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Anjuli: My path from IT Bachelor to IT Professional

Foreigners in Finland

20 years in Finland

I have lived in Finland since September 2001- so a little over 20 years. I moved to Finland from India to do a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program specializing in Information Technology (IT). This program was in English.

I was also fortunate to have gotten a part-time job as an English Club teacher soon after my arrival. After that, every summer, I was able to get traineeships in the IT sector. I also got a scholarship from my university- so money was not a problem while studying.

While I was writing my thesis, towards the end of my degree program, I was offered a job by Nokia, and I then stayed here.

I also acquired Finnish citizenship in 2009. Over these years, I have gotten married and am now a mother of 2 boys aged 7 & 12. We have our own house in Espoo where we are happily living. My mother is in India and visits us often. My brother also lives here with his wife and two kids.

Photo by Juha Roisko Photography: Anjuli´s family

I work in English

My degree program was in English, and after that, I have always worked in big multinational companies where the working language has been English. Though I did not need Finnish for my work, I studied Finnish in my free time and cleared some Finnish language certification exams, including YKI. Since I do not need Finnish at work and generally, people in Finland speak good English, my Finnish skills are moderate. But I believe fluency in the language helps.

Learning the language is very important to maximize one's opportunities in a country. I would strongly recommend learning Finnish if one is planning to settle here.

I have managed with moderate skills as I have always worked in international IT companies where the working language has been English.

Still, I have been very particular about my children being fluent in Finnish to use all the opportunities Finland offers in different fields and stages of life. I have always sent them to Finnish daycares and schools, and I am happy they speak fluent Finnish apart from Hindi and English.

Life in Finland is different than in India

When I initially moved here, I realized that life in Finland was very different from life in India. I saw snow and minus temperatures for the first time here, but that was fun. I was not fond of it very much, and it took many years to adjust to the darkness during winter. But that is just something one adjusts to with time, and it does not bother me anymore.

I also found that the Finnish people were much quieter than the Indians, but I soon understood that they value their peace and space. I soon started to admire and appreciate this.

Not knowing the language was also a challenge in minor everyday life issues like buying things, but I learned Finnish and soon overcame that.

Support was there

I did get a lot of support and help in Finland- my Finnish friends at the university and my Finnish colleagues at work were very helpful in making me adapt to my new life in Finland. Another good thing in Finland for foreigners is that almost everybody can speak English in banks, shops, offices, etc., and are more than happy to translate if needed- so nothing was ever stuck due to me not knowing Finnish.

Career in IT

I am currently working as a Software Quality Manager at the Nets Group. This position is of great responsibility as many financial transactions go through the systems I am handling. I find being given this responsibility very motivating. Also, I am working in a very international environment with people located in different countries, which is something I enjoy and appreciate.

Working in the Business IT sector is what I have studied for and find interesting. I love my current job. My work gives me a sense of purpose and an identity of my own outside of my personal life, and I find that very fulfilling and motivating. I also feel honored working for Nets as it is among the top payment processors in Europe.

The work environment is pleasant and flexible. We have mostly been working remotely since march 2021. I work with people from Finland and other countries, and everyone is very nice.

I am happy with my current job, but I do have ambitions to rise to higher positions with even more responsibilities with time.

Work and pandemic

Since the pandemic, we have primarily been working from home. We are a big global company, and it's incredible to see how well this remote working has worked out. Once the pandemic situation gets better, we will have a new hybrid way of working where we will work a few days from the office and a few days from home. The hybrid model is excellent as it would provide an even better work & personal life balance. At least I have utilized the time I have saved commuting on going to the gym and plan to continue doing so.

Failures, mistakes, growth, and success

It's a part of life to fail, learn and grow. Success will eventually follow. The key is not to give up and apply the learnings of your experience for a better result next time.

I have met many foreigners here who have made a successful life from scratch here. I think all their stories are inspiring. I hope my success story here inspires other foreigners who are just starting their journey here.

Finland is a lovely country, and my personal experience has been very pleasant. I know many other foreigners from many professions who have done very well here. I want to encourage other foreigners to build a new life here.


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