There is a large and well established technology industry in Finland and they are all at each other’s throats to hire the brightest people. They offer competitive salaries, great working spaces and offices with stocked pantries, free breakfast and coffee. Not to mention all the passive perks that come with the job -- meet great people, learn and share your own experience. The best of all is that you get a kick out of putting a value to your own knowledge. Also, it helps with staving off any kind of self-doubt and depression.

Tamás Kertész is now a third year Interactive Media student at TAMK originally from Romania. He has previous experience with web and web development from before being accepted to TAMK. According to Kertész he had never considered it as a legitimate career opportunity until he applied for TAMK and got accepted. That motivated him to work harder and keep at it with a “can do” - attitude and lots of coffee. As the competition for these positions is also brutal Kertész was, according to himself, fortunate enough to grasp the bare minimal skills in order to land an entry level sub-junior role at such a place. He’s been employed since March on a freelance salary in a company called Anders Innovations and have been working his way up since while continuing with his studies.

What allowed me to be employed in the first place is my long time interest in web and web development which I started working on 10 years ago.

However, not everything happened instantly. Before Kertész even dreamed of applying to TAMK, he needed to have a portfolio and work experience under his belt. After completing a handful of projects he could have something to show, to point to and say that yes he can do that. He’s also been fortunate enough to be picked no less than three times for Demola projects of varying scope after being accepted as a student in TAMK.

I had to reach small milestones; I had to have the cake before I could eat it.

Demola is an open innovation platform that works in collaboration with universities and companies in order to offer especially to university students a unique opportunity to add some real-life twist into their studies as professionals. At Demola, you will work in a project with a multidisciplinary team solving real-life cases together with partner companies. It’s part of your degree program and you can gain credits towards your studies by being a part of a team. The application periods are held four times a year with a large variation of different projects and collaborations that students can apply for based on their talent and interests.

Demola offered Kertész the chance to gain rough real world application and put him in situations where he had to rely on his skills to sell ideas and products. His Demola projects were always done in sync with his studies at TAMK. Kertész applied the theory taught at TAMK and came out at the end of the Demola cycles with more working knowledge than he could hope for if he had to rely on self-discipline alone.

That last thought lends to the reason why he studies at TAMK. Real experience is worth more in the real world than theoretical knowledge in his opinion. Kertész has done enough theory based studies to know that for him it is not engaging, not directly applicable in professional life, and most of all not creatively satisfying. In his opinion the best part of TAMK is that you have access to a lot of useful equipment, information and opportunities that you would probably normally have a hard time finding.

It would be a waste of time not to make use of the equipment and it goes the same for ignoring the many talented instructors available at an email’s distance ready to help you with any creative endeavour that you might have.