isä ja tytär

The joy of studying together – a coincidence brought a father and daughter to the same studies

Tiia Alkkiomäki
Father Tomi and daughter Micaela Erola are studying at the University of Vaasa in the master's programme in human resources management. They study alone and together. Sharing the study experience with a family member feels good – there is always someone to ask for advice.

Father Tomi Erola and daughter Micaela Erola, who live in Tampere, are close. They share at least an interest in sport and study the same subject at university. Sometimes they sit in the same lectures or work on a tricky assignment together. Sometimes the duo follow sport together.

The father and daughter did not plan to end up at the same institution. While Tom was studying for his bachelor's degree in management, Micaela was studying business administration at a university of applied sciences, majoring in entrepreneurship and team leadership.

In addition to my father, a few friends had studied in Vaasa, and they had praised both the city and the university. Vaasa sounded attractive.
Micaela Erola

Micaela often listened to her father's experiences of studying management at the University of Vaasa, and applying to studies was discussed at home. Gradually, interest in studying the same field began to grow, and it was a natural extension of Micaela's previous studies.

In addition to her father, a few friends had studied in Vaasa, and they had praised both the city and the university. Vaasa sounded attractive.

– I selected all six options on my application. The University of Vaasa was high on my list, as the curriculum in human resources management had interesting courses.

Tomi has worked in middle management in various global companies in the industrial sector and since 2015 as a CEO in sports business. As an adult, he started studying management at the open university. Through the open university route, he was admitted to the University of Vaasa.

– The University of Vaasa seemed interesting, especially the studies in management and organisations.

The father and daughter started their studies at the same time by chance

As Micaela graduated early with her bachelor's in business administration, Tomi graduated with a bachelor's degree in management. In July, Micaela found out that she had been selected for the master's programme in human resources management. Thus, the father and daughter started their master's studies in the same autumn by chance.

Especially in the first year of the master's programme, they had many courses together.

– After all, studying together can be good. Of course, we do our assignments independently, but it's good to be able to work on things together from time to time, says Tomi.

Father Tomi Erola admits that he does not read instructions as thoroughly as his daughter, so it is good that help is close by.

They both lead a busy life. Tomi often spends his weeks working in Kuopio, and his studies take place in the evenings at the end of the working day.

Micaela, on the other hand, works in a bank and is a light entrepreneur, working on projects with a few Finnish premier league teams. The aim is to get students and young adults excited about top sport in Finland.

– At the University of Vaasa, students can choose the study modules that suit them, and it fits in well with my hectic work schedule, says Tomi.

They both live in Tampere, although at different addresses. They study mainly remotely, but sometimes it's nice to come to Vaasa to attend lectures and meet people. Good transport connections were one of the reasons why the University of Vaasa was such a viable choice.

– I go to Vaasa a couple of times per term because I like live lectures. I've made friends in Vaasa, and it's nice to see them, Micaela says.

Studying together is nice. Of course, we do our homework independently, but it's good to be able to work on things together from time to time.
Tomi Erola

Sports connects

The duo keeps in touch daily, but not just for study purposes. Sports and an active lifestyle unite them. For example, when Micaela played football as a youngster, Tomi was the team coach for a long time.

– We are both interested in sports, especially football and ice hockey, and we have played football together in the past. Nowadays, we do spectator sports together, laughs Micaela.

Studying with a family member feels natural.

– Sharing the study experience with a family member doesn't feel weird, we are used to working together through hobbies and projects, not to mention everyday family life, says Micaela.

In the future, Micaela dreams of working in her own field. It would be nice to start with an internship.

– In the future, I would also like to do an exchange course or a traineeship in human resources management abroad. However, I have not ruled out a career as an entrepreneur. I like travelling and I would like to go backpacking on different continents, Micaela says.

Tomi smiles and looks warmly at his daughter.

– I hope to be able to help as much as possible to make these dreams come true.

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