Essi Isohanni, Vincit
"The engineering sector needs not only top technicians but also interdisciplinary talents. Engineers need people who speak the same language as they do, but who bring a different perspective to their work".
What have you studied and how did you choose this option?
At school, I thought maths and physics were easy subjects. I like working with people and making a difference, so I thought I would become a maths teacher. Luckily, my high school teacher was very aware and knew that you can also get a teaching qualification with a degree in engineering. At the University of Tampere, then the University of Technology, I became so enthusiastic about programming that I forgot about the teaching qualification altogether and graduated as a Master of Science in engineering, with only technical studies in my degree.
After my Master's degree, I completed a teacher training qualification, went on to study for a doctorate in engineering with very interdisciplinary studies and I am currently studying for a degree in social sciences with a major in social psychology. I am glad that I did a degree in engineering as a first choice because it gives me good chances of finding a job. Once employed, it is easy to study other subjects, many of which are surprisingly compatible with engineering.
How did you become a knowledge development manager?
I worked at Tampere University of Technology in various teaching and development positions for 18 years. I enjoyed my job as a teacher enormously, but eventually I found that I was more of an activity developer than a teacher. I ended up working for a software company called Vincit to develop the company's internal training organisation, Univincity. I was asked for this job because I understand both technology and pedagogy.
What is the best thing about your job?
I get to enable my colleagues to do things that would not happen in our organisation without my input.
What have been the highlights and most important lessons learned in your career?
I have been able to learn and see so many interesting things from so many different angles in my work, because I managed to combine my interests from very different fields during my career. Although working in academia was really interesting, I could have perhaps left academia to try other challenges earlier. There are so many different opportunities in engineering that one person's career is not enough to try everything.
What are your expectations for the future?
I made a big career change a year ago, so my goal at the moment is to develop my skills in this job in a variety of ways. In the longer term, I would like to develop my work in the software industry on a larger scale than one company.
What greetings would you like to send to a young woman considering a career choice?
A degree in engineering provides a good basis for a wide variety of jobs. You can't even imagine the possibilities until you try and see where you end up!
For whom is this a suitable career option?
The engineering sector needs not only top technicians but also interdisciplinary talents. Engineers need people who speak the same language as they do, but who bring a different perspective to their work. That's why I would say that there are opportunities for a wide range of talent in engineering.