I am an experienced interior designer and a student at HAMK


My path to Finland and in Finland

Me in a nutshell.

Hi, my name is Ting Ni. I am an enthusiastic interior designer.

I am eager to learn a new field and explore the combination of construction and design. Before I came to Finland to study my second engineering degree in construction engineering, I had had 8 years of interior design work experience in China. I am highly motivated to continue learning and develop my skills and competence.

Design is a process, which requires both technical skills and soft skills to succeed.

In 2013, I gained my first engineer degree in industrial design in Central South University of Forestry and Technology in China. During my studies, I have learned key skills and competence in many areas in the field of industrial design, such as design and the technical production of the furniture. And in the third year of studies, I got interested in the spatial design field and started to explore the career possibilities in this field while taking some extracurricular courses. Soon after my graduation, I started my career as an interior designer in Shanghai, China.

The company I worked for specialized in commercial environment, particularly in real estates. My task in the team was to design functional and aesthetic show houses and sales centres to promote sales of our customers´ products, and our customers were from all around China. As cultures and human behaviors vary a lot across China, every project started with cultural background research and target group positioning. I always found the design phase exciting. With our team, we shared ideas, discussed about details, chose materials, and produced precise construction drawings. The professional skills I possessed in design are the core control of our product quality, but I have also developed solid communication skills, which I believed was the key to successful customer service as well as project implementation.

Besides working as an engineer and providing customer services to our clients, collaboration with partners was also my daily responsibility. After our proposal got accepted by the client, I followed the implementation process from the beginning till the end. The process required constant communication and negotiation with construction partners and workers. Sometimes communication is fun, but discrepancies happened. Problem solving is inevitable. My experience taught me that, soft skills are as important as professional skills in the design field.

Thanks to my work experience in Shanghai, I have gained solid experience in research, space planning, material selection, and have mastered several design tools. In addition, I have developed advanced customer services, cooperation, and communication skills, which are transferable to my future work.

My path to Finland and in Finland

The decision to continue studying is based on my personal interest. I want to explore more in the building industry. At HAMK, in our first year of studies, we focused mainly on basic building technology and materials. Through multiple university projects, I have not only learned the knowledge of the field, but also learned to work in international teams. I enjoy teamwork and communication in multicultural environments.

I really enjoy my studies here at HAMK. I am especially interested in the topic of sustainability solutions and the energy performance of buildings´. It makes me think of a house/building in a different way. Through interdisciplinary studies, I am getting deeper understanding of design and I want to explore more sustainability solutions for the industry.

I am close to four of my classmates, we turn into really good friends during this year. Our friendship is based on FOOD (surprise, surprise). We are all good at cooking, so we became close to each other while sharing food. We also made friends with one of former neighbours, Qingyang, who is working as a Talent Boost mentor at HAMK. Our friendship group has a mascot dog called Brie. She has brought joy and fun into our daily life.

I also met Minna through the International Friendship Programme arranged by HAMK (See the programme in Finnish here; in English here). Minna is a local Finn, but she surprises us as she can speak really good Chinese as well as many other languages. She is also a foodie, so we had several good dinners time. Through her, I get to know more and more about Finnish culture. In the future, I want to connect to more HAMK alumni who work in the industries that I am interested in working in. I appreciate advice and guidance on how to find my path into those industries in Finland.

Finnish language learning journey: it has started, and it will continue.

Besides taking part in compulsory Finnish language courses offered at HAMK, I also join the Thursday Finnish Evening arranged by a local church. Recently, I also join the Language Cafe held on Wednesdays in the city library, where we try to communicate only in Finnish. Organisers also prepare many fun activities and topics, such as the newest Cha Cha Cha and card games. I might be a slower learner to the Finnish language, and I get frustrated by all the rules and changes in this language (but I mean, who doesn’t? Haha), but I have had good experiences so far, and that has been motivating me to keep learning the language. I feel that people around me have been very supportive, not only staff and teachers from HAMK, but all Finnish locals I have met. Whenever I try to speak Finnish, I get positive responses and feedback. I still remember the time when I was taking Finnair flight during New Year 2023, when I said hyvää uutta vuotta to the flight crew, they were smiling and happy.

Let´s connect in LinkedIn!

You can find me here: https://fi.linkedin.com/in/ting-ni-84646774.

——————————————— SHARE YOUR WORK STORY! ———————————————

Share your work story on HAMK´s blog! HAMK talent boost encourages foreign students to inspire, encourage and empower one and another through their own work and everyday life experience. Contact qingyang.li@hamk.fi for more information.

Ting Ni, first-year student at Construction Engineering degree programme.
The story is edited by Qingyang Li, Talent Boost Mentor from HAMK International, based on author´s submission of texts.

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