May we introduce our new colleague, Janu

I am Janu Maharjan, originally from Nepal. In August 2017, I came to Finland to pursue vocational education in hotel, restaurant, and catering services. My decision to choose Finland was influenced by my sister, who had also pursued the same degree at Vamia. She has always applauded Finland’s exceptional education system, culture of work-life balance, good governance, and promising future prospects. These factors motivated me to start my journey here. When I arrived in Autumn, the number of trees with fascinating nature’s beauty that I saw from the windowpane of the plane was a little bit shocking as I expected tall and big buildings. But at the same time, fresh air, bright and clean environment touched my heart. Also, coming from a culture of spicy foods, it took time for me to adapt to Finnish food. The darkness during November days and the bright days lasting until late at night during summer are unique. However, having family and friends here has always made Finland a second home for me.

Since the beginning, I have indulged myself in the hospitality sector. I worked in different restaurants, hotel, and involved in my family business. When I was laid off from my work during corona pandemic, I engaged myself in learning Finnish language and simultaneously applied for a master’s program in strategic business development in search of academic growth and career transition. Currently, I am in my second year pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Vaasa.

Job search for immigrants has been quite a challenge. I am grateful to be a part of Vaasa International Talents round #4, which mentored me with must-know facts about Finnish work culture, guidance to tailor CV, cover letter, and interview, and facilitating networking opportunities.

As of 4th March, I have joined Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce as a Trainee, where I am learning about the Chamber’s efforts to foster a conducive business environment, attract investment to the region, and retain national and international talents to enhance the ecosystem. During my internship, I have been exposed to diverse tasks such as navigating WordPress, operating social media platforms, engaging in the organization team of various events such as Energy Week as well as actively participating in training sessions and events. Moreover, engaging in team meetings and trainings conducted in Finnish has also improved my language skills. With more plans underway at the Chamber, I look forward to further learning and development during this three-month internship. I am grateful for this valuable opportunity and to be a part of such a supportive team.

The internship opportunity at this huge platform, Pohjanmaan kauppakamari, has been a beacon of hope for me to grow professionally.  It has increased my confidence in being able to utilize learned knowledge and skills in the job market of Finland, which welcomes internationals like me. In the coming days, I see myself taking more responsibilities, learning continuously, and growing with the organization wherever I will be a part of. I am more hopeful about my future especially in Vaasa since there is more investments and prospects on the way in the energy sector. According to Paula Erkkilä, CEO of Pohjanmaan kauppakamari, approximately 23.5 billion euros in investments are expected to come to the chamber’s area.

Besides my studies and work, I enjoy travelling, workouts, meeting new people, and spending quality time with my family and friends. I admire how people in Finland prioritizes work-life balance, focuses on continuous learning, and enjoy being in nature. After living in Finland for more than six years, the environment of Finland has instilled a sense of independence in me in doing things and fostered my decision-making abilities. I would otherwise have been a reliant one on my family members in my home country, seeking their support and validation for everything I do. The low power distance that Finland has in the workplace is appreciable in a way that it builds a friendly and productive environment which developing countries like Nepal are under learning process. Meanwhile, Nepal is known for diversity in terms of ethnicity, climate, geography, and culture. Coming from a country that celebrates multi-culturalism and has vibrant festivals, Finland sometimes seems too calm for me. Nevertheless, with the increasing globalization and diversity, cultural enrichment and integration are growing along with innovation and economic development in Finland. I am happy to live in the happiest country in the world for the seventh time in a row.