Text: Topias Lehtimäki (student, International Business), Trung Dang Viet (student, Energy and Environmental Engineering) and Alessandro Zocca (student, International Business)

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This writing is done by students participating Tampere3 Smart Campus Innovation Lab (SCIL) summer 2017 projects. At SCIL, students from various fields and university professionals collaboratively carry out development projects that benefit the higher education consortium on a wide scale.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

There are two words that are thrown around a lot nowadays. Sustainable is one, development is another. When combined with each other, a concept called sustainable development is born. Many of you readers have heard of the concept, some of you may even be educated in the matter.

Sustainable development has many definitions by various organizations. Even TAMK has its own definition of the concept, and by the way, did you know that sustainable development is also one of the four values of TAMK’s current strategy for 2020? Because sustainable development is one of TAMK’s values, we decided to ask some of the staff and students what it means to them.

Janne Hopeela

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

Three main areas actually: I’m a student counsellor, which is my main responsibility, then I’m working with practical training; coaching our practical trainees. I’m also responsible for international coordination.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

That’s a very big question. Well of course I try to think about the small steps and things in my private life, how to recycle things, it’s an everyday thing. I really want to do my share and take care of sustainability. I’m very interested in that.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

Of course it has. I have been working in TAMK for 20 years, so I’ve seen some of the changes here as well. For example, we are using more double-sided copying and at the same time we try to do less copying and use more electronic ways of circulating materials by teachers and students. The attitude towards copying has radically changed.

But then some of the things I have seen changed here when we implemented the strategy for example the kind of lights we use but of course we should be switching off more. During winter we can still see quite a lot of class rooms where there are no people inside, but lights are on. So how could everyone of us really notice that I am the last person leaving the classroom – just remember to switch off the light. Very simple things.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

For example, in my own office they are changing the windows at the moment. I guess it’s because it’s an old building from the 60’s and they are trying to become more efficient in finding a way to reduce the use of energy in different ways. Of course it’s quite expensive to do that. But I think in the long run it will be for the benefit of TAMK as it’s a big institution.

If we can save some costs in heating during the winter or cooling down during summer time. Money is an issue for UAS’ nowadays so if we can find ways to reduce the use of energy, let’s go for it. An example: switching off the lights when I’m the last person leaving. This is just some of the tiny things I notice in everyday life.

Paula Nissilä

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

Customer services secretary at TAMK Info Desk.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

For me it means that everyday there is something new to learn, in different ways, even at work we are improving all the time and all we do here, has become more advanced.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

It has changed the way of working here at TAMK. Sustainable development is discussed constantly and the staff is trying to come out and develop new ideas to improve and also to reflect on it. Also thanks to this, sustainable development has been imprinted into my mind permanently! I try to learn more about it, because I understand that we have to save the nature somehow and at the same time intensify the elimination of unnecessary operation that isn’t helping the cause.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

I was in Scotland for an exchange last year (2016) and after that I have realized that maybe even here at TAMK we could for example decrease the amount of paper consumption by using more monitors instead of normal boards and banners.

Tinja and Riikka

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

We are Nursing and Healthcare students.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

Recycling and also thinking in a more ecological way come immediately to mind .

I can think about it in relation to nursing work, as well, said Tinja, when discussing about effective use of medical supplies.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

At least, we are trying to use less paper and utilize more online material on Tabula, Tinja said.

Having some of the exams on screen and not on paper is helping the cause, Riikka adds, and also last summer I participated in an online course where it was possible to take part in the discussions and consulting the slides directly from home.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

About social sustainability; making students that are studying different subjects, cooperate together is a way to implement that, for example being able to practice with a team formed by nurses, doctors and physiotherapists is a good thing.

 

As it can be seen, staff members and students are already aware of what has been done and what can be done to improve sustainability. Now the question remains: is TAMK ready to take sustainable development to the next level?

 

Text and photos: Henri Annala, Kirsi Jokipakka, Tarja Kalliomäki-Linnas, Sanna Laiho

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Team TAMK

The EAIE Conference is the biggest event in Europe within the context of higher education, and this year it was organised under the scorching sun of Seville, Spain. Taking place on 12-15 September, it was the 29th EAIE conference ever organised, and it hosted a record number of 6,000 participants from 95 countries. TAMK sent a team of four people to attend, and in this blog post we try to crystallise some of the ideas and insights raised by the event.

