"I love running in the forest" - student ambassador story

Karen Ahtiainen - student ambassador
Student Ambassador Karen Ahtiainen has been living in Tampere for 5 years. She studies in the International Business degree programme now.

How long have you been in Tampere and what brought you here originally?

I have been living in Tampere for about 5 years now. Nokia ‘connecting people’ brought me here! I worked in Nokia Singapore, then met my husband and the rest is…as they say…history! We were living in different countries and moved to Finland when our son was 3 years old and we decided we cannot keep disrupting his life especially when school starts 

What subject do you study and how did you choose it?

I am studying a bachelor’s degree in International Business, majoring in marketing and experience economy. I chose these studies as I can see that Tampere has potential to market their products and services internationally more effectively and I would like to assist them to do so. Customer experience mindset is relatively new in Finland, but it is a future trend which is all about authenticity and ensuring your customers - both potential and current – understand, remember, support and most importantly experience your products and services in a positive way.

What do you like about Tampere and Finland the most?

When we decided to move to Finland, we chose Tampere as it is a city with just the right amount of bustle and cosiness. At the same time, it’s not too much of a hassle if you want some peace and quiet. Tampere is a friendly and down-to-earth town which suits us perfectly.

What about your hobbies here in Tampere or in Finland?

As a mum, it is rather hard to have any personal hobbies. Our son’s karting competitions eats up most of our time with fitness training, race training and travelling around Finland attending competitions.  However, whenever I get a moment to myself, I usually like to just relax, read or watch TV and improve my fitness with Body Combat and weight training.  When weather allows it, I like to go for a run. I love running in the forest and this is the beauty of Finland which allows me to do so.

What would you say to someone deciding whether Tampere is the right place to come to study and live?

Tampere is a city which is cosy with just enough bustle that you do not feel like you are living in a remote town nor do you feel stressed up with all the hustle and bustle of a capital or big city. It is getting more international and I noticed, compared to 10 years ago when I was living here for a short while, everyone can speak English now!  It has everything for everyone – the nature, good food and events to suit everyone’s taste. What more could you ask for!

Photo: Saara Lehtonen


Read more: TAMK's Bachelor's Degree Programme in International Business