New intern joins Study Advisory team in Tampere

Hello everyone! To start with, I just want to say that I am super glad to join this awesome team of young and enthusiastic Study Advisory members! I`ve been here for one week only, but it already feels great! Now, a bit about myself.

Study Advisory

My name is Dasha and I’m coming from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In Finland, I feel like home. Honestly, nowadays I feel more home here than back to Russia. I think the reason of it might be that my whole independent and grown-up life started here in Finland. I study International Business at HAMK and I’m really grateful for all the opportunities and challenges I had during those two years. Studying and working with people from all over the world opens up your mind and changes the way you think, therefore I definitely recommend everyone (at least once in a lifetime) going somewhere abroad to study, work or just volunteer. It will make you a different person and you will learn lots of new things about yourself!

During my second year in Finland I went for exchange program to Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. Going somewhere far and not that well-known for me was my main purpose. I’ve been travelling across Europe quite a lot before, therefore I thought why not trying something new and exotic! Those 4 months which I spent there made me a person I am today. I had great days, I had bad days also. That’s totally fine! Living in a completely different environment with completely different people was the best experience I have ever had which brought me a new version of myself.

study in South Korea
My campus at Kyung Hee University

One of the most memorable and really cool things I’ve done after my first year in Finland was hitchhiking trip with a friend of mine during summer holidays. In 12 days of our non-stop hitchhike we’ve  visited 8 countries and covered about 4100km. We started from Italy, went to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, Sweden and finished our journey in Finland! You can see some of the pics below.

P.S. Stay tuned up on our blog page about hitchhike soon !:P

chocolate and tulips
Delicious Belgium chocolate and nice tulips from Amsterdam

Travelling is my passion and something that I’m always craving to do.In life I always follow “if you fear it, go for it!” motto, that is why I highly recommend everyone to go out of a comfort zone and study abroad! Study Advisory will guide you and I, as a new team member, will also do my best to find your dream university!

-Daria Tcvetkova

Pitching a PhD should not take more time than necessary

180 seconds… does that seem like a short amount of time? Surely, not when you compulsively check your phone for yet another short gratification message, photo, or gif. Or even compared to 3 or 5 years of PhD studies! But even three minutes can be used wisely.

Imagine if a long process of research was to be shortened in such a meaningful way that it would make a very complex topic actually interesting AND, on some level, understandable to non-specialists? Leaving you with a sense of lasting contentment while being also academically significant to specialists?

Three minute PhD or thesis

On September 29 in Rabat, Morocco, the French language version of ‘my PhD (or my thesis) in 180 seconds’ gathered doctoral students from 10 countries… mixing various French accents and communicating a sense of passion on various complex topics. This competition first set up by the Australian University of Queensland in 2008 and developed in French in Québec from 2012,

Should a PhD viva be long? Probably... The three minute PhD does not break the rules of this convention, only adds a cherry on the cake of a long research project !Should a PhD viva be long? Probably… The three minute PhD does not break the rules of this convention, only adds a cherry on the cake of a long research project !

The idea is for a jury of academics and also journalists and businesspeople to assess the conciseness and clarity of a presentation on a whole PhD topic while the participant is only allowed one slide to back his speech up visually. The presentation must be compelling enough to captivate the audience as attendees also get to rate the candidates for the audience prize. An English language version of the competition is also organised in Canada by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, which is also open to master’s students. In many involved universities, such as the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, a training ahead of the competition is provided, and ECTS credits can even be earned through participation in it. In France, the competitions are supported/organised by the CNRS research agency.

The 2016 winner of the French language 3 minute thesis is from the University of Fribourg. Désirée König studies zebrafish, a species with exceptional regenerative capabilities. Next on the podium were also scientific topics, which all sound and are key to tomorrow’s society, such as Alzheimer disease and agricultural productivity.

Zebrafish properties were presented during the 3 minute PhD in Morocco

For Rachida Brahim from Aix-Marseille University in France who presented her sociological research on racist crime, this is a unique opportunity for young researchers to speak in a full lecture theatre – as intricate topics generally only gather interest from a small group of like-minded specialists. Some participants have also expressed their appreciation of the exchanges that stem from conversation with PhD candidates beyond their field or even subject.