Henri Annala, International Coordinator for the Language Centre and Social Services, attended the conference for the first time and felt it was a really immersive experience in many ways. Besides attending a number of very interesting and relevant sessions on topics such as online collaboration, internationalisation at home and internationalising university strategy, the week offered plenty of chances for ever so crucial networking.

The opening reception

This proved to be the most significant benefit the conference could offer: as a result of several meetings, receptions and negotiations, there are now many new contacts and ideas for collaboration both in the field of languages and social services. In addition to creating new contacts, it was of course also really important to meet with the already existing partners (for example the Hague University of Applied Sciences) and strengthen TAMK’s collaboration with them.

Henri would definitely recommend the event for staff wanting to kill several birds with one stone in terms of networking and relationship building – instead of attending a single international week hosted by a partner university, you could go to EAIE and meet almost all your partners at once. In addition, Seville proved to be a really beautiful and hot venue for the conference.

Kirsi Jokipakka, Head of the International Services, had visited the annual conference already several times before. One of the main insights for her was that the top management of the university needs justifications why internationalisation is so important, and the International Services staff is responsible of providing enough useful information to them.

In terms of international co-operation, staff training is key for success, and we need enough individualised training for our staff. In addition, it became very clear to Kirsi during the week that the International Services is the bridge between partners and university community.

FIBES, the conference venue

Sanna Laiho, International Coordinator for Health Care, attended the conference for the first time and it was a memorable and worthwhile experience for her as well. The conference programme offered various opportunities with hundreds of different activities; to mention a few, lectures and sessions concerning internationalisation, online learning and intercultural competence. They offered a good insight into the current situation in European higher education.

The conference was an excellent opportunity for networking, arranging meetings with partners and gaining new collaboration opportunities. Sanna also had a great opportunity to have a poster session presenting the outcomes of an Erasmus+ project where TAMK had a role as one of the partners. The poster session was a unique chance to introduce not only the project, but also TAMK and its Health Care unit to new possible contacts and future cooperation possibilities.

Sanna giving a poster session

Last but not least, this visit to beautiful and sunny Seville was a great opportunity to share experiences and make future plans with your own colleagues from TAMK; going to an intensive conference trip together is a great way to get to know the people you work with.

Tarja Kalliomäki-Linnas, Head of Study Services, attended the conference for the first time, too. Her point of view was maybe slightly administrative, but it was interesting for her to take part in sessions concerning how smaller regional universities compete and how to prepare for international work and study experience. In addition, all the poster sessions were like spices in the conference soup – many interesting projects were presented.

Furthermore, both exhibition halls were really huge! Tarja also had the opportunity to take part in the discussions with TAMK’s partner university MUAS (Munich University of Applied Sciences) with Kirsi. The discussion topics ranged from the upcoming academic year to the double degree students’ studies. In Tarja’s view, it was really great to have a possibility to meet people and colleagues face-to-face.

Plaza de España

Tarja also visited Pablo de Olavide University (founded 1997) which is Seville’s second public university and one of the youngest state universities in Spain. With a student population of over 11,000, Pablo de Olavide University offers over 30 degrees in areas such as law, economics, business administration, social and natural sciences, nutrition, technology, the humanities, sports science and many others.

Mind full or mindful? Tarja attended plenty of interesting sessions concerning ideas to support staff and faculty in dealing with international students and mental health, the efficient, effective and culturally sensitive use of e-mail, managing stress, and being more productive among others.

The conference experience has definitely opened up new viewpoints for the participants. All the interesting discussions with the representatives of partner universities and other participants were thought-provoking and unforgettable. To sum it up: it was a most memorable and enjoyable lesson on internationalisation.

Text and photos: Peter Perttula, Project Assistant

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While I was studying in the second year of Proakatemia, the headmaster of the business school Universidad Catolica Boliviano visited us. I showed Tampere, TAMK and Proakatemia to Gonzalo Chavez and a few years later he invited me to visit his school in La Paz, Bolivia. Gonzalo was impressed with our team-learning model and the Y-kampus that we have in TAMK so the purpose of my visit was to introduce the team-learning model and coaching to 27 teachers from his university.

