Even though he is always looking for adventures and travelling abroad, choosing Oulu wasn’t an easy decision to make for Sudanese Elnour Ahmed. “I wasn’t sure I could survive the winter, but surprisingly, it turns out that I love cold weather,” Elnour laughs.
Elnour explains he grew up in very hot weather, and surviving in the heat is not easy. The cold is different.
“Winter makes you active and so you end up walking and cycling in the snow. Even if I have had experiences from cold weather before, I have never experienced snow like here in Oulu. And last year I experienced -30 degrees in Oulu. I have no problem with it now,” Elnour says.
Elnour studies in the Master’s programme in Product Management at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of Oulu. Elnour says that the faculty is involved in extensive research in the area of product management.
“Companies are trying to reduce costs in production and services but they are challenged by short product life cycles that force them to improve current processes as well as other things, like greater focus to protect the environment. New ideas, innovation, processes and systems are needed and there is high demand for product managers who are well-prepared to take on these challenges in the industry. The Master’s programme covers all of these trends in depth,” Elnour muses.
Elnour says that he is especially pleased with the close link between research at the university and the industry.
“In addition to lectures I have done many group projects with real company cases from industry. This has improved my teamwork skills and problem-solving skills and also helped me build a great network with professionals in both local companies as well as global companies, who are based in the Oulu region,” Elnour says.
In Sudan, helping each other and volunteering for things is part of the culture. Elnour is bringing that sense of community with him to his life in Oulu.
“In my country we do things in a group and we help and assist each other. It has really sparked a passion for volunteering in me. I have volunteered in many big events like the FIFA World Cup in 2010, and in Oulu in the Air Guitar World Championship. I’ve been an active member of AIESEC Oulu, Oulu Entrepreneurship society and I am now in the Erasmus Student Network,” Elnour lists.
Volunteering and taking part in programmes like the UniOulu Ambassador programme are great ways for Elnour to share his experiences with other people.
“Studying and living in this international environment has given me the privilege of creating new relationships with people from different cultures. In addition to knowledge, I want to take with me a network of strong and lasting relationships with my teachers and fellow students,” Elnour says.
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Last updated: 12.6.2020