BIT alumnus Kwame Afreh: “Be proactive and approach companies while looking for a job”.
An alumni interview with Kwame Afreh, who works as an Agile Coach, QRD Transformation, at KONE.
Kwame Afreh graduated from the Degree Programme in Business Information Technology in 2013 from Laurea. Kwame was selected as the winner of the Laurea University of Applied Sciences Alumnus of the Year 2018. He currently works as an Agile Coach, QRD Transformation (Previously a Solution Design Owner, Planner Tools) at KONE.
The best part of his studies was the international environment with 18 different nationalities in his class. In addition, he preferred Laurea´s teaching methods.
- We had a chance to solve issues within the Espoo City. I remember taking a course called Service Innovation, where we were able to design services for a national park in Espoo.
- It kind of felt like we were solving issues within the community and that felt very good, Kwame says.
Kwame is also happy they had to make a presentation at every course during his studies, which has also helped him at his current job. Besides the contents of the studies prepared him for the job market.
- Even though it may not be my specialty area, but it was easier to adapt for my working environment.
Working at KONE, Kwame gets motivated to be behind a system or solution that have positive impact or help people to do their job.
- In that case, I am able to contribute to society and help people ease the problems they are having in their job. On the daily bases I just wake up to hope there is a problem for me to solve.
Networking is more than only adding people on LinkedIn
Kwame worked already during his studies. Kwame accomplished as much as three practical trainings during his studies, even though only one was compulsory. He did one of his practical trainings at Viope Solutions, where he did some market research in Africa. After the training, Kwame was hired as Sales Manager for the African Market and worked there for almost a year. Kwame emphasizes that the best way for students to find a job is to do the practical training in Finnish companies.
- Once you get a practical training from Finland you are one step closer to find a job.
After graduation Kwame has been working in an international environment. Working with people from different backgrounds already during his studies has helped to adapt to the international working environment. Therefore, Kwame advices international students to profile international companies in Finland.
- Profile the companies, start to follow them and try to network with them. All the work that I have done I have found through networking, Kwame states.
Kwame reminds that networking is not only adding people on LinkedIn. Employers want to know your capacity and what you can do; what are your skilled areas.
- If a person doesn´t really know what you can do they can´t either recommend you for open positions.
If you wish to go international, work with international talents
There are companies in Finland that could benefit by hiring more international talents. Having an international perspective could for example improve the working process.
- If your employers come from outside of Finland, they can have fresh ideas and could have an outlook on things that could be done in a different way.
- There are lots of startups which have quite a small market in Finland. Hiring an international student could give you the chance to go to another countries and do a market research for you. It gives you more in-depth of understanding of how outside market will be.
At the moment Kwame is doing his masters at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. After he has finished his master studies, he is thinking about opening his own company. That is his dream for now.
- I am thinking that if I am able to start my own company, I am also able to give also a chance to international students, Kwame considers.
The interview was organised by City of Vantaa’s and Laurea UAS’s joint project Uudet palvelupolut korkeasti koulutetuille maahanmuuttajille / Employment Paths for International Talents. The project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Finland and it promotes the targets of the national Talent Boost programme.