Another example is found from the University of Geneva, in the field of psychology. Ecological behaviour and habits can vary depending on whether they are encouraged by negative or positive comments, with negative comments usually taken as an excuse to give up, whilst those who are encouraged to continue riding their bike are expected to persevere more:

Not only are the topics fascinating, participating in the competition can also be a boost to for doctors to gain access to postdocs… On the audience side, might be slightly easier to follow than attending your best friend’s PhD viva! (though a PhD defence arguably has some aura of its own and might be best suited for those who crave for more detail or to hear how the PhD candidate will answer the jury’s questions).

Study in Turkey
A three minute pitch might take hours of preparation – but it will be worth it!

In the meantime, if you are considering applying for PhDs, you can search Study Advisory’s doctorate degree level search. And if you are in the process of writing your PhD, or have finished it, why not be generous to future scholars and rate the university  where YOU completed your doctoral thesis?

For more information on Ma thèse in 180 seconds, you can like them on FacebookFor examples in English, you can check the University of Bristol’s website, the University of Edinburgh’s tips (and feel free to rate them too here and there) and for a list of participating schools in Asia-Pacific and Oceania, this link might be handy.

Cheer, love and security at Seeds of Hope Children’s home

In today’s post, we are sharing some experiences from Study Advisory’s charity projects. Previously we have told about our regular charity campaign for UNESCO, but occasionally we also participate in other projects. Last week we visited the Balinese Seeds of Hope Children’s home together with our sister organisation Asia Exchange.

Bali, the most popular tourist destination of Indonesia is famous of its beautiful beaches and rich Balinese culture. The tropical and sunny island is a lovely place for a holiday or a study semester! However, among all the beauty of Bali there’s a population living on the island facing different kinds of social problems. At the side of the happy complete families there are also broken families. There are kids having brothers and sisters and kids living without mother or father – or both. Some parents can’t afford a sustainable life for the kids, and the kids end up to be abandoned. Tommy and Sandra at Seeds of Hope are replacing the important parent’s role in many children’s lives. This couple runs a Balinese orphanage and provides love and security for almost 60 children without family.

Seeds of Hope

A large family unit

The Seeds of Hope (SoH) was founded in March 2001 and is located in north-west of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Kids who are living there are aged from 3 to 21 years old. They are going to school and doing the daily tasks like cooking and cleaning by themselves. They don’t have staff working for the children’s home. Therefore, the place is more like a large family unit and all the daily tasks are done together. Everyone respects each other, which is something you will observe really quickly when visiting the place.

Seeds of Hope 2
Sandra (speaking on the microphone) as the oma (grandmother in Javanese language) and Tommy (on left) as the opa (grandfather in Javanese) for all the kids.

Sandra and Tommy want to teach the children the importance of education and useful skills for independent life for the future.  In July 2016, there were 67 children living in the Seeds of Hope. By September the same year, 12 of them have graduated and found a good job. It means they are able to live an independent life now.  This is something that Sandra and Tommy are extremely proud of!

Study Advisory is supporting the meaningful work of Seeds of Hope

Study Advisory’s sister company Asia Exchange organises student exchanges in Bali at Udayana University. Each semester, Asia Exchange visits the children’s house with the students, and this year Study Advisory had the honour to be represented as well. As the students are enjoying the study semester in the paradise, Asia Exchange is trying to encourage the students to visit the Seeds of Hope and give a while of their time for the kids. This is a great opportunity for the students to give back for all the unforgettable experiences and adventures the island has provided for them. This semester, in total one hundred students visited and played with the kids!  Seeing how many students were interested in visiting the place, meeting the kids and spending time with them warmed our hearts!

Seeds of Hope 4

In the beginning of the visit, the visitors were touched by the kids of the orphanage singing “You raise me up” and another song they had been practising. The beautiful performance was followed by a nice sing-along and the boys were playing guitar.  Afterwards, the little girls liked to play musical chairs while the boys were more excited of basketball and other sports – and by the way, they were super good at sports!  They were also happy to show their rooms and living areas. The kids loved to be in photos and to see the pictures of themselves. The cheerful afternoon at the orphanage was full of love and laugh.

Seeds of Hope 3
This time one hundred Asia Exchange students visited the Seeds of Hope and had a great time with the kids.

The Seeds of Hope doesn’t receive any support from the government. Thus, the possibility to send the kids to school and give them food every day depends fully on donations. Study Advisory and Asia Exchange really appreciate the work that Sandra and Tommy are doing for the kids. As an expression of this, the companies made a donation of a 4 million rupiahs (270 euros) to the Seeds of Hope.

