- Savonia University of Applied Sciences
One of the most beautiful things that Kuopio has is that it is a small city. However, not too small and definitely not too big, so you really get to know the people and the local business. This environment allows you to be able to build meaningful relationships.
I am very grateful of having the opportunity to study in Savonia, especifically in the Bachelor of Business Administration Programme. What I have enjoyed the most about Savonia is that they welcome diveristy, they welcome new ideas and they provide you with the tools to make those ideas a reality - I think that is a quality that not many schools have.
2004 Shanghai, China. High School graduate Hao Chenjie was wondering on his choices for education. What would he like to study? Where? What would really make him stand out from the crowd?
To Savonia’s benefit, Hao Chenjie found the Finnish University of Applied Sciences by chance. He got interested in the small unit (well, small at least compared to the Chinese scale) located in the Eastern part of Finland. He started the application process, got accepted and walked on campus at the beginning of September 2005.
Hao Chenjie turned out be an exception in many a ways. Maybe it was dumb luck, maybe it was destiny, but he hooked up with a couple Finnish young gents and became, well, Finnish himself. From the start it was clear that Chenjie was Chenjie, and not called by some English name. “English names can be changed every other week, but your Chinese name will stay the same.” said the Finns. “We want to know the real you.”
Chenjie back in 2007 (left), Chenjie 2018 presenting Savonia in Shanghai (middle), father and son Hao (right).
Yue Shen of Nanchang had started his college in Shanghai a couple of years earlier. However, word-of-mouth on Finnish education reached him, and he made the jump from familiar Chinese environment to this unknown little Eastern town and started his bachelor studies all over again. Not only did Yue and Chenjie get to know each other and become friends, Yue met his future wife, Tiina, in the classroom. Tiina and Yue have been an item ever since. And, as a side note, Yue even won the photo competition organized during Shanghai World Expo 2010 by Study in Finland. The theme was “My Finland”, so clearly he had enjoyed his time in Finland, at least based on the pictures.
Life goes on and students graduate and the 3 moved on. Chenjie continued to get his Master’s in Göteborg, Sweden, and since VOLVO is so very conveniently located in Göteborg and interested in the Chinese market Chenjie got his chance to prove himself. And that he did, both professionally and culturally. He adopted the Scandinavian way of life and thinking and took it back home to China with him. He worked as a Project Manager for Ducker Worldwide for 5 years before starting a business of his own, Idun Works, importing, marketing and selling Scandinavian products in Shanghai. These products include Xylitol-based tablets and skin care products, Moomin diapers and so on, all the very core of Scandinavia.
After graduation Yue and Tiina moved to Great Britain, to Bournemouth for Yue to continue to his Master’s and once it was time to start a family they returned to Finland. Yue became the market area manager with GalenaPharma, operating in Kuopio and producing medical products, for example Xylitol-based skin care products among others.
The young men (and a lady) stayed friends, also with the Finnish school mates from years ago. Visits to each other all over the world were done at intervals, and with the modern communication possibilities the contact stayed frequent between the friends.
At GalenaPharma Virpi Laukkanen of Savonia, Yue Shen, Atte Kukkonen of Galena and a visiting professor (left). Chenjie, Yue and Tiina on campus Feb 2018 (right).
However, if you read carefully, you noticed another point where the gentlemen’s professional paths crossed again. GalenaPharma in Kuopio had plans in establishing presence in the Chinese market, and a local agent was needed. Mr. Yue Shen, being the Chinese expert within GalenaPharma suggested cooperation with a young organization in Shanghai, called Idun Works. The owner of Idun Works, Mr. Hao Chenjie was happy to start representing Scandinavian products he had gotten used to during his years in Finland and Sweden, and the friends started a business relationship as well.
What about Savonia, where the whole story began? Savonia is still educating young talents, both Chinese and Finnish. The connection that Savonia has to these two alumni has gotten closer during the past couple of years. Chenjie represents Savonia in Shanghai, taking care of potential student applicants, marketing the possibility of Finnish education and Bachelor’s degrees in Savonia and even ensuring the WeChat-presence of Savonia in China. Yue in Kuopio is a connection between GalenaPharma and Savonia in matters of company visits, internship places, student projects and such.
And together these three, Savonia, Chenjie and Yue form an exemplary triangle of international networks that all benefit from.
Terve, my name is Andreas. I was born and raised in Deggendorf, a small town in Bavaria, Germany. I moved to Finland in August of 2007 in order to start my studies at Savonia University of Applied Sciences in Kuopio. The study programme I chose was for the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business. The admission letter probably was the best news I ever received by snail mail, and quite frankly no other letter before or since has changed my life that much. The best example probably is that I am still living in Kuopio, even though I have long since finished my studies.
I was fortunate enough to be able to do the necessary internship in Kuopio. The company (Medikro Oy) is still my employer today. I guess I have been at the right place at the right time. From my experience I can only recommend that you are active when looking for an internship placement, nothing will happen if you are not pushing for it.
A lot of people say it is very hard to find an internship place in Finland if you do not master the Finnish language. I think that is only partially true. Speaking Finnish will make your life easier, also when looking for an internship place, but your best assets are your language skills in general as well as the intercultural skills you have also partly due to where you are from. With a little bit of luck your mother tongue and possible connections (aka networking) will let you succeed, and the less-than-perfect Finnish skills will not be a problem.
I am now a Sales Manager for Medikro, and I do a lot of travelling all over the world. I could not do my job without everything that I learned during my studies at Savonia. The BBA Degree Programme in International Business provides you with the right tools, the solid groundwork, the best basics, to have a successful career. I want to thank all the staff at Savonia UAS, all the teachers and guest lecturers, and also the administration staff for everything. I am proud to be a Savonia UAS Alumnus.
If you are looking for a place to study, and if you are willing to come to Finland, I recommend that you take Savonia UAS and Kuopio into close consideration. Kuopio is surrounded by lakes and a lot of nature, which makes it beautiful throughout the year. It's not the biggest city but it has everything you need, with wide selection of free time activities, international and domestic cuisine and shopping possibilities (incl. Ikea) as well as a great student community.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this, if you have any questions please contact the people at Savonia, they are very nice and open, and they would like to make you feel welcome.
See you around. ;)
At Savonia, if you can dream it, you can do it.
Yes, I can say it confidently because Savonia did help me achieve my dreams. For any student, local or foreigner, getting a good job after graduating from college is the only dream, especially in the foreign land. At Savonia, I did not just receive great education but also excellent travel and work opportunities. In addition, I found such admirable teachers who were always supportive and helpful in every possible way. I am Sudipta Chatterjee from India and a 2013 Business graduate from Savonia UAS.
On my graduation, along with my Bachelor’s degree certificate I received an offer to work for Savonia as a project planner. During my work, I was able to utilize my knowledge of international business and communication skills that I gained during my studies at Savonia. The work helped me realize how well I was prepared by Savonia to face the outside world once I graduate. What could have been a better start of a career for a fresher like me?
Now when I look back, choosing to study at Savonia was the best decision ever. Currently, I work as a student advisor at Savonia and simultaneously pursue Master’s degree in International Business at the University of Eastern Finland, thanks to Savonia now I can handle more than one thing at a time :-)