Jawad Malik: “All you have to do is to break the shell”

Man watching winter scenery in Oulu

Jawad Malik came here from Pakistan to study master’s in education and technology and pursue his passion in telecommunication. Currently, he is working at Nokia as a System performance Engineer.

Who

Hello, I am Jawad Malik. I am currently working at Nokia as a System performance Engineer.

I came here to study master’s in education and technology and pursue my passion in telecommunication. My journey is a unique one, I must say. Not everyone travels the long path I have taken.

I had finished my studies related to Electrical and electronics engineering specialization in wireless communication in 2009 in Pakistan, then I went to Sweden to finish my masters in master’s in electrical engineering with emphasis on radiocommunication engineering.

After which I got back home, worked a few years in the telecom industry and took the education route and studied education planning and management. With my experience in telecommunication and education, I decided to embark on yet another master’s degree journey, this time here in Finland. My three years of hard work have finally paid off. I am now working for Nokia. It has been a long, unique journey, but I love every part of it.

Why

While in Sweden, I realized how much potential there is in the Nordic countries which are usually overlooked by international students. So, when I finished studying education planning and management in Pakistan and gaining my much-needed experience, I also looked for options to study but this time in the field of education and technology.

I believe that the social skills, work ethics, collaborative learning etc. are quite important. I learned all these during my education course. Now I had the technology background and the social work ethics and collaborative skills. Of course, it is a different idea. There aren’t many people who go down this path.

I wanted to join the workforce after acquiring a technical background, work ethics, and social support skills. Finland is famous for education. I liked the course that the university of Oulu offered. It matched with what I wanted to do. I took the leap of faith and here I am! Oulu was the first city I came to and liked the scenic town a lot.

Man watching blue sky

What

I worked in the service industry while studying here. That is then when I saw the real people of Finland. They are genuinely nice and gentle.

What I love about the society here is that everything is as it is; straightforward. I also like the gender equality seen here. Seeing women as pastors and driving heavy vehicles and being an active member of society are praiseworthy. It is great to see everyone work hard.

My family is here with me now. It was hard at first being away from my family for three years, although I used to go visit them. I have a diary where I wrote down all the experiences. When a person arrives at a new place, they have different thoughts and dreams. Writing them down helped during the rainy and snowy days.

What I appreciate about this country is that it is safe. It has world-renowned education, cleanest water, best air, welfare services and most importantly work life balance. What more can anyone ask for?

If I could redo everything over again, I would learn Finnish earlier. There are many ways to learn here with many institutions and these days, you can start with the basics through so many apps like dual lingo. I would suggest it to anyone trying to come here to start before they arrive. People here appreciate your efforts.

My advice to every expat would be, please talk. I have seen many people moving back feeling isolated and depressed because of winter and the darkness. Know that people are good. You must take the initiative and talk to them.

Everyone will seem reserved, as if they are in a shell. All you have to do is to break that ‘shell’. Then you will see they will become your good friends. Don’t get annoyed by long dark days in winter, you have auroras and snow! Get socializing you will love it.

Where

There are a lot of leisure activities happening around the year for children and students. The indoor game halls are a great to mingle and network. We even have a cricket match occasionally there!

Snow was something we only saw during vacations. It is lifestyle here, so all the winter sports are great to learn, and they offer most of them for free.

The benefits for students are plenty. The university is very helpful, the accommodations and food at the university, the services provided around the city, everything is affordable. There are jobs being offered to not only IT students but students in social sciences and other fields as well.

There are companies and organizations like Oulu Talent Hub who are there to support. If you have a family with you here, they will help with the integration courses for spouses. It is like the city has a framework that supports not only the person but the family coming along, which is unique and amazing.

Everything is available here if you look. Language courses, leisure activities, you name it. So, make use of your time to get to know the people and the culture you will never be unhappy.

I consider Oulu, Finland my second home. I want to invite the global talent to explore this part of world which has plenty of opportunities to offer. I hope your next destination will be Oulu – capital of culture 2026, the capital of northern Scandinavia.

Jawad Malik, man watching to the camera

This article was originally published at oulutalenthub.fi
Text: Shefat Islam

Oulu Talent Hub

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