Would you like to visit the kids?

If you are visiting Bali and want to go play with the kids and support the Seeds of Hope, you can read more about them at their website. Everyone is warmly welcome to visit the children’s home. However, we recommend you to contact Sandra in advance (contact details on their website) to make sure the time is suitable for them.

Study Advisory wishes all the best for the Seeds of Hope!

Seeds of Hope 5
Let it rain! It doesn’t bother us, we´re always happy!

Autumn fresh start in Finland in the marketing team


I am Pauline and I am just starting at Study Advisory being in charge mostly of marketing tasks. I am also translating SA’s website into my native French. While my background is in politics and international relations, I have been passionate about Finland since the country joined the EU in 1995. Actually, one reason behind my interest was the Finnish reputation for innovative education (maybe more at primary and secondary levels). This is the first time I will stay in Finland for longer than a few weeks and into the winter, too, which is exciting!

Symbols of Finland, home to Study Advisory
Autumn leaves and bikes rank among the best symbols of Finland in my opinion.

I studied in my home country, France, as well as in the UK and I also interned in South India. In 2013 and 2014 while working abroad in Switzerland I enrolled on a Finnish language and culture summer course at the University of Jyväskylä and I loved the teaching methods and the international atmosphere of the course.

I look forward to embarking on the great adventure of connecting students with universities worldwide! In addition to the start-up culture welcoming new ideas I have found at SA’s office, it has already been stimulating for me to speak Finnish with my colleagues alongside our lingua franca – English.

I have been at Study Advisory for a week now and I really value the creative, forward-looking and international spirit! Last but not least, I find it really stimulating to be working in a social enterprise in itself, with also boasts an additional commitment to UNESCO.

I look forward to posting blog posts here and to reading your comments about more thematic topics!

New colleague aboard at Tampere office

My name is Marika Myllymäki and I am the newest member on board at Study Advisory, pleased to meet you all. My background is in media studies and communications with an underlying passion for an international career. I am going to introduce myself and share some feelings about my first weeks at the office, by defining some keywords.

Tampere in autumn colors.

S – Start up

This is the first time I am working in a start-up company. I am super excited to learn new things and to see how a great idea is progressing day by day.

T – Tampere

My new office is located in Tampere, Finland. I´ve always been curious about this city and I have done different tourist things here my whole life, for example visiting Moomin museum and Särkänniemi (amusement park). This time I am actually living here, in this beautiful and cool old factory scenery.

Beautiful Tampere in the autumn colours
Some of the old factory buildings in Tampere are changed into movie theaters and restaurants.

U – Utrecht

I spent my exchange times in Utrecht, Holland. I got familiar with some parts of the Dutch culture, like bicycling everywhere, eating tons of bread (even for lunch) and studying hard. Utrecht is very picturesque city with plenty of nice cafés, bars and clubs. If you are planning on studying in Utrecht, check out the university profiles here.

D – Diversity

I am happy to have co-workers from different countries and it is quite exciting to have the weekly meetings with people from the Hongkong office. The world seems to be our playground at Study Advisory.

Y – Youth

Another thing that is new to me, is to work with such young group of people. Or maybe it is just that I am getting older, haha.

A – Adventure

I am truly encouraging everyone to study and work abroad, since it is always healthy to have a little adventure in your life. Adjusting in a new environment is also a self-esteem-boosting experience.

D – Dancing

I have always been dancing. At home, at clubs, at gigs and also trying different styles in dance schools. My latest experiment is salsa! By dancing the world makes sense again.

V – Vintage

I love vintage and second hand clothes and things. Luckily Tampere offers a lot of nice flea markets and shops for some treasure hunting.

Tampere in the autumn colours
In the autumn you can see Tampere in beautiful colors.

I – Imagination

In a start-up company it is important to have a good imagination and give time for creativity and brainstorming.

S – Sushi

I just simply love sushi.

O – Optimism

At Study Advisory I find the atmosphere very positive towards new ideas and new people.

R – Rodents

The only animals I believe I understand. Okay, this is going a bit too far.

Y – Yoga

To have balance and flexibility I have been doing yoga everywhere I go.  I have ended up in the yoga studios even in Holland, Goa and Portugal.

Here is a riddle for you, which words are built up from the letters?

