the English study programs in the university? How did the studies support your employability aspect?

The Master’s Degrees that are fully launched in English are very good. It is even hard to say about the improvement. Usually there are enough of master’s courses that are taught in English and if not, you can always negotiate with the teacher about some individual plan/task that enables you to pass the course of your choice regardless of the language. It terms of my employability, my studies directly influenced my work life. The knowledge that I got while obtaining the master’s degree is extremely helpful. This is what I like doing (statistics and applied mathematics) and to my knowledge there is a demand for such skills in Finland.

What concrete benefits have you gained from your international background?

My Russian origin and the knowledge of the Russian language put a strong impact on my daily activities. As Russia and Finland are neighbors, they have a lot of business connections. I hear every day that more and more Russia-speaking employees are needed to perform jobs. This is good news for me. On the other hand, having been working and studying in a multicultural environment has let me grow a lot as a person and enabled me to understand other cultures better that nowadays results in easy and pleasant every day communication with people from all over the world.

What kind of plans do you have for the future in Finland?

I would like to work permanently and full-time in Finland. This is the right place for me. I’ve worked hard to be there, so I am not going to leave my dream.

Any last words?

I encourage you not to be afraid to follow your dream and try new things in your life! There could be a lot of difficulties on the way. I hope you will find strength to overcome them to fully enjoy the victory!