Study atmosphere in Joensuu
There are three things that Xiaolei emphasises about the IMPIT programme: the excellent environment for research, the active cooperation with local companies and the international, comfortable atmosphere both on campus and in Finland in general.
–I did an internship in a local company called Fastroi that focuses on data integration and also continued working there after I graduated. I also did real time 3D modelling in the Finnish Forest Research Institute that is located right next to the campus. Of course, Joensuu is a relatively small city compared to Gothenburg, for instance, but still there are some very interesting companies and opportunities for internships and employment.
Xiaolei really liked Joensuu due to its manageable size and friendly people.
–Before moving to Joensuu, I was a bit worried if the people speak English and how life is in a smaller city than what I’m used to. But it turned out really nice; the university is actually bigger than you think, and it has so many international programmes that you’ll surely make friends. The environment is very student-friendly and for instance, the university offers a good orientation programme to help students settle in the town.
What he now misses from Joensuu is free time activities.
–I enjoyed the nature as it was so close. It was easy to go jogging and to do different sports like volleyball, badminton and such. Of course, there were parties as well – I’ve never met people from so many countries than in those get-togethers, Xiaolei laughs.
Excellent work-life balance
Now Xiaolei lives in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and works in software engineering, gradually getting higher level positions all the time. Currently he works for Smartly.io, which is a platform that automates social media marketing.
In his job, he enjoys creative problem solving – when you can make a customer happy with some lines of code that are needed to implement a feature, and the customer can use that feature to meet their goals.
–I really like helping people, and I also like the idea of constant development. This is such a competitive industry that you always have to be motivated to move forward and to improve all the time. I think I’m like that as a person, but the studies have encouraged the idea of constant learning as well.
At the moment, Finland as a working environment feels really good for Xiaolei – especially as his wife also graduated from the IMPIT programme and found employment in Helsinki as well, and work doesn’t take up all their time.
–In Finland I really appreciate that there’s a good work-life balance, and you are not required to overwork. I still have plenty of time to enjoy hobbies and family time after a day at work. I have proper annual leaves when I can travel and do whatever I like.
This is something that Xiaolei definitely doesn’t take for granted, as the situation was very close to being very different.
–One of my fellow students went back to China to work for a major webstore after graduation, and for a moment I was thinking that I should go back as well. There’s no denying that there are numerous opportunities in China with lots of money involved. However, my friend is very busy, working the weekends straight, and I’m happy I didn’t make the move of going there. Maybe I would have gained a lot but lost family time in exchange.
Xiaolei mentions that at least half of their IMPIT group stayed in Finland to work in the software industry, mostly in Helsinki area, and sometimes they meet up for a chat.
–I didn’t imagine I could stay this long, but so far, I feel good. I will continue learning from my colleagues and improving my skills, and I don’t feel I need to go anywhere.