An Education Engineer in the making

Tara Goodwin’s passion for education was ignited by her own experiences with education. “I was lacking skills I felt I should have. And everybody I talked to, felt the same way. So, I thought, there has to be a solution,” she remembers. When thinking of good education, Finland came to her mind and research led Tara to the Learning, Education and Technology master’s programme at the University of Oulu.

The programme gave her the chance to combine her previous education as a Mechatronic Systems Engineer with the educational field. “Engineers are trained in designing and problem solving. And I want to apply this in an educational setting,” she explains. That means for example designing curriculums and teaching technologies – a cross between learning sciences and design. “I always say the job that I want does not exist yet. So, I have to create it,” Tara laughs.

Due to COVID-19 Tara had to start her studies remotely, which meant inverting the day and night rhythm, as her time zone in Canada is nine hours behind Finland. But she is happy how smoothly it is working and sees the advantages in the well organised online teaching: “I like that I have more control over my studies, I don’t have to commute, and all of my materials are online. That is very convenient.” Even though studying remotely, Tara feels comfortable among her supportive peers and teachers who create a good atmosphere within the programme.

But of course, Tara hopes to come to Oulu eventually. “I love cycling, and I saw that Oulu is one of the best cities in the world for cycling, so I was hooked before I even submitted my application. Knowing how much I had fallen in love with Oulu and Finland, University of Oulu was the only university I applied to.”

Another thing Tara is looking forward to are Finnish cinnamon buns. “I love any kind of baked goods and I have heard nothing but great things about Finnish cinnamon buns,” she laughs, "The first thing I will do when I land in Finland is definitely eating a cinnamon bun." But until then she will enjoy studying from afar, dreaming of visiting Lapland in winter for the northern lights, and in summer for reindeer wandering on lush green fells. And of cinnamon buns, of course.


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At the time of the interview this student resided in their home country and had not yet been to Oulu due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews took place during the autumn semester 2020, when studies were mostly online.


Last updated: 10.12.2020