Ivo Eglitis: How self-employment through start-up business idea made my professional career


Ivo Eglitis studied International Business (Global Marketing) at HAMK, in the class of 2012. He comes from Latvia and his profession and passion is connected to digital marketing world. At the present moment, he is gaining online advertising experience working as a digital marketing project manager at join-stock company “4finance” that is leading market provider of short-terms loans in Europe

How did you end up in HAMK/Finland/International Business?

My sister graduated from HAMK in 2013 and I made a decision to follow hers example because Finland was making a very positive impact on her’s personality. During that time, I recognized a possibility for myself as well. Thus, my stepfather is a Finn, so it made much easier path for me to start a new beginning in Finland.

How did you end up in your current work situation? What kind of things your work consists of?

It all started by following my gut feeling and a clear vision of desired goal. In my case, it was comprehension or being aware of necessary skills that need to be acquired to meet demand of job market. To find a way for self-education concerning digital marketing and professional growth, me and my fellow student Mirza Sagdati, founded a start-up company “DIGGID” under New Factory in Tampere. Our start-up provided a self-branding online service. We created personal websites for people to build their personal brand and gain professional online appearance through customized domain name (yourname.com). By having that kind of knowledge how to brand yourself and put everything into one compelling package as a promotional tool to sell yourself to employer, I had enough confidence to apply for digital marketing positions that were available in the job seeking market. Without a start-up self-gained experience it would not be possible. I was not graduated yet when I applied for a digital marketing specialist vacancy in Latvia. The mind-set and tactic what I used was based on “be so good they can’t ignore you”, so when I finalized assigned work task as infographic, I published it under www.ivo4finance.com. This technique or approach helped me to stand out of the crowd among other candidates.

Currently, I’m responsible for digital marketing strategy execution overall and performance on regional level for 4 brands in Latvia (SMScredit.lv, Ondo.lv, Vivus.lv and Kimbi.lv). My main focus is based on PPC (AdWords), SEO, Affiliate marketing, Content marketing, Mobile marketing, Display and Social media advertising. Acquired competencies – the ability to execute and analyse marketing campaigns, as well as provide actionable decisions by looking at online channel attribution to prove their value with real data to increase channel efficiency.

Where are you (and your company) going to be professionally in 10 years?

As by far now, we have put on pause our start-up company to acquire more online advertising experience before making our own investments. By 2020, it is going to be a period of time to re-evaluate business model and see a potential market fit for the same or pivoted version of initial idea. The creativity is always there when you find your start-up idea-mate to be inspired and able to conquer the world. It all starts by expressing yourself to people around you. You never know if somebody will connect with the same mind-set as yours. You just have to try at least once.

Have you benefit from your studies at HAMK when it comes to your career?

Of course, I would never be here without studying at HAMK in the first place. It is the environment and surrounded people that gets you involved in different activities. I’m very grateful for the time that I have spent living and studying in Finland. It gave me a chance to start over (drop-out from 2 under graduated universities in Latvia before Finland) and find my own path in much more greater sense – understanding who I really would like to become in terms of professional growth.

What was the best thing at HAMK? And what was the challenging?

The best thing at HAMK was having all the studies in English language, at least for me. It gave me a very good practice that pays off every day at existing work environment. Nevertheless, the whole atmosphere was up-lifted all the time by meeting people all around world. Just having that sort of a possibility to study abroad was enough for me to be excited all time long studying at HAMK.

What would you like to say people who consider applying to HAMK International Business? Any tips?

I would recommend spending some time at work environment (2-3 years) before applying to higher educational studies. It will provide you more detailed insights on your own personality (strengths, weaknesses) and what you really want to achieve and where you like to be or who become. It’s important to make that first step wisely because it is going to impact your next decisions. Afterwards, just let that knowledge suck in and apply for studies at HAMK. Be prepared for the best journey of your lifetime that is going to turn you in a better version of yourself.

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