Coming back home from exchange – another type of culture shock

Flying back home

The process of student exchange consists of great variety of different emotional roller coasters – not only fun and games. You might be mentally prepared for obstacles in the target country and studies, even some amount of homesickness and a culture shock. Nevertheless, you might not be expecting a situation where coming back home appears to be the hardest part of your exchange experience. Here are listed some feelings that might fill your head when coming back, and also some ideas how to soften the blow:

Coming back home from an exchange

1. “I have changed so much but back home everything´s the same.”

You have had an amazing eye-opening phase of your life but it might feel like nothing has changed back home. Your friends and family members talk about the same things as they did a year back, and their stories and worries seem so small and boring. Maybe you don´t even remember where the home is if your life has been a bit messy and hectic also in your home country. Try to keep an open mind for the people back home, some of them might have had same experiences as you in the past. You might also find new friends who share your passion for travelling.

2. “I don´t know how to embrace my new lifestyle back home.”

Perhaps while abroad, you started to know who you are a bit more and picked up refreshing new manners and habits? Still, they don´t quite adapt to the life you are leading back home. Your biggest fear might be the fact that in the end, you will not change at all, and you´ll revert back to the same old you once again. However,  you should not worry too much. Many of the things you learn while abroad are so abstract, that you do not necessarily became aware of the change yourself. Once you have opened your eyes to new things, they won´t easily be shut again.

Back home
Don´t you guys understand what I have experienced!

3. “Nobody gets me.”

You begin to sound like a broken record when you constantly bring up the memories from your time abroad and compare the two countries. After a while nobody cares anymore and you begin to bore even yourself. You start to lose contact with your exchange friends and they gradually get lost in the sea of social media. A good way to embrace the new you and revisit the exchange atmosphere is to join your home university´s international circles. Tutoring the newly arrived exchange students should come naturally now that you understand what they are experiencing.

Read here Top 5 reasons why employers love applicants who have studied abroad.

4. “I am thirsty for more.”

Usually life will go on back home: You´ll find yourself again and mix a great cocktail out of the best parts of the two different worlds. Still, if this feels totally impossible, the only medicine to heal you might be planning another adventure. And what´s the harm in that?

Back home you can start to plan new adventures.

For the great adventures ahead, check out Study Advisory´s university ratings.

Study Advisory’s Charity Project – What is it and why we do it?

Study Advisory is a modern start-up from Finland, genuinely interested in helping and caring of others. Once a wise man said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (N. Mandela). We believe in the same idea, which was also one inspiration for our mission: Connect students with tertiary level educational institutions worldwide and provide them with the necessary information to find the most suitable study option for everyone.

Education is a rapidly growing field, and enrolment in higher education is expected to double up to 262 million by 2025. More and more students are moving across borders seeking education outside their home countries. Nevertheless, we have to remember that at the same time there are still more than 72 million children who should be in primary school according to their age, but who don’t have access to basic education. There are several reasons for that, for example wars, poverty and some related on cultural old traditions etc. There has been even a discussion about “a lost generation”, which means that there is a risk that, in certain areas in the world, an entire generation will remain without basic education including skills in reading and writing.

This is something we want to help stop happening with Study Advisory. Right from the beginning we knew that we wanted to regularly donate to charity, and more specifically for children’s education. That’s why we decided to target our donation to UNESCO’s programme for the Education of Children in Need. The program has been existing since 1992 and over the years it has raised over $40 million dollars and shared them to over 400 projects in almost 100 countries.

Study Advisory's charity project
Our managing director Sami, excited to make the first yearly donation to UNESCO.

We make a donation to UNESCO based on the number of student reviews in our online service – 25 euro cents for each review. With the help of the students, we participate in building a better tomorrow for those children who are vulnerable in the society and are lacking access to basic education. Study Advisory’s online service was launched in September 2015 and during our first year we managed to gather about 3 200 reviews. Next year we want to triple that!

Help us reach that goal & rate to donate!

5 Time Management Tips

Have you ever felt like 24 hours is too short for a day? Do you need to sacrifice your sleeping hours for your work and assignments? Yes, many of us are facing the same problem. However, inadequate sleeping decreases productivity and it becomes an endless cycle of cutting off sleeping time to work. Hence, it is very important to equip yourself with good and effective time management skills.

1. Starting from a planner

Don’t forget to plan your day with a planner
Don’t forget to plan your day with a planner !

