New University celebrates graduates !
On Friday night, every seat in the main auditorium of the Main building was taken as Tampere University celebrated new graduates. The new multidisciplinary University was reflected in the festivities as several graduates from the Hervanta campus were present. A similar celebration organised on the Hervanta campus a week earlier also attracted many students from the other campuses.
The youngest guests were also catered for. While the adults celebrated in the auditorium, early childhood education students organised games for the children.
This spring, 650 students completed their master’s degrees in various disciplines, such as architecture, arts, education, engineering, and social and health sciences at Tampere University. In addition, 105 students earned the Licentiate of Medicine degree.
From waiting tables to directing the Crisis Management Centre (CMC)
Director of Crisis Management Centre Finland Kirsi Henriksson, an alumna of the University of Tampere, gave the speech of celebration. Henriksson said that her own graduation took eight years and that she is still working on her doctoral dissertation.
“I am always delighted to come to the University because I have such fond memories of my time as a student. My dissertation is still in the language checking phase, which seems to be eternal, but I will complete it one day. Fortunately, the field of the dissertation is history, meaning that the topic is not outdated. In fact, it may even be more current than back in the day,” Henriksson says.
Henriksson has encountered many challenging situations in her career. In her post as Head of the European Union EUCAP Sahel Niger civilian crisis management mission, Henriksson was decorated by the President of Niger for her successful actions in controlling irregular migration. During her work trips to Africa, Henriksson also contracted malaria three times.
According to Henriksson, she has especially benefitted from her wide-ranging studies.
“I could never have imagined that I would work in the field where I ended up working. I have extensive study and life experiences, which have been the biggest advantage in my career. I think that especially history is a subject that provides a good basis for understanding different kinds of crises,” Henriksson noted.
Henriksson started to accumulate life experiences when she earned extra money as a waiter during her studies.
“I am the ordinary student who worked all the time during my studies. I mainly worked in the Tillikka restaurant,” Henriksson said.
Graduation followed by job search
Jenna Nurminen started her studies in Rauma before transferring to the University of Tampere. The new Master of Arts (Education) has not yet fixed her plans for the future.
“Since I submitted my master’s thesis for examination and it was approved, I have just tried to take it easy. Job seeking is also work,” Nurminen said.
She has not yet decided where she wants to reside in the future. Although she is a qualified teacher, her future job may also be in another field.
“For example, I have not ruled out human resource management. Let’s see what happens,” Nurminen said.
Aiming for the Olympics
Samuli Viitanen, a business studies graduate, has been working since the beginning of the year. In addition to academic studies and his job, the 26-year-old Master of Science (Economics) is an athlete. Viitanen, born in 1993, competes in the judo 90K series and strives to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
“That is what is going on in my life at the moment. I am aiming for the Olympics,” Viitanen said just before the ceremony began.
Tampere is known as far away as in China
Tampere University also attracts students from abroad. One of the international students is Qin He from China who graduated from the Master’s Degree Programme in Information Technology, Data Engineering and Machine Learning.
Coming all the way from Shanghai to Pirkanmaa, Qin He fell in love with Tampere during her studies.
“Tampere is very beautiful, just like the rest of Finland, and summer is the best season here. I really enjoyed the Midsummer party last year,” Qin He said.
After her summer job, Qin He plans to continue her studies. In addition to Tampere, she has also applied to a number of other higher education institutions.
“After these festivities, I will eagerly await for the results of my postgraduate study applications,” Qin He said.
Normal everyday life after the summer
President Mari Walls was very happy that Tampere University had reached a new milestone.
“It is really fantastic that we are so far along that our first students graduate. The skills and expertise of these young people are needed in Finnish society. Hopefully you all will find your place in the world, and I believe that you will,” Walls said.
The employees of the new University have worked hard all year. The President thanked the staff for their diligence in the creation of the new university community.
“We have all had much to do this spring. However, I am terribly pleased that we have reached the point where our ship is starting to turn. We will start a normal autumn after the holidays and we will get to a normal pace of work. That is really important to our staff,” Walls said.
The President turned her gaze to the things to come after the graduation ceremony.
“The next generation of students will start at the University after summer, and they will start a new journey. Their decision to come here is splendid for the university and we want to take excellent care of them,” Walls said.
Text: Jaakko Kinnunen
Photographs: Markku Kanerva