Joonas, a BIT student: “Online studies call for good time management”

Our student interviewee is Joonas Ahosilta, who studies in the English-language Business Information Technology -programme.

English-language programmes also offer a good alternative for Finnish-language students who want to develop their language skills and gain valuable experience in an international study environment. The IT sector is a good example of a field where international competence and language skills are needed although one works in Finland.

Joonas Ahosilta, a student from Espoo in Laurea’s English-language Business Information Technology programme, knows this well:

- Previously, I completed a basic qualification in information technology in upper secondary level vocational studies and, after graduating, I worked in the IT sector for a few years. I wanted to improve my career advancement opportunities, so I applied to Laurea and was admitted, says Joonas, who has completed half of the credits required for the degree.

Ahosilta lived in England when he was a child, which is why studying in English was an easy choice.

- Another reason for studying in English was that at work I saw how important English is in the IT sector. Many duties required a good command of English, and my colleagues were from different parts of the world.

Getting to know an international group of students was interesting

Ahosilta, too, has faced some challenges in studying in English:

- For example, right at the beginning of my studies, we had several challenging project management study units in English, he says.

- In retrospect, however, these challenging study units have been the most rewarding so far—they have enabled me to learn the most.

Joonas Ahosilta started studying at Laurea in the autumn 2017. The first year included a lot of shared studies and group work at the Leppävaara campus. In the second year, my studies have mainly taken place online.

- The first year was a fun and motivating start to my studies.  It was really nice to get to know students from different countries and to work together, Joonas says.

- The majority of students in our group came from other countries, and there were just a handful of Finnish students. We had a great group and during the first year we were also provided with lots of activities in which we could help foreign students get to know Finland.

Studies help you see the “big picture”

During his studies, Joonas Ahosilta has also been working in the IT sector through as an entrepreneur. Online studies in the second year have provided excellent opportunities to flexibly combine working and studying.

- December marked a year-and-a-half in my studies, but I have actually earned a lot more credits than required, almost by accident, he says.

Successful online studies require good motivation to study, according to Ahosilta. It is also very important to know how to organise and schedule one’s studies in order to create a routine and get the assignments done.

- Since my work involves travel, scheduling my studies can be challenging, Joonas says.

- However, every Monday, I take a look at my week and schedule the week’s assignments accordingly.

During his Bachelor’s studies, Ahosilta has been happy to notice that he actually learned a lot while working and that the things he is now learning at Laurea support his experience gained in the workplace. My studies have helped me broaden my horizons, and it’s now easier to see the “big picture” of work.

- I now understand better why certain things are done. This in turn has given me a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that I could do well in managerial positions in the future, he says.

In terms of future goals and dreams, Joonas has many ideas, but he does not know exactly what he would like to do after graduating:

- I set high standards for myself, he says.

- An important aspect of my future plans is to be able to do something meaningful—for example, as an entrepreneur.