We asked alumni of different fields to share their experiences in working life after graduation. They all have in common a degree from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (or the previous institutions).
This is Njambi Mungai’s story.
1.What is your background and how you’re linked to Finland?
I am a Kenyan citizen, born and raised. I went to Finland to study for my Undergrad degree.
Joined Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Science in 2006, which at that point was Evtek Ammattikorkeakoulu (could never pronounce that word correctly). I studied Information Technology majoring in Software Engineering and minoring in Information Systems graduating in 2011.
2. What is your current profession and where do you work?
I am currently in Media as a Team Leader in Standard Digital. Standard Digital is a product of Standard Media group, the oldest media house in Kenya. Standard Digital is the leading website in Kenya, East and Central Africa.
I am the head of Standard Digital Entertainment (SDE), a brand of Standard Digital, it is the leading entertainment website in Kenya. I am a writer, sub-editor, strategist, content marketer, social media editor and product developer for Standard Digital.
3. How did you get there? How was your career path?
Mine was a warped journey to say the least. After graduating, I did a stint at Nokia Siemens Networks in Espoo as an IT administrator. But I really didn’t like working in the field of software development.
I was looking for a passion and a reason to look forward to waking up every morning. I needed a change and Finland was not giving me too many options beyond what I had graduating in.
So I packed my bags and headed back home hoping to find my purpose beyond the hill. Even on arrival to Kenya, I really didn’t know where my passion lay.
I once again started working in the IT field but here I was able to start learning and branching into different fields. I started writing content and building content based websites for different companies.
I even started travelling to write and realized that writing was a thing I immensely enjoyed. I could wake up late at night to write about anything and everything. I also learned more about online marketing and advertising, project management and social media management. A successful application to the digital department of Standard Digital led to the start of SDE and subsequent growth to the top. This was mainly due to great content aggregation, optimization and acting on marketing research.
4. How do you find labour markets at the moment based on your experiences?
I would say the labour market is evolving. With the digital age many roles have had to be created while others have become redundant. It is upto to companies and instituitions to recognize the need for such skills and enable training for them. It is upto the public to empower themselves on these skills to be able to position themselves in the market.
5. Based on your own experiences, what have been the most important lessons you’ve learned so far?
I think by far the most important lesson is to find something you love. That is a sure way of being successful in whatever career you choose to pursue because you tend to give it your best.
Secondly self-improvement is important. Being well versed in diverse aspects of your career not only gives you an edge but also grows you as an individual. Networking is literally the steps on the ladder of career growth. So get out, meet people and see what opportunities and lessons are out there. Have fun. Laugh, cry, keep good friends close and family closer.
6. If you think your current field of trade, what is/are the hardest for women to tackle? Or does gender have any meaning at all?
I wouldn’t say gender is a challenge. At the end of the day if you are great at your job, you will be recognized despite the gender factor.
I have never thought to myself that I missed out on an opportunity because I was female. While gender has been quite an impediment in society and especially in Africa, I would say that now is a good time to be born female. Because we women get to be just as educated and heard as much as our male counterparts.
7. How do you want to encourage those willing to have your position at the moment? How can they get there, too?
Follow what you love. The rest will fall in place.
As Paulo Coelho said,” And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”