A planner is always crucial to us to step toward a good time management. No matter if it is an electronic planner in your smartphone or a paper-based planner, there is no limitation, but choose a planner that you will stick to and use it on a daily basis. Some people like to have a big calendar as their planner so they can write everything clearly on it. On the other hand, some people prefer a small planner which is easy to carry around. It is just a matter of personal preference!

2. Take 15 minutes to plan your day

Planning doesn’t take much time and effort!
Planning doesn’t take much time and effort!

It is worth to spend around 15 minutes to kick start your day. In this 15 minutes, you can think about your day, your upcoming tasks and deadlines. Never start your day without a plan because a plan is a strategy to make the best use of your time and your day since it would become less stressful but more productive and joyful.

3. Identify all your tasks that you have to do

What are the tasks in hand ?
What are the tasks in hand ?

Write down all the tasks that you have to do clearly in your planner. No matter whether it is a big or small task, related to you job or not, just write it down and make your own to-do list. Then, you can break the big tasks into smaller concrete tasks since smaller tasks are always easier to manage and complete. With all the tasks on the list, the next step definitely is prioritizing and scheduling your day.

4. Prioritize your to-do list

A list without prioritizing is like spinning your wheels without really moving forward. I believe many of us would choose the easiest and smallest task to start with and forget about the deadline since it is easier to complete and get a sense of accomplishment. But then, are these small tasks important? Are these tasks urgent? We should not do the tasks that we like but we should arrange them based on the importance and urgency.

ABC analysis

It is the easiest and simplest approach to prioritize your tasks by differentiating into three categories.

  • The most important and the most urgent
  • Important but not urgent
  • Neither important nor urgent

By using this ABC analysis to prioritize, you can categorize your tasks and understand which task should be done first. Once the most important tasks in category A is done, you can move to another tasks in A or even in B.

5. Avoid Procrastination

Do it now ! Don't make any excuse to procrastinate!
Do it now ! Don’t make any excuse to procrastinate!

Procrastination it the biggest obstacle to step toward a good time management. You spend 15 minutes on making a good plan, but procrastination could ruin your plan. If your plan is ruined, it means your time spent on planning is wasted also. However, there are many reasons causing procrastination.

Some people are naturally lazy. Some people procrastinate because of the fear of failure or even fear of unknown. There are many excuses to procrastinate. You have to ask yourself why you not complete your tasks. This can help you understand the cause of procrastination and recognize that you are procrastinating. To tackle this problem, you should adopt you own strategies of anti-procrastination. Here is an example to overcome fear of failure:

Fear of failure?

It is totally fine if you have this fear because everyone also has fear in different circumstances. The most important issue is to admit the problem that you have as well as to admit you are a procrastinator! If you dare to admit it, congratulations, you are getting closer and closer to get rid of this issue. Next step is to understand that you can get out from this issue. There are few methods:

  • Having a “Plan B”- This can help you to get more confident to get the tasks done since you have plan B
  • Positive thinking – It is the best way to build your confidence and change you thought from the fear.
  • Potential outcomes analysis- you will feel more comfortable to start your task because you know what you are expecting in the tasks. Also, you could set the outcomes as you goal and follow it.

Time management

Everyone has their own individual preferences toward managing and controlling time. Find the best approach to adopt your own time management. With good time management skills, you can keep yourself in balance even if you are extremely busy since planning make the best use of your time. Do remember: time flies like an arrow, be sure to be a good pilot and control it! Control you time! Control destiny!

Written by Hazel Hoi Yau Cheng

Internship – how you can make best of it!

Autumn is coming and the intern season starts again. Many current students and graduates will begin their journey in the working world trying to gain a valuable career experience. An internship is a good possibility to practice what you have learned at your school, enhance your skills, get a solid contribution to your CV, increase your network and surely get a full-time position. Here we have summarized some tips how you can make best of your internship.

how to make best of your internship
Make best of your internship

Get to know your company

Before your first working day, make a research about the company you are going to make your internship for, e.g like company’s history, culture, vision, mission, products and services etc. Read also about the industry and the competitors in the field. Moreover, you can track the recent media. Some basic research on your company will help you to feel more confident and will give a good first impression right from the start. More specific, inside information you will gain later.

Take care about your dress

Depending on a country, culture and a company there might be different requirements on how to dress. Some companies might not care about it but some really do. It is advisable to find this information before you begin with your practical training. You can contact HR manager or to check company’s website. Employees should not be judged by the way they are dressed  but dressing properly will present you in the best light and demonstrate your effort to look professional.

