From graduate engineer to a versatile career - the perspective of an international student in Vaasa
Ranjkesh arrived in Finland as a refugee 28 years ago. He studied Electronics and Information Technology (Bachelor of Engineering) at the Vaasa University of Applied Sciences and a Master of Science in Information Technology at the University of Vaasa and has worked at ABB since graduation.
He currently works for ABB as Area Sales Manager. He is responsible for sales and marketing in specific countries such as Germany, Italy, and France. The role involves a lot of travelling, managing customer relationships and acquiring new customers.
– In my job, I meet a lot of people from different cultures, and I get to solve different challenges for clients, which is very rewarding.
Ranjkesh speaks many languages, including French, German and Spanish. In 2019, he spent a year working in France.
– The year in France was a great experience. The working culture there is different from Finland. There is a lot of bureaucracy in France, whereas in Finland people communicate directly and get things done faster.
Immediately after completing his engineering degree, Ranjkesh applied for jobs in various companies, both in the Helsinki metropolitan area and in Vaasa. He got a job as a design engineer at ABB in Vaasa.
– At ABB I have had the opportunity to work in many different positions over the years, for example as a trainer and technical marketing manager as well as, design engineer and area sales manager.
A degree in engineering gave new skills
After starting to work at ABB, Ranjkesh applied to study engineering at the University of Vaasa.
– It was a rewarding but demanding learning experience. At work, a few others in the same team were studying for a degree in engineering at the same time as me. I was able to spend ten percent of my working time studying, which was a very encouraging gesture from my employer.
Ranjkesh feels that he has been able to make extensive use of what he has learned in his work life.
– Studies in Finland are much more practical than in for example Iran. After studying theory, you apply what you have learned in practice., He encourages students to finish their thesis in good time when things are still fresh in their minds.
There is also room for mistakes in Finnish working life
Ranjkesh thinks learning Finnish is an advantage, which opens many more doors. He has a Finnish wife who helped Ranjkesh learn Finnish quickly.
– Learning a language helps you integrate better into society. I have learned a lot from my Finnish colleagues.
According to Ranjkesh, there is room in Finnish working life for learning and mistakes, and self-development.
– You learn by doing. Learning does not end after graduation, and you can study and update your skills while you work.
Opportunities for students at ABB – tips on job search
ABB Finland offers around 800 summer jobs for students in various fields. There are also opportunities for thesis work and internships. Many summer workers are also offered an opportunity to continue working on part-time in the autumn, alongside their studies.
– We also have various programmes for students, such as the ABB Internship Talent programme for master's students and the Global Early Talent programme for recent graduates, says ABB Finland's Talent Acquisition and Advancement Partner Pauliina Budd.
ABB values cooperation with different educational institutions and student organisations.
– The cooperation is complementary: students get interesting projects and get to see the world of work already during their studies, while we as an employer stay aware of the skills offered during their studies and enable new ABB employees to start their career paths.
Budd advises that you should make your application and CV clear and concise. They should present your skills (for example language skills, IT), your studies and also concrete work experience.
– It's also worth updating your LinkedIn profile and, if possible, networking with people from companies that interest you.
ABB offers numerous opportunities for recent graduates and those who have been in working life for longer.