The second day of the internal workshop

I held a three-day internal workshop for teachers (and a few students) from the business school. In this workshop, we went through differences between teaching and coaching and looked into different kinds of tools for coaching.

It was fascinating to see how open minded Bolivian teachers were to a different way of teaching. As a personal note, it was interesting to work in a culture where working days are split into two sections because of a “siesta” break between 12 am and 4 pm. People use this “siesta” time to go home for a nap or sports and to have lunch with their families.

After the three-day internal workshop, I held a three-day business development course for teachers and students from other universities. In the workshop participants worked on real business cases for three days. It was interesting to see them working in teams and learning about our team-learning model through a practical assignment.

 

La Paz from a Teleferico (a ski lift that locals use as public transportation).

My plan was to provide some theoretical information and tools such as the Business Model Canvas and then let the teams split work between their team-members. I explained that as a coach I am not there to provide answers but to ask questions that might help figuring out the answers. After the initial shock and with the help of a very tight schedule the participants realized that in order to have a solution for their business case they must work efficiently as a team.

Bolivia was a very pleasant experience overall. It is a developing country with a bright future ahead based on the passion that I saw in the teachers I had the opportunity to work with.

Text: Minna Metsäportti and Kirsi Saarinen
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Since autumn 2016 engineering students and health care students have been provided with an alternative way to accomplish their compulsory professional English courses (Technical English for Professionals and Professional English for Nurses).  Fast Track English is a Tabula-based web course where students from the fields of engineering and health care study collaboratively. The course attracts students with solid command of English, and a desire to study at an accelerated pace. Those interested in participating in Fast Track are required to send in written applications presenting their backgrounds as users and learners of English.

The five-week Fast Track is wrapped up with final projects designed and presented by multi-professional small groups. Work Safety in Various Working Environments, Healthy Building, Robot Assisted Surgery, and Virtual Reality in Health Care are examples of final projects that the cooperation with students from fields other than one’s own has generated.  When contributing to the project, a student utilises and applies the perspective of one’s own special field, alongside with being exposed to a completely new professional field.

The guiding principles of Fast Track are self-directed studying, collaboration, and reflection. Students choose study material by themselves (e.g., educational video clips and scientific articles), and process them in a variety of ways on a shared platform. Self- and peer assessment, as well as mutual feedback are an integral element of the study process. Communication is open – both the contributions submitted and the feedback provided are visible to the entire group.

Among the most significant goals of the course is to practise and reflect upon Successful Professional Communication; what is characteristic of the concept, and how does one communicate successfully as a professional. It can be said without hesitation that the students of the previous two Fast Track courses have indeed succeeded in achieving this goal.

As of the second week of September, the third set of Fast Trackers are studying together again. The added bonus this autumn is the anticipation of cultural exposure thanks to a number of international exchange students whom we were glad to welcome to the course this time.

TAMK and Hochschule Hannover students getting together during the international week.

TAMK and Hochschule Hannover in Germany share a long history in cooperation in the field of Mechanical Engineering. Study exchanges are supported and friendships are being built through annual visits.

Back in the mid-1990s, a group of teachers and students from Tampere University of Applied Sciences hired a bus and drove all the way to Hannover. Moreover, TAMK’s President, Markku Lahtinen, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at that time, went on one of the study exchange trips with the aim of strengthening relations with the German university. As a result, bilateral visits became an annual tradition.

Earlier this year, a group of twelve students and two professors from Hochschule Hannover came to TAMK. Half of the group studying Mechanical or Industrial Engineering visited departments within their fields, whilst the other half studying Process Energy and Environmental Technology visited the Environmental Engineering department for lectures, workshops and excursions.

The diverse schedule kicked off with a cultural exchange on studying and living in Finland and Germany, continued with lectures, and ended with social activities like sauna and ice hockey events, and a visit to Pyynikin Craft Brewery.