Internship = real job

It happens often so that students do not work properly during their internship thinking that the internship is just a way to earn the school’s credits since it is usually not paid or low paid. Generally, interns are given boring and not challenging tasks that nobody else in a company has time to do. However, you should always treat your internship as a real job and therefore invest all your efforts in it. Think about that your activities even if they seem to be minor, they still impact the whole organisation helping it grow and develop. You will surely be rewarded for your engagement!

Be active

Be curious, show interest and initiative; dare to ask questions and be ready to go out of your comfort zone. Remember, you are here not to do what you already know. On the contrary, you must learn possibly many new things from different fields and from different people – your colleagues, bosses etc. As our summer intern Anna mentions: „It was not easy for me to start writing blogposts and web content pages. I did not have any professional experience with WordPress before. Anyway, I pushed myself and started doing it. And I was satisfied with the result! Moreover, training my writing skills will help me in the near future when I start working on my thesis. So my advise: overcome your fears and embrace the challenges”! You can read one of Anna’s awesome blogposts here.

To be active is good, anyway you cannot be always ready for everything. Try to choose the tasks that interest you most and might help you to gain valuable knowledge for your future career. Having the courage to say „no“ to certain tasks is also a part of your intern experience.

Communicate with your internship mentor

While doing your internship you will be provided a person who will guide you, supply you with tasks and help to organize your work. Do not be afraid to ask difficult and stupid questions. Remember that your eagerness is a demonstration of your interest, motivation and desire to learn. If you have some problems or you cannot manage doing your project or task by the certain time, feel free to discuss it with your internship supervisor. Asking for a feedback is an important part of the practical training.

Develop your network

Socialize with your colleagues, during working time and outside of it; show them what you are able to do. The better they know you, the more chances you have for the support from their side when it comes to the decision on the full-time position for you. Use all given chances to participate in events outside of the company, as fairs, conferences, meetings with customers etc. Our intern Nelli had an excellent opportunity to network in a start-up hub Hong Kong. Read more about Nelli’s awesome experience as a Study Advisory’s intern in this dynamic business megapolis.

And here there are some tips from our colleagues and interns about their internship experience:

Hazel (Hong Kong):

I think internship gives me a really good opportunity to put the theory into practice, to understand how business is going. I can apply my knowledge in my work. Also, I can  learn some of the skills that I could not learn from school, like establishing interpersonal relations and communicating with clients.  To make best of it , I think you should be humble, modest and open-minded to learn as much as you can, including accepting the negative comments.

Suvi (Finland):

An internship is often as good as you make it. You should not swallow anything and do tasks that you feel have no purpose for your personal or academic growth. Of course you have to start from somewhere, but to make an internship great, I feel like it has to be a two-sided thing, where both the employer and the intern feel like they are getting something out of it (other than study credits). It’s an amazing oppotunity to put one’s skills into practice and find out if your study field really is your cup of tea in the real working world.

Eeva (Finland):

Doing an internship is usually a great way to learn completely new skills, as well as to get more practical know-how of the things you have studies in the university. Personally I found myself for example learning some basics of HTML coding, even if I had never considered myself a technical person before. The new skills learnt during my internships have helped me very much later on my career. An internship can also be an opportunity to discover what you would like to do in the future – as well as a way to realize what you don’t like!

Written by Anna Korobova

Internship in Hong Kong

I’m Nelli Koutaniemi, a fourth-year business student from Oulu, Finland and I did a three-month internship for Study Advisory in their Hong Kong’s office this Summer 2016. Basically I’m here to tell and describe why it’s freaking awesome. Challenging, independent and rapidly changing – and everything awesome.

First day as a marketing intern in the Hong Kong office.
First day as a marketing intern in the Hong Kong office!

How did you end up to Study Advisory’s Hong Kong office in first place?

I was studying as an exchange student in Hong Kong for the spring semester 2016. I was very keen to find an internship placement from the city since Hong Kong made such a good impression on me during the first few months. I was lucky to notice Study Advisory’s internship position and meet Tuomas, the head of the Hong Kong subsidiary, in the office in Kowloon. Before the interview I made some research about the company and I was impressed by the work that they have done and the overall mission of Study Advisory: they share a lot of same values and ideas that I do.

What do you study and what were your tasks during the internship?

As said, I am a business student majoring in International Business Management and minoring in Marketing and Corporate Law. I was a marketing intern for Study Advisory, which gave me possibility to combine my major and minor subjects efficiently.

