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Henrietta Sundström wants to deepen her IT skills to be better at her job

Henrietta Sundström

Age: 37
Education: Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration)
Occupation: IT consultant
Applied to: Service design

There is one thing that has bothered Henrietta Sundström on her career as an IT consultant. Her master’s degree from economics gives great abilities to work in many different positions, but Sundström wanted to improve especially her IT capabilities.

‘I have learned a lot by working in the IT sector, but the theoretical background and technical knowledge are missing’, says Sundström.

‘I know that I will not be a programmer but it’s still really important to understand the idea.’

In her work, Sundström recruits programmers and leads teams and projects from different operative units with multidisciplinary talents. From her perspective, it is important to understand programmers and the world they work in, as if they would speak the same language.

Service Design course connects theory with practice

The idea of studying something new grew in Henrietta Sundström’s mind. At the end of last year she stumbled upon FITech courses and got excited.

She collected several interesting courses from FITech study offering and sought for a study leave from her work as well as an adult education allowance from Employment Fund (Työllisyysrahasto). Thanks to these benefits, she is now a full-time student with a goal to complete a collection of courses during the spring, worth almost 30 ECTS.

One of the courses is Service Design, organised by University of Vaasa.

‘The topic and contents of the course are interesting and what I imagined they would be. The different modules build up the expertise and you can put everything you learned to practice in the group work. Although, there is a bit more group work on the course than what it says in the description’, says Sundström.

Studying is an investment that pays off

Studying the topics of IT is both interesting and a part of general knowledge, thinks Henrietta Sundström. Additionally, she wants to acquire a good basis on which she can start building with new knowledge.

Sundström wants to understand the different components of programming and how programming languages differ from each other.

‘For example, if I receive a job application that says the applicant knows Java, I recognize the differences between Java and JavaScript without the help of a technical expert’, says Sundström.

Studying is an investment that pays off, she thinks. The employer benefits from the employee’s improved capabilities to do their job and the employee has a chance to go forward in their career.

‘I can be a better project manager and coach to others. I can also offer better expertise to our clients.’

It’s never too late to start studying

Read Henrietta’s tips for anyone who is interested in studying even as an adult!

  • Exit your comfort zone. If you have a gap in your skillset, recognize it and start working on how to fix it.
  • Let go of the possible prejudices and fears regarding studying. Studying offers a great balance for working life.
  • Consider study leave: would it be a good fit for you? The adult education allowance offered by Employment Fund (Työllisyysrahasto) enables studying for those who already have longer work experience but only a small group takes advantage of this possibility.
  • Employers should also acknowledge the possibilities for studying and encourage their workers to go after them.
  • Finnish universities and higher education institutions offer studies that are organised fully online, which enables studying regardless of time, place and life situation.