Hosting each other makes the visits special

TAMK students went further with the workshops and organised an ice rink driving session, which really impressed the guests. Next day, they generated a weather data breakdown and an elk test to work on. What made this call very special though was German students being hosted by Finnish students in their own homes. The favour was returned during the time of the Hannover Messe, the world’s leading Trade Fair for Industrial Technology.

From left to right: Wolfgang Strache, Anne Nadolny (Hoschule Hannover) and Harri Laaksonen (TAMK) know that excitement and openness are important in a succesful cooperation.

This custom turns out to be a very good international practice for students, and not only. Teachers are very keen on the study exchange and getting involved in activities. They have a positive attitude towards meeting new faces, engaging in projects together and practising their language skills.

“The secret to this successful cooperation between the universities is teachers and students showing excitement and openness”, believes Harri Laaksonen, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at TAMK.

And as for the German side, Prof. Dr Anne Nadolny at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Bioprocess Engineering shares similar thoughts.

“Study exchanges are supported and friendships are being built. We enjoyed the very warm welcome from TAMK and the visit of Finnish students in April. We look forward to seeing you at TAMK in 2018!”

Text: Andruta Ilie
Photos: Essi Kannelkoski

SalesDay 15th September 2017

SalesDay2017 was an event hosted by BBA students in 15th September 2017 at TAMK. We were a part of the organizing team of the event. The event involved excellent and inspirational sales professionals that spoke of today’s sales from their own perspective: Julius Tuomikoski, Tanja Piha, Jussi Liimatainen, Veera Lehtismäki, Samuli Myllyharju, Reijo Karhulahti, Peer Haataja and Mika D. Rubanovitsch. The event also provided an opportunity for students and participating companies to network.

The day comprised the following elements:

– Describing the study path of sales professionals by TAMK coach Vesa Vuorinen and study adviser Paula Lamminen
– Discussion panel “Revi siilot, kaikki myy!”  (Tear down silos, everything sells!)
– Future and opportunities of sales professionals
– Changing marketing as part of successful sales
– Sales expertise in the Tampere region
– Students connecting with company representatives at Y-campus.

The event was also streamed online so that viewers were able to take part in conversations through Twitter. Discussions were very active throughout the event. #SalesDay was trending as a top 2 tweet that day (15th September 2017) according to @twiitit and @pinnalla.

The atmosphere was great and innovative. Both participants and we organizers were happy with the outcome. We got tips and important experience for future challenges.

Text and photos: Emilia Leppänen and Aino Rajala (16Liko4)

 

TAMK Summer School 2017 Wrap-up

TAMK Summer School 2017 concluded on 18.08.2017.

On 07.08.2017 we were thrilled to kick off TAMK Summer School 2017, welcoming students from Germany, Portugal, the Palestinian Territory, Poland, Hungary, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Canada and the United States to Tampere and TAMK.

Nineteen students spent two weeks participating in an intensive Basics of Finnish course, studying language and culture with lecturer Sini Knuutila, as well as taking part in a social programme of free-time activities. The programme included trips to Flowpark and the Särkänniemi amusement park and a kickbiking tour that ended at the Kaupinoja sauna. The Finnish food tasting event was of particular interest, giving our students a glimpse into some traditional Finnish delicacies – such as karelian pastries, mushroom pie, blueberry pie and smoked reindeer – and sparking interesting discussion on various national cuisines.

A few days into the course, students were already putting their Finnish skills to use in everyday activities in and around Tampere. Summer School students who will be staying at TAMK as exchange and degree students over the coming autumn semester highlighted the advantage of having come to Finland early to learn the basics of the language and get their bearings in the city. The course inspired interest in further Finnish language studies and additional demand for Finnish courses for exchange students. Students were eminently satisfied with the Summer School, the majority indicating that the course had been a valuable addition to their studies as well as enjoying the participatory nature of the education given during the course.

The TAMK Summer School team wishes our Summer School students a successful Autumn semester in their exchange and degree studies!

