In TAMK Proakatemia we explore entrepreneurship, team leadership and the city of Tampere

TAMK Proakatemia intro week
New Proakatemia students enjoy their orientation days in historical settings in Tampere (photo: Lotta Lehtikevari)

Hello, future Entrepreneurship and Team Leadership applicants. I’m Emilia Parikka, a 23-year-old lady from the countryside, and I’m here to share the story of how I and three of my classmates ended up in TAMK’s Proakatemia. What made us choose this degree, how was our first week like, and how we see Tampere from a student’s perspective.

Joining me in sharing their thoughts are my classmates Iida Luhtala, a fiery 19-year-old free spirit, Kamil Wójcik, a 30-something-year-old outdoorsy guy from Poland, and Ella Muja, an 18-year-old organizing expert from the US.

Why did we choose this degree?

Proakatemia was offering something new, a place we could all fit in. For myself, a daughter of entrepreneurs, the degree programme was just what I had been looking for all my life. I’ve always had the dream of running my own business on an international scale, so choosing this degree was obvious. Also, I wanted to study in English because I’ve already worked in a multicultural environment and I plan on staying on that path.

Iida Luhtala and Ella Muja felt tired of the general school system they experienced so far. In USA, Ella experienced countless tests and cramming information into her head day after day. She felt the most comfortable when being creative during projects. Luhtala did not feel comfortable in the Finnish school system either. They were both looking for a change, and Proakatemia’s learning practices offered just that.

Ella with her amazing organizational skills fitted right in. Iida was excited that after graduation she could do anything – and I mean anything; run a coffee shop, become the head of a tech company, or start gardening. Kamil chose this degree for that same reason. He was searching for a degree that would open many doors. Plus, he was looking for practical education and that is what Proakatemia is all about.

First impressions during the first week?

There was confusion in the air during the first couple of weeks. Proakatemia’s process was so different from what we were used to. The words “trust the process” sounded like a cliché that means absolutely nothing. Ella and I were so used to being told what to do that given freedom to shape our studies felt weird. Also, we were lucky to be the first batch of students for this degree. This meant that the structure was still being molded at the very beginning of our studies.

Confusion turned into excitement as we were able to modify this degree programme to fit us and all future students, as well. Getting to know your own team right from the start means that when we start our business next year, we already know each other very well. It was delightful to meet our teammates from all over the world and get settled in the lovely facilities in the heart of Tampere.

Tampere as a student city?

Firstly, public transportation in Tampere is super. Secondly, if you feel like saving the money, it’s possible to cycle or walk everywhere. Last, but not least, the city is growing by the minute and offers great opportunities for graduates to start their career.

Everything in Tampere is statistically cheaper for students. When living here, you’ll notice that quite many restaurants, stores, etc. have student discounts. Wherever you go, ask if they offer a student discount. Even places you would not expect to; for example, a shoe store at the very center of Tampere has a student discount. Tampere truly is a student city. No wonder, students from around the world are moving here.

Our student parties sadly were cut short due to Covid-19 (yes, it’s mentioned even in this blogpost). The few parties we had at the very beginning of our studies were awesome, though.

Our favorite things about Tampere?

We all appreciate the cheap and reliable public transportation, and how easy it is to navigate Tampere. Because public transportation works so well the city is not jammed with traffic.

Kamil particularly enjoys living in a city where forests and lakesides are so close and easily accessible. Ella, on the other hand, relishes the feeling of home, because she has relatives here. Luhtala was a full-on Helsinki lover and was sure that no city can top that, but Tampere stole her heart.

Personally, I’m truly a small-town girl, and moving into a city like Tampere was a huge change. Still, everything is within my reach, which is incredible. My absolute favorite thing about this city in December is the Christmas Market; it is beautiful, heartwarming, everything I need to feel at home. And that is what Tampere has turned out to be for all of us, home.

Tampere Joulutori
In December, you can find the right kind of cozy spirit in the Christmas Market (photo: Emilia Parikka)

Learn more about Entrepreneurship and Team Leadership Bachelor’s Degree Programme in TAMK Proakatemia

Read more of the Degree students’ blog posts here.

Text by: Emilia Parikka
Brains picked: Emilia Parikka, Ella Muja, Iida Luhtala and Kamil Wójcik