With my Bachelor degree in Business Administration and two years of work experience in Accounting and Finance, I wanted to deepen my knowledge and add more relevant theoretical perspective to my major. With this intention I came to Finland to study Financial and Management Accounting (FMA) in Oulu Business School. The reason of choosing Oulu University is its world-wide reputation and excellent research environment.
I remember how delighted I was to receive an e-mail from the University of Oulu about my admission to FMA and later a package about further steps to take. With all the clear instructions about how to proceed further, the pursuit of my aim became easy. It was for the first time that I had to go abroad and far away from my home country. Upon arrival all my worries went away during the first three days of orientation when I was given proper guidance about do’s and don’ts in Oulu, how to overcome cultural shock, using student intranet and library and all other relevant material. My student tutor helped me with tasks like registration, opening bank account, getting keys to my apartment, guidance regarding restaurants etc. I was overwhelmed to see how I was valued and taken care of.
For me, student value and care have been the most important things which have made my life much easier and enjoyable. I am fascinated by the learning environment where students are encouraged and welcome to discuss and raise questions. Students are facilitated with study portals like Optima and Noppa where lecture material is accessed and issues are being discussed. Labs are open till midnight where students are equipped with well processing computers and fast speed internet. Libraries are updated with current books and students can borrow as many books as they want. Not only from the university, but there is a huge library in the city where free of charge books can be borrowed.
Studies in Accounting and Finance are practical oriented. I learnt most from the case studies and group term papers that we used to write for almost every course. I liked the course ‘Corporate Governance’ where we analyzed the case of Anron and WorldCom which taught me current issues in the field. Also in ‘Advanced Firm Valuation’ we chose a company and applied valuation models to answer if one should invest or not. I believe that the FMA programme has taught me to skillfully diagnose and evaluate various problems faced by the global enterprises in the field. In my first year, I was having a bit of difficulty to get used to Finnish educational system but still it was enjoyable. Research work was quite new for me, but not anymore, thanks to the professors and course outline.
I feel honored and proud to be an Ambassador of the University of Oulu. I participated in Alumni Ambassadors program in early 2013 which gave me a sense of connections with the university. As an Alumni Ambassador, I feel myself an employee of the university who is responsible for collaborating with the Alumni relations to provide them with ideas and support them through feedback. Recently, I volunteered in an interview taken by a local communication company. My interview was used to evaluate and train others how to communicate and present themselves in front of visual media. Also, I gave a speech in Rectors Reception to welcome new students and share my experience. Combined with the experience from AIESEC Oulu as Vice President Finance, all the opportunities contributed to my interpersonal growth.
I was told about Finland’s cold weather back home but, my first impression of Oulu that I got was of an absolutely beautiful city in northern Finland. Oulu is very peaceful and close to nature. I am impressed with the quality of life in Oulu. Environment is very clean with fresh air and clean water. The local people are very honest, quiet and generally well educated. It's easy to make friends in Oulu if you are initiative enough. Oulu is famous for winter cycling. People bike even in -15 C since the bike paths are maintained and cleaned from snow every morning. One of the things that impress me most is honesty of people. It is very comfortable to leave stuff in library and go for a lunch break or hang jacket near the gates when you arrive in the university and find it at the same place after 12 hours. For example once I forgot to take my wallet from the library and I was so happy to see it in the same place next day.
Finnish culture is appealing. Part of it is Laskiainen which is held in mid winter. It is sliding festival where students dress in their overalls and participate in sliding competition. It is very fun to make groups and slide over the snow. Sauna is big in Finland and a house is incomplete without a sauna. You will get a chance to take sauna wherever you go. Juhannus is mid summer festival when there is sun for almost 22 hours. It is celebrated in June and people mostly go to their summer cottages to rejoice. The snow Castle of Kemi by the gulf of Bothnia in Finland is a true pride of snow art constructors. Besides, Santa Claus village in Lapland is worth visiting and meeting real Santa in life time experience.
Overall, I am privileged to be a student in the FMA programme in Oulu Business School and I highly recommend it to students who want quality education in a well reputed university while residing in one of the most beautiful countries in the world!
Anila Kiran, student in Financial and Management Accounting Master Programme
Last updated: 21.10.2015