Mexican Patricia Álvarez García, 31, has lived in Finland for six years. She works for Nokia as Senior Communications Specialist but is currently on maternity leave. Patricia left Mexico for her Finnish husband and because she had been accepted to study communications at the University of Helsinki.
"Before I met my husband, I knew three things about Finland: Apocalyptica; Los Amantes del Círculo Polar (Lovers of the Arctic Circle), a film that partly takes place in Finland; and Nokia," she tells.
Patricia considers Finland to be a practical country which has plenty to offer, such as nature, peace, security and reliability.
"My time in Finland has been something of an emotional rollercoaster for me. When I arrived here, I expected to have fewer rights and that I would be ignored, as I'm a foreigner. However, my expectations were unfounded and I've been made to feel very welcome and people are interested in me," tells Patricia.
"Employees in Finland have a lot of freedom, which encourages creativity. In Mexico, employees are given strict instructions on how to do their jobs, but in Finland targets are set for employees to achieve in the way they see fit. Mexicans are very loyal to their employers and we are ready to work longer workdays. We also work very well in teams," adds Patricia.
Patricia is happy as she has a family here, good friends and a good job in communications with a respected company. Finland does have its downsides however.
"I'll probably never get used to the weather here. I grew up by the Pacific Ocean where the temperature is normally about 22 degrees, so getting used to the dark and the winter has been difficult for me. I also miss the big family gatherings and the open expression of emotion in my country."
Nonetheless, Patricia has embraced something that is important to Finns.
"During these six years, I've at least learned to appreciate silence," she laughs.
Our summer series depicts working in different cultures.