Katerina and Ildar graduated from Careeria and received as the first students in the history of Careeria, the EBBD diplomas
Katerina Karlova and Ildar Uraev successfully completed their QBA 2018 (Qualification in Business and Administration, now Vocational Qualification in Business and Management, QBM) in May 2020. During their two-year studies at Careeria they have taken part in many events and projects. This is their success story.
Ildar Uraev and Katerina Karlova are both originally from Russia.
– I was born in St. Petersburg. I have a specialist degree in sociology in Russia, Ildar tells us.
– I was born in the southern part of Russia, in an industrial town called Shakhty, Rostov region. In university, I studied linguistics and translation studies. Then, in 2012 I moved to Saint Petersburg where I worked as a teacher most of the time. Me and Ildar came to Finland together in 2018 when we started our studies at Careeria, Katerina says.
When it comes to their working background, they have both worked previously as entrepreneurs. They had their own language school called “Mr.Catfish”, a small start-up company in Saint Petersburg where they worked as English teachers. Ildar also has work experience at St. Peter Line in St. Petersburg.
– In 2018 we took the decision to move to Finland and started to look for a studying program related to our previous education and work experience. Fortunately, in February we found Careeria. While the application period had already been closed in most of Finnish colleges, Careeria was going to open it only in March. It was our great luck! Moreover, QBA was a perfect match with our university studies and previous entrepreneurship experience, Katerina explains.
Ildar and Katerina found the QBA study program very useful.
– The most important and interesting experience during my studies was the opportunity to be in touch with people from all around the world. There were people of more than ten nationalities in our group. So, you can imagine how different our cultures and traditions, customs and cuisine, Katerina tells.
– QBA study program includes many subjects helping students to be better integrated into Finnish life. Integration through the studies was one of our main goals. We wanted to learn the Finnish business culture and got a very good general view of it during these two years. One of the best things was also the freedom of working by yourself. I understood that I only have two years to study and then I have to be able to use my skills. And of course, it was great to have an opportunity to take part in Careeria’s international projects. In February we had internship in Galway Technical Institute, Ireland. Some of our groupmates had their internships and took part in business projects in Latvia. We also hosted students from the Netherlands, Portugal, Iceland and Latvia at Careeria, Ildar explains.
Most of the time during the studies Ildar and Katerina have been working as personal assistants to handicapped people in Porvoo and Helsinki. During the first year in Finland Ildar has also worked at a nightclub in Helsinki as a bartender assistant.
– Language is a key to the Finnish society and working life. I took Finnish classes in Kansalaisopisto. I had already studied Finnish in Russia when I was at school and later in Pietarin Inkerinliitto I was acquainted with the grammar and vocabulary. In Kansalaisopisto I took the Suomen mestari 1, 2 and 3 courses at the same time, Ildar laughs.
– When we came here I didn’t speak Finnish at all, so the most difficult thing was to find a job. In the beginning I started to study both languages, Finnish and Swedish, at the same time and now I’m mostly focus on Swedish language. I really like it! During our second year in Careeria we started to visit Swedish course in Borgå Folkakademi and it gave us more opportunities, Katerina explains.
– Now I speak Finnish and Swedish at work. My Swedish is getting more fluent every day because I use it. I read a lot in Swedish in order to learn more. I read newspapers and watch Swedish TV-series, Ildar tells us.
Katerina and Ildar got useful working experience during their studies at Careeria.
– Our first on-the-job learning was at the Multicultural Association of Porvoo, where we worked with immigrants arranging language classes and local events. The second one was in Luckan Integration. We were in charge of the promotion of a project called The Circle. The idea is to create small groups of four people who do not know each other. They introduce themselves to each other and start to communicate, initially via e-mails, and then face to face. We were in charge of the internet promotion. Ildar was also in charge of the customer service and worked with the data, Katerina and Ildar explain together.
Katerina and Ildar would like to stay in Porvoo.
– We love nature and peaceful atmosphere in Porvoo. We really like the way people are taking care of nature here. And there are so many opportunities for children. The air is fresh and you can drink tasty water direct from the tap, Katerina wonders.
At the moment they both work in Helsinki.
– In June I’m taking part in a summer club for Swedish speaking children in Folkhälsan. In August I will start working in Swedish speaking kindergarten in Helsinki, Katerina tells us.
–We will continue our social activities in Multicultural Association of Porvoo. Nowadays we are both board members. We arrange events, summer programs and different courses. For example, last summer I ran a cycling course for immigrants. Most of the participants were from Kongo, Sudan and Pakistan. I hope I can do that again this summer, Ildar tells.
– We think that as soon as you become socially active, you feel more comfortable in a foreign country. We have worked with Finnish and Swedish speaking people here and with a lot of foreign people as well. The best way to integrate is to be interested in things and go out and meet people. Our motto is that if we have the opportunity to help somebody, then why not do it, Katerina and Ildar conclude.
Katerina and Ildar recommend QM-studies to all who are interested in any kind of business or entrepreneurship in Finland.
– You get to know the Finnish business atmosphere and ethics. If you are interested in customer service, this is a good opportunity. Nowadays you have to be able to speak a little bit of Finnish to take the QM study program. It is a good study program for people who want to move to Finland. Job learning periods are a good way to make contacts. You have to be very self-organized, Katerina and Ildar encourage people to apply to Careeria.
Last but not least: thanks to Careeria:
– We would like to thank our teachers Bryan Roberts an Michaela Öberg-Westerlund for the chance to start studying at Careeria. Thank you for all the knowledge that we got. It is very important to have a chance and they gave one to us. One course that was very interesting and useful was the one where Katariina Lindholm taught us how Finnish companies work, told us about the Finnish laws and the rights that we have as employees. And of course, one of the best things during the whole two years was our on the job learning period in Ireland. We worked there in a project to attract foreign people to come and study in Ireland. We were able to put all we had learned into practice, for which Katerina and Ildar are grateful.
Careeria’s first students to receive the EBBD diploma
Careeria’s teacher Michaela Öberg-Westerlund was Katerina’s an Ildar’s teacher during their two-year studies at Careeria. She describes them as being very enthusiastic, empathetic and very open-minded to everything that Porvoo and Finland has offered them.
– I admire their intiative. They have learned things and created a network for themselves by being very active and social. Now it feels sad to say goodbye to them. They have a special place in my heart. This is what all the teachers say. They have given out joy, cordiality and enthusiasm from the very first school day, Michaela Öberg-Westerlund explains.
According to Michaela Öberg-Westerlund Katerina and Ildar have worked hard and their work has been excellent. Their trademark has been that they do more than the teacher asks for in a task and they are full of ideas. Ildar and Katerina have also been very important to their classmates.
– There has been a lot of laughter and humour in the classroom. Katerina and Ildar are both very interested in Finnish culture and history. They have shown great gratitude that they had the chance to study in the small, bilingual city of Porvoo, Michaela states. And they have both learned not only Finnish, but also Swedish. Nowadays we speak Swedish to each other, Michaela tells.
And last but not least, Katerina and Ildar were the first students in the history of Careeria who received the EBBD diploma (European Business Baccalaureate Diploma). It is an indication of great success in studies and in internationalization. They both also received a scholarship because of their success in their studies.
– They both bring very good reputation to Careeria, Michaela Öberg-Westerlund thanks finally.