Text: Johannes Paavola

Pictures: Saara Lehtonen, Johannes Paavola, Márton Merész, Essi Sirén

TAMK Summer School Reflections

Joining the TAMK summer school is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made. Before arriving, I did not know what to expect at all. Coming from the other side of the world, I did not know much about Finland except for the wonderful nature landscape. Friends asked me why I would go to Finland and made comments like “It is so cold and dark there, people are very reserved and it is impossible to make local friends!” After 2 weeks in Tampere, I have only met incredibly wonderful, helpful and sincere Finns. They are definitely the most genuine people I have ever met.

The summer school combining Finnish lessons and free time activities definitely helped in bringing orientation to the city, learning a lot about the culture, food and people here. This is especially helpful before the term starts, so that one can have a smooth start when the term begins. I’m particularly intrigued by the Sauna culture, because it seems to be not just a place to sweat, but a meet up point for friends. It is really a way of life! I was amazed how people were talking so much in the Sauna as if they would do at the marketplace. I also enjoyed very much the Finnish food tasting, to have the most Finnish food all in one plate!

Thank you very much for organizing. I had an amazing time 🙂

Text and photo: Isabell Koh

My First Days in Finland

I am Sarah Bali, a Palestinian Media student that got accepted in the exchange program at TAMK for one semester.  As I got here, I started exploring the city of Tampere and was astonished by the breathtaking beauty of it.

It is true that I faced many obstacles such as getting lost in the woods and having drunk people talk to me in the streets for the first time, always getting on the wrong bus and getting cold a lot, however the Finnish class and getting to know all of these amazing people from all over the world made things easier for me. I’m now a person that knows a lot of places in Tampere and I have a lot of new friends. I hope the rest of my journey here is going to be as nice as this start!

 

 

Text and photos: Sarah Bali

“I started very young; I was in my 30s. It was a freezing water I had to jump in. But I enjoyed it because I always loved the concept of leading. Since I was a child, leadership was a big part of me.”

Persistent and insightful, Director of Business Operations at TAMK EDU, Carita Prokki has spent almost two decades of her life serving Tampere University of Applied Sciences in different roles. Although she started as a teacher in the early 90s, her leadership vision manifested in her actions, beliefs and goals opened doors to new opportunities and career advancements. Carita was soon appointed the dean of School of Business, a role she stayed in for many years and allowed her to practice side teaching.

“When you’re working as a manager or leader, you start missing the teaching. I was then teaching adults, mostly during evenings and Saturdays. I was in heaven those times. And I think the students loved it too because we all had a great time. I used different teaching methods such as group discussions, rather than lectures”, she recalls.

Carita surprised many people when she decided to step out of the dean role and the institution she regards highly. But she reached a turning point in her professional life and felt it was time to do something different. Therefore, she focused her attention on trying something new and completed a PhD in Organizational Leadership.

“If you are not satisfied with your job or life, it also affects people around you. You have to step out and try something new. It’s not always safe, you might fail, but actually, you’re growing all the time. You become stronger. Too many adults feel pushed in the corner and stay there afraid.

Have you ever paid attention to what they say during a pre-flight safety demonstration? If there is a loss of cabin pressure, the panels above your seat will open, and oxygen masks will drop down. If this happens, place the mask over your nose and mouth, and adjust it as necessary. Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others. Think about it metaphorically. You cannot be good to others if you are not good to yourself. First, help yourself and then somebody else.”

Far from being over, her journey with TAMK took a new direction in the area of global education. TAMK has started this fresh concept in 2011 and Carita came into the picture two years later. In the beginning, there was only the 21st Century Educators programme, but Carita’s huge advantage was her comprehensive knowledge of TAMK.

“I know very well what this institution does and is capable of. You cannot sell Finnish education or tell other people about TAMK without a substantial in-house knowledge. The beginning was very fast, smooth and fruitful. But now, with other universities of applied sciences selling their expertise worldwide, the competition is getting harder, and we think it’s smart to cooperate and unite our forces. While the global trend is more present nowadays, the business ideology is not very developed in Finnish universities.”

So where does TAMK stand out compared to other universities of applied sciences? Carita’s reply is on point: “The vocational teacher education which TAMK takes very seriously. We want to do our best and deliver high-quality results. You need passion to do international business. When you’re passionate about something, it will separate you from the rest.”

