Meet Terhi Nieminen – your first contact at the LFC

We had a chat with International Coordinator Terhi Nieminen. Terhi is often the first contact person for students who are applying to the Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change.

1. Who are you? What is your role at the university and in the Master’s Degree Programme Leadership for Change?
– My name is Terhi Nieminen and my title is International Coordinator. I’m usually the first contact when a student becomes interested in this programme. When the programme begins, when is the applications period, how to apply and so on. These are the kinds of questions that students ask me during the year.

2. So both potential new students and LFC students can contact you?
– Yes, I was the person who sent information to new LFC students. I sent them the acceptance letters and rest of the documents. Also I’m the person who the students need to visit to show their original certificates and documents as they are enrolling. So, I’m often the first person from our programme that the students meet.

3. How long have you been at the University of Tampere?
– I have studied here in the former Faculty of Management. I studied Business and my major was Accounting and Finance. So I graduated from here a very long time ago! I started here in 1999, I think.

4. What can you say about studying and working at the University of Tampere? Especially as you have long experience both in studying and working here.
– The exchange students who have studied at our university seem to be very pleased. They often say that we have a high-level education, the students can easily contact the teachers, teaching is very diverse.
Our teachers also use different pedagogical techniques in their teaching, not just lecturing and book exams. The students seem very happy. The structure of Finland and university is very nice. We know what we are doing and we treat all our students equally. And if we say something today, the answer is the same also tomorrow. I would say that we are very well organized, which means that it is easy for the students to study here.
If I think about Tampere more broadly, it is a very nice city. It has been voted as the best city to live and study in Finland. I would say that we have everything here that Helsinki has, but living expenses are not as high – it’s a very nice city to live.
It is also nice to work here, if I think of Tampere from the perspective of the job I’m doing. I have many things to do, which makes every day different. I also like the fact that I get to meet a lot of students as well as members of staff from our nice partner universities abroad.

5. What about your interests outside the university? What are your hobbies or what are you especially passionate about?
– I’m specialized in driving in that sense that I have two kids who have very intensive hobbies – so I’m kind of a taxi driver for them! They are doing floorball and aesthetic group gymnastics at least five times a week. For them it’s like a career, but I’m the one who is driving them to their hobbies. Then usually I do some sports myself when they are at their hobbies. I usually take a walk, go for a swim or do some cross-country skiing in winter.

6. And do you live in Tampere?
– In Ylöjärvi, which is basically Tampere [Editors note: Ylöjärvi is a town that is located about 15 km from Tampere]

7. Are there good places to swim and cross-country ski in Tampere?
– Yes. And also for walking and jogging it is very nice.

8. I think it would be interesting for the LFC students to hear about the sports opportunities in Tampere.
– At the university we have a sports center that organizes different short courses. The students are also able to do a lot of sports here weekly. Also we have very nice student associations and they organize activities, and also Tamy, the Student Union of University of Tampere. So international students also have the opportunity to try cross-country skiing, cottage life and swimming in a lake.

9. This is good to know! But now a bit more about you. In your opinion, what makes you fit the Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change? Is it a certain skill set or perhaps a special attitude you have?
– I have been taking care of our exchange students and I’m familiar with foreign students – and the LFC programme is in English. But what am I best at? I meet so many students, so customer service would be the thing I’m good at and I like the most. I’m able to advice students in many ways. I also give student guidance to our exchange students. We have more than 100 exchange students per year in Business and Administrative Sciences. The students usually come for one or two semesters. I’m used to dealing with foreign students. And of course in the Leadership for Change programme there are also several Finnish students.

10. So you have experience in coordinating international master’s programmes at the university. In your opinion, what makes the Faculty of Management a unique institution to run this master programme?
– Our faculty is unique in the sense that in our faculty we have Business Studies, Politics and Administrative Sciences under one roof. This is something that you don’t that often see abroad. There is usually a department or a faculty of Business and Economics, which does not include Administrative Studies or Political Science and International Relations. This is something unique, I would say, and it also gives the students a lot. They can apply the knowledge they receive at the university in a company as well as in the public sector. After graduation, our students can work in private companies and also in the public sector. Their understanding of the world, business, politics and administration is perhaps deeper than somebody else’s.
11. What would you like to say to the students of the programme?
– First, this is a very nice place to live and study. There are a lot activities also outside the studies. The Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change is a good programme, because the teachers and professors are really into this: they are very enthusiastic about this, they have planned this programme very well and they have been thinking about the students.

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