Blendi Avdijaj is a HAMK alumni from International Business. Since graduation he has been working for one of the big four professional services firm KPMG, as a financial advisor. One reason he enjoys this business and challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people and grow professionally.
What did you study and when?
I chose to study international business because it allowed me to appreciate how globalization has brought about an increasing ’connectedness’ of businesses, markets, people and information across countries. Moreover I learned to love other cultures while studying in an international environment (HAMK). I graduated in 2014.
How did you end up in HAMK/Finland/International Business?
I remember wanting to go abroad for studies nevertheless I had not decided on what I wanted to study. My parents were very supportive of my idea and they helped me in finding a potential university that I could attend. It was actually my dad who attended a college/university fair where different schools were promoting and he saw HAMK and then proposed it to me.
Consequently I followed up and looked at the programs they offered and saw the International Business program. I found it quite interesting and I realized that the career options upon finishing my studies in IB would be immense. I applied to the program and later received the acceptance letter. I remember the feeling of excitement, the fear and the dread but I was looking forward to having an amazing life experience away from my home country and that is what really happened. My time at HAMK has had a huge amount of influence professionally, the confidence it gave me and the exposure to people from all walks of life.
How did you end up in your current work situation? What kind of things your work consists of?
I had an impression that accounting and consulting industry is a great place to be to secure success in my career. I knew that it can be very competitive – especially if you want to get hired by the Big 4 accounting firms. As a student and then a graduate you feel the pressure of finding a good job. I began job hunting before graduating and sent applications to several companies among others big 4 as well. After some negative responses I finally received an invitation for an entry test at KPMG in Kosovo. After successfully passing the test, I went to first interview and consequently the second one. After a robust recruitment process I finally got job offer and I ended up in KPMG.
I am part of Transaction team within KPMG and “Transaction” refers to things like mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs etc. My job could be exposed to these events in a variety of ways such as consulting a client both before and after a transaction on how to deal with the changes to their business in the most efficient manner possible. Being part of Transaction team means doing things like perform due diligence on an acquisition target prior to the transaction occurring to help their client ensure they are actually getting what they are paying for, using the financial information of a target to assist with building a valuation model of the company, and analyzing a potential sale of a division to help a client determine both the book value and the fair value of the portion of its business that it is considering parting with. So in general, my job is very finance and/or accounting related and which sometimes it gets quite challenging but I believe the experience is worth it.
Have you benefit from your studies at HAMK when it comes to your career?
Studies at HAMK have helped me in various ways – not only has given me the basic knowledge and foundation of business but also provided me with the opportunity to interact with different cultures, international traveling, possibility of discovering new opportunities and expand my network. I believe HAMK has helped me to develop a global mind set and provided me with the necessary skills to be able to evaluate and manage challenges and opportunities in an increasingly complex global environment.
What was the best thing at HAMK? And what was the challenging?
During my studies, the best thing that happened to me was being surrounded by classmates who came from different countries and culture and all the free time activities. I would emphasize that being part of such an international university definitely made me a true international professional. I was very happy to have the chance to do my double degree studies in the Netherlands. This has been very valuable experience that taught me things outside the classroom. I would consider Finnish language as a main challenge during my studies.
What would you like to say people who consider applying to HAMK International Business? Any tips?
For me, HAMK was one of the best things that happened to me and I regularly keep in touch with people there. I have already visited the campus as a graduate and that place is special to me. I would say that if you chose HAMK and International business program, I suggest that you have an open minded approach as this school is very international and offers you great opportunities. Get to know people and break out of your shell and talk to people. By the way, do not forget to enjoy the Finnish culture!