International Business student Sunny: Nordic happiness brought me to Finland


Sunny Wong is a final year student in HAMK’s International Business degree programme. He comes from Hong Kong, but seeking the Nordic happiness took him all the way to Finland.

The decision to move to Finland to study was an easy one for Sunny, even though most of his schoolmates from Hong Kong went to countries like UK or Australia to do their studies. He has been interested in the Nordic welfare and happiness for a while, and his sister did an exchange in Turku. And when he got a quest lecturer in high school, who had been studying in Finland too, the choice seemed obvious. The lecturer had been studying in HAMK, and after comparing a few universities in Finland, Sunny choose HAMK as a study place too.

Business is something Sunny is very interested in, especially marketing and economics. He is also keen on the subjects of philosophy, economic history, politics and so on. He could have started to study them as well, but was concerned that being forced to study such subjects would have taken the fun out of it. So now he studies them for fun in his free time.

Getting comfortable in front of a crowd in HAMK

Sunny participated in a debating team during his studies in Hong Kong, but in HAMK his presentation skills have truly improved. He thinks HAMK is very good for giving students the skills to present themselves and speak in front of an audience. And these are skills you need when doing sales.

In the beginning of the studies, it was crazy for Sunny to work with so many different people from different countries. All cultures have such a different style of working. And since there were many group projects, cultures really collided. But to Sunny this was also fun.

– I don’t think studying is all about the grades. It’s more about learning to work with different people and making different kinds of teams thrive. These are all important skills one needs at the work place, Sunny reflects.

Sunny also values the real international experience HAMK gives its students. He has got to travel a lot during his studies, and he thinks the exchange and double degree possibilities at HAMK are great. He thinks the most important skills he has acquired from HAMK are the presentation skills, cultural interaction skills and basic human-to-human communication skills. He has learned to get along with all kinds of people very well. Sunny believes that communicating skills are actually the most important skills at this age of artificial intelligence and social media.

Hard-core academic exchange studies

Sunny spent the second year of his studies in the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, which is located in the Latvian capital Riga. There he got to do some humanities studies as well. According to Sunny, the Latvian school was more research oriented then HAMK.

– HAMK is good in teaching students in practice, and it gives students the soft skills for the future. In SSE Riga we learned a lot of the hard skills. I like doing my studies in a more practical way, but I am glad that after my exchange I had also the hard skills from a bit more hard-core academic studying. I liked the exchange period very much, Sunny says.

Plans for the future

Sunny is working in Sales and Partnership Team for WorkBoost during summer. WorkBoost aims at being the bridge builder between Finnish companies and international talents.

Afterwards, he will be travelling to Hong Kong in the middle of August to proceed with a number of projects: his thesis, development on global IT talent recruitment service for WorkBoost and introduction of Millennial Board to Greater China Region.

His thesis is a market entry project for a Finnish design company, which is looking into expanding to the Chinese and Hong Kong markets. From the beginning of next year, he is looking to travel back to Helsinki to work with the company and afterwards travel between Hong Kong and Helsinki to help with the market entry. This work allows him to promote the Nordic happiness to Chinese, after his studies in Finland.

Tips on finding a job, internship or thesis commissioner

It is not always easy for young people to find a job, especially if they don’t speak the country’s language. This is why Sunny thinks international students should be more creative and proactive in order to find work. Just sending a CV to the employer isn’t enough.

– You should first think what kind of company you’d like to work for. And then actively seek companies that share your interests and values, and be in contact with them. For example, I like Finnish design and therefore seek for companies who work in that field. It is easy to meet people, but it takes effort to find those who share your interests, Sunny instructs.

Sunny himself is very active and takes initiative by participating in many different kinds of events and gatherings. For example, JCI United and Business Tampere are organizations, whose events he likes to participate.

IB is perfect for the international and practical people

– I’d recommend HAMK IB to people who think academic theory is important, but find it more important to know how to implement it in practice. And also to those who are interested in multiculturality and like to work in an international environment. So if you like practical work and studying, and doing it with people from all around the world, HAMK’s IB programme is definitely a right place for you!

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