Joni Mäkelä: Combining football and studies


Joni Mäkelä studies International Business in HAMK’s Valkeakoski campus. He moved to Valkeakoski to play football for FC Haka in 2015 and he heard that there is an option to study as well. Joni tells how he was able to combine playing football and studying at the same time!

How did you end up in HAMK? Why did you choose to study International Business?
I applied and luckily I got in and started my studies on the last day of august. I had two options when I applied to HAMK and I chose International Business because I have always been interested in other cultures and economics. After a pleasant conversation with Antti Isoviita I was sure that IB was the right option for me.

Last season you played football in Valkeakoski at the same time than you were studying? How did you manage to do it?
I felt that I managed it quite well. Ofc it was impossible for me to always be in classes because of my job. When I was not training I tried to be at HAMK to get things done. But I couldn’t have done it without the understanding and help from my teachers and classmates.

What are the benefits of playing football and working at the same time?
I think that the biggest benefit is that you get your mind off from the other activity when doing the other one. It worked really well in my case because I really enjoy to play football and study at HAMK with my classmates.

What has been the best thing at HAMK? And the most challenging?
The best thing at HAMK are the people you get to know and be around. The first year in HAMK was amazing! Everything was new and interesting and I really enjoyed every second of it. Thanks to everyone who made me feel that way. The most challenging thing was probably the scheduling with everything. Training twice a day and being at the school is not the easiest to do between 8am-16pm. But luckily the evenings were free most of the days, so I had time to catch up a bit.

What would you like to say people who consider applying to HAMK International Business? Any tips?
I would say that it’s a very very good option for you and I am sure you would not regret it – I didn’t. The school will most definitely offer you the tools to succeed and start a new international network. But after all it’s all up to you. If you get in, I have one tip: Enjoy every moment and try to get everything out of the first year so that you will have a great base in whatever you want to continue with.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope I would be in Europe playing professional football and starting my own business with a few friends.

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