In short, I handled a lot of different kinds of marketing practices from social media to bigger projects and on the other hand I had a chance to work on the field networking and meeting higher education professionals. Together with my colleague we participated in some education expos and events and met the students and the university staff at campuses – there are 8 big universities in Hong Kong area! Outside office hours there were a lot of professional networking events from salsa classes to insightful workshops and presentations.

As a business student I learned the most when participating in Study Advisory’s crowdfunding campaign (I am so flattered that as an intern they gave me such big responsibilities in it) and when I got a chance to negotiate some cooperation possibilities with local and foreign business representatives.

What do I need to take into account if I want to work in Hong Kong?

The basics! Get the trainee visa, find yourself an apartment, take some vaccinations and book your flight tickets. Study Advisory provides you with an intern guide with all the basic information. Take a look also at the training visa’s requirements and enclosures from Immigration Department’s website. You need to gather a lot of papers and prepare to wait a few months, but generally the visa process is quite pleasant.

Apartment situation in Hong Kong is a bit trickier question. 8 million people packed in such a small area means that the apartments are small and the prices are quite high. Nothing to be afraid though, if you are not able to find your dream flat from Facebook groups such as FindYourRoomInHongKong, you can always ask for a single room in a dormitory like Apple Dorm and keep seeking while you arrive. Or maybe do it like I did and stay there for the whole time!

Hong Kong is too awesome. I mean it, to me it is a paradise of contrasts: the high-end, skyscraper-filled metropolis with more local areas and they special atmosphere. The nature is close: Hong Kong is a city surrounded by beautiful steep mountain sides.

How’s Hong Kong as a working environment?

Although working in such a huge city is challenging, it rewards you with a can-do attitude and offers amazing networking possibilities. The atmosphere is competitive and busy and local people are very hard-working by their nature. Study Advisory’s Hong Kong office pretty much follows the headquarters in Finland when it comes to working habits and hours. Local people are very hard working and can stay in the office more than 12h a day.

I really miss lunch hours in local restaurants, they get packed around noon to 1pm with cheerful business men and women chatting with their colleagues, gathering together with their steaming hot bowls of tasty noodle soup or something else delicious. After dinner time you can easily find some relaxed or more professional events or grab an after-work beer with colleagues. The city provides excellent opportunities for networking!

Comparing to headquarters in Finland, do you concentrate on different field in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong’s office is there to concentrate on Asian markets: half of the world’s university students living within a 4-hour flight from Hong Kong! The city itself is one of the biggest start-up hubs of Asia. Internship is a great way to get introduced to Asian markets, business and higher education.

Study Advisory operates in one co-working space in Kowloon and we also spend hours in campuses, “coffice” (taking office or your laptop into a coffee shop) or in Wanchai Small & Medium Size Enterprise Center. Whatever was the most convenient at the time!

What was the most challenging part working in Hong Kong?

I don’t think that the city itself caused any big challenges to my internship. Before my exchange I had already spent 4 full months in Hong Kong so I kind of knew what to expect. Prepare yourself for the inevitable culture shock, I’d say. Everyone who moves abroad for more than one month is going to experience in one way or another. For me the biggest cultural shock was my tiny apartment but with a right attitude (and a good-night sleep) everything  falls into place pretty quickly.

… and the most fun?

Where do I start. There was something special excitement to work in Hong Kong. Generally, while interning for Study Advisory you get to experience a very modern way of working. You take your laptop and take a seat at Starbucks or in co-working space with other start-up companies, meet people and feel the pulse of the busy metropolis while taking a fully packed metro back home in the evening. I consider myself very lucky to experience all of that. So, for the “most fun” part I’d say the modern way of working, the atmosphere of the city and of course – my amazing colleagues. Hong Kong team was (at my time) relatively small but they were all nice and genuine people.

Any final words?

If you are considering to work for Study Advisory in Hong Kong, go for it. It is amazing time not only because of the city, but Study Advisory provides a great learning environment in a start-up business. Basically, you get as many responsibilities as you ask for and everyone in the team is important for the company. It truly was an experience of a lifetime.

You can take a look at an internship and other employment opportunities at Study Advisory’s Careers page! For other employment and internship motivation I suggest you to check our blog, for example, “Top 5 reasons why employers love applicants who have studied abroad”!

Study Advisory's Hong Kong office provides you with a lot of possibilities.

Study Advisory in Hong Kong