Oulu is a home to world-class tech­no­lo­gy

Atul Saxe­na and Rafeeq Rafeeq both work at Nokia in Oulu. Atul is pas­sio­na­te about engi­nee­ring and is dedica­ted to crea­ting sta­te-of-the-art pro­ducts. Rafeeq reloca­ted to the city to join the team res­pon­sible for desig­ning new elect­ro­nic sys­tems. Both apprecia­te the work-life balance offe­red by Oulu’s sere­ne envi­ron­ment.

Atul Saxena’s team works on pro­ducts for 5G and 6G telecom­mu­nica­tions networks. “That’s the front­li­ne of high-tech inno­va­tion which I find immen­se­ly satis­fying,” he says with a proud smi­le.

Rafeeq Rafeeq enjo­ys wor­king with world-class tech­no­lo­gy, desig­ning chips to work with 5G and 6G mobi­le tech­no­lo­gy. “We ope­ra­te at the high end of telecom­mu­nica­tion engi­nee­ring,” he says.

Both say that work-life balance in Nokia is world class.

Atul is a tech­nical mana­ger at Nokia. He leads a team of six engi­neers. “I like cor­po­ra­te cul­tu­re here. First, the orga­ni­sa­tio­nal chart is qui­te flat,” he laughs. “Second, work-life balance is very good.”

Moving to Oulu has brought big chan­ges also to Rafeeq’s life. In addi­tion to establis­hing a work-life balance, the hardwa­re desig­ner from Hyde­ra­bad has found a high-tech job that he’s pas­sio­na­te about.

Job that invol­ves glo­bal expo­su­re

“My team uses the softwa­re to make sure that new semicon­duc­tor chips match the phy­sical envi­ron­ment they will ope­ra­te in,” says Rafeeq.

But why do we need to deve­lop new chips all the time?

“What’s dri­ving deve­lop­ment with regards to chips in Mobi­le Radio is the same that we have seen with proces­sors in mobi­le pho­nes. We want to make them smal­ler, more cost-effec­ti­ve and we want them to use less power. At the same time, we want to put more func­tio­na­li­ty in them.”

“We ope­ra­te at the high end of
telecom­mu­nica­tion engi­nee­ring.”

Rafeeq Rafeeq

Rafeeq says that desig­ning chips to see if they meet the requi­re­ments in their ope­ra­ting envi­ron­ments is a rewar­ding job that has the poten­tial to make a glo­bal impact. He is keen­ly awa­re of the dif­fe­rence he can make for mil­lions of mobi­le pho­ne users around the world.

Anot­her fac­tor that boosts Rafeeq’s mora­le is that he feels like he’s a valued mem­ber of the team who­se opi­nions are impor­tant.

“My mana­gers value my exper­ti­se and ask for specia­list view and apprecia­te my feed­back. I can reach out to any­one in the orga­niza­tion. Com­mu­nica­tion is open and honest.”

Rafeeq has a fel­low Indian and a Nepa­le­se col­lea­gue in his Oulu team and he also works with Nokia col­lea­gues Fin­land and other count­ries around the world. “In all my dea­ling with all the­se people of dif­fe­rent natio­na­li­ties, I’ve never expe­rienced any disc­ri­mi­na­tion or pre­ju­dice. We’re all trea­ted equal­ly at Nokia. It’s a plea­sant, welco­ming envi­ron­ment.”

Flexible wor­king and fami­ly time

Atul belie­ves flexible wor­king at Nokia crea­tes a win-win situa­tion. “It allows me to sup­port my fami­ly pro­per­ly because I’m at home when my kids come home from school.

Atul’s wife, ten-year-old daugh­ter and eight-year-old son have all sett­led into their new lives in Oulu very easi­ly. “They’re all very hap­py. I am the only one who gets a bit home­sick at times,” admits Atul.

“I love wal­king in the forest in Oulu. It’s an expe­rience that gives you a feel for natu­re.”

Atul Saxe­na

Atul says his wife has found ser­vices to help immi­grants sett­le, find work, and learn the Fin­nish lan­gua­ge very help­ful. “There’s strong sup­port for inte­gra­tion in Fin­land.”

“There’s equal oppor­tu­ni­ty in Fin­land for eve­ry­one. My wife will start loo­king for a job when she’s finis­hed her cour­se — somet­hing she would not have been able to do in Malay­sia”, he con­ti­nues.

Atul’s children go to Oulu Inter­na­tio­nal School: an IB (Inter­na­tio­nal Bacca­lau­rea­te) school run by the City of Oulu. It’s free to attend and the lan­gua­ge of tui­tion is English.

“There’s less pres­su­re at school on children than the­re is in India. School is less com­pe­ti­ti­ve. One thing I real­ly apprecia­te is how much Oulu Inter­na­tio­nal School sup­ports lear­ning foreign lan­gua­ges. For example, my children attend Hin­di clas­ses.”

Enjo­ying the great out­doors

Accor­ding to Atul, pris­ti­ne Arc­tic natu­re is anot­her big att­rac­tion in Oulu.

“Oulu is a city in the forest. Natu­re is at your doors­tep and it’s so easy to explo­re the forests, lakes and the sea­si­de. They’re awe­so­me in eve­ry sea­son.

Atul loves jum­ping on his bike to go to the forest with his fami­ly to pick blue­ber­ries and lin­gon­ber­ries in the sum­mer and autumn.

“But I don’t just cycle. I also love wal­king in the forest in Oulu. It’s an expe­rience that gives you a real feel for natu­re.”

Rafeeq and his fami­ly also enjoy explo­ring the Fin­nish count­ry­si­de and spend time in the beau­ti­ful natu­ral envi­ron­ment sur­roun­ding Oulu.

The rec­rea­tion area of Koi­te­lin­kos­ki on the Kii­min­ki­jo­ki river, just 25 km from the cent­re of Oulu, is a fami­ly favou­ri­te.

The area con­sists of small islands which divi­de the river into smal­ler streams and rapids.

“I was amazed to see how clo­se you can go to the water on woo­den planks. The­re are lots of bar­becue places that any­bo­dy can use at any time of the year, even in the win­ter when there’s a lot of snow.”

Eri­ka Ben­ke

Nokia crea­tes tech­no­lo­gy that helps the world act toget­her. Are you open to joi­ning Nokia?

Read more about wor­king in Oulu