August 19, 2019

My career: From start to Finnish

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Amit Bhatnagar, India
Professor of water chemistry

A job offer from a university was the reason behind Amit’s move to Finland. Prior to receiving this offer, he had worked in Finland for a few months in 2009 as a Marie Curie post-doctoral researcher. During his time living in Finland, he thoroughly enjoyed the working life and life in general, which made it easier for him to make the decision to move here later.

1. How I got my current job is… sometime in early 2014, I came across a vacancy advertisement for the post of assistant professor in water chemistry at a university. At that time, I was actively looking for such positions, so I immediately applied for it. I was fortunate enough to be called for a face-to-face interview and the rest is history. With some dedication, sincerity and support from my great colleagues, I have made good progress in my field of research in the past few years and now I work as a full professor at the university. I have established my own research team there, and we are looking for sustainable solutions for wastewater treatment and biofuels production using microalgae. We are also working on the use of biomaterials (e.g. nanocellulose and biochar) in water treatment.

2. My initial expectations of Finland were… I had assumed life in Finland to be peaceful, safe, foreigner-friendly and well organised, and my experience is not different from my expectations. I really like how everything is well managed in general for the public and there is more time left to focus on your career and family rather than attending to daily life problems that one faces in most developing countries.

3. My favourite things about Finland are… the Finnish summers and the availability of a variety of berries (natural superfoods), because of their flavour and nutritious value. Wild berries from Finnish forests are full of nutrients and vitamins and are natural health supplements that one can go and pick up for free from forests. Besides, I like nature – in particular, the lakes and forests in Finland, which are easily accessible to everyone.

4. The Finnish word that best describes working life here is… laadukas (high-quality), because the workforce in Finland doesn’t just focus on finishing the work but also delivering quality work that holds high value and with which an organisation can really make a valuable input to the development of the society.

5. The piece of advice I would give to someone contemplating coming to work in Finland is… don’t let the dark, cold winter photos from Finland shake your determination to move here. The winters are long and freezing, but if you like your work/job offer you will get used to Finnish winters easily and perhaps acquire some skating or skiing skills too. Just come with a desire to put in a 100 per cent effort and dedication to your work and you will excel.

We are getting to know what people born abroad think about working life in Finland.

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