On a global scale, TAMK has a unique product found nowhere else: Proakatemia. And Carita knows very well how to make good use of it:  “It happened to me sometimes to go to universities above TAMK’s level. In 30 seconds I realised I have nothing to sell to them, apart from Proakatemia. Nobody in this world has Proakatemia. That’s the ace of spades in my pocket. And I can always use that card to sell our advanced entrepreneurial studies.

She continues: “Almost every day, I think how we can praise our country and education more. Finns are modest; they are not so used with words like excellent or amazing to describe their best assets. But when you go abroad, you have to start using these words. Almost the first question I get no matter where in this world I go is: “What is your ranking in Finland?” There are no rankings in Finland. We never aimed at, we never had any competition or ranked ourselves. I hope we will never do that because it will ruin the basics of our educational system. Let’s leave our references and results speak for themselves.”

TAMK EDU makes Finnish education available worldwide. The most important aspect is adapting to different realities, Carita believes:  “Whether I go to an Arabic, Asian or Latin American country, I have to be very fast and clever with adapting to their cultures. I can’t go there with Finland tattooed on my forehead and say: “Hey! We come from Finland, and we do things like this.” Although everyone admires and knows so much about Finnish education already. To give you an example, China is such a big market that you can have all the Finnish amks (universities of applied sciences) to offer their services there, and it would still cover only a small part of it.

Chinese customers have a different understanding of a group size. We sent them a letter saying we can host a workshop for 30 people and their reply was that their minimum is 300. Last year in August, we flew there for one big training. We had 340 teachers and rectors in the auditorium waiting for us and wanting an interactive training. I was there with Mark Curcher (Program Director of 21st Century Educators and Senior Lecturer), and we had to split all those people into groups to make it interactive. It was a huge learning opportunity for us and an enjoyable experience.”

The Global Education department does not only provide learning experiences for the team that puts its soul into it, but also for TAMK’s teachers. Carita recalls one particular occasion that cracked open a strong taboo: teachers don’t work during their summer holidays.

“In 2013, I was facing a difficult situation. A group from Oman sent me a short notice message that they’d like to visit TAMK during July. Their arrival date was scheduled right after Juhannus, which in Finland is a popular public holiday. Most Finns celebrate it at their summer cottages with family and friends. I emailed the teachers in the morning with no expectations. Anyone who wants to come to work this July? A few hours later, all the teachers were at TAMK. I was amazed by the positive response, and everything went smoothly with the visit. Teachers confessed to me how grateful they were for this opportunity. I believe that the international context is the fastest highway to develop TAMK thanks to the possibilities it provides. International students are very active, they want to make the most out of their studies, and this makes it very pleasant to the teachers as well. There are an extra gratefulness and love you can feel during international courses.”

Carita travels abroad in connection with her work approximately one week each month. When everyone else is at home sleeping, she has to put up with long and often, uncomfortable flights. An alluring smile graced her lips when she detailed about showing up at a workplace: “Sometimes I feel I could be a gardener and grow flowers. But I think we all have moments in our work when we are not happy. Balancing those moments is important. I have to be patient with the global business; to build the trust and develop the relationship with our customers. In a way, I’m like an entrepreneur; I take care of sales, keep the things rolling all the time and motivate my people to sell. But I don’t put the money ahead. That’s not my style. I believe that when you show good results, the money follows.

She adds: “The Global Education department doesn’t receive a budget from TAMK. We rely entirely on the deals we make. “

Despite the high factor of uncertainty associated with her work, Carita collects distinctive rewards: “It’s challenging and the most difficult job I’ve ever done in my whole life so far. At the very moment, you can be challenged until the limits of your skills. But at the very another moment, you are in heaven with people, and you get your second salary from their sentences.”

An effective leader knows that storytelling is an essential part of leadership. And maybe another beautiful thing about Carita is that she is not afraid to pass along brave sentences on feminism and inspire other women to live an authentic life: “Many women have been under a lot of pressure for so long that they have forgotten about themselves. There are so many things women are capable of achieving in their lives. And I think that media is very cautious and not writing about all these things because they are afraid of empowered women. Women are multi-talented and multi-energized.”

Read more about TAMK Global Education

Text: Andruta Ilie
Photo: Tiina Suvanto