Meet our staff: Merja Helin


Merja Helin is the Head of Degree Programme in International Business. At the moment she spends most of her time doing administrative tasks but she still teaches some subjects, too. Her background is in tourism industry.

What are your areas of expertise? What do you teach at HAMK?

I have strong background preparing, writing and managing EU-funded projects. My favorite subjects that I have taught / am teaching are: Customer Relationship Management (both theory and programs), Digital Marketing, Research and Digital Business related topics.

How did you end up in HAMK? What is your background in work-life?

I started my career in tourism industry and worked in different positions (f.ex. conference assistant, marketing and project manager). Actually I had only worked for three months for Iittala Ltd when I noticed that degree programme in tourism (HAMK) was looking for a project manager. I wasn’t seriously applying for a new job but still I applied for the post and surprisingly I was accepted. That’s the starting point of my career here in HAMK.

The first post was for developing the interaction between tourism degree programme and working life. After the project ended I started as a full-time lecturer and some years later as a head of degree program in tourism. As time passed by the Finnish government decided to cut down the amount of students who study tourism and suddenly I found myself working at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Well, it didn’t last long until I found myself working again at HAMK. I established and branded HAMK’s Business Services Unit “Business Point” and lead if for several years. Then it was again time to start working in a degree programme. Head of degree programme in Business Administration was my next post until I was nominated to be a head of degree programme here in International Business three years ago.

What you have studied? (and where)

After high school I studied for 4 years hotel management in Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. Then after giving birth to three sons I realized that I need a new career and started to study Economics at the University of Tampere. Now I’m a doctoral student at the University of Jyväskylä in faculty of digital media.

What is your favorite free time activity? Or tell something special about yourself!

Well, I try to do some exercise.. Sometimes I succeed sometimes not. But I do like jogging and gym. And of course I love to spend my time at our summer cottage.

What is the best thing in teaching?

Definitely students!

What is the best thing at HAMK International Business?

My absolutely lovely colleagues and the atmosphere we have here. Students are names not numbers and we have close connection to them.

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

You can’t find a better place to study than HAMK IB! So just apply and join our international team.

Application period for HAMK’s International Business degree programme is 10-25 Jan 2017. Apply now!

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