Moa­men Ibra­him: “Knowing people here is what makes things easier”

Man sitting in the nature

Moa­men Ibra­him, 28, is ori­gi­nal­ly from Egypt. He works now as a Mac­hi­ne Lear­ning Engi­neer at Soli­ta. He has been here in Oulu for five years.


I’m Moa­men Ibra­him, from Egypt. I’m 28 years old, and I work as a Mac­hi­ne Lear­ning Engi­neer. I’ve been here in Oulu for five years.

I finis­hed my bachelor’s degree in com­mu­nica­tions and elect­ro­nics, and whi­le stu­dying for my degree, I beca­me inte­res­ted in com­pu­ter science. I was alrea­dy doing some com­pu­ter science pro­jects on the site and was inte­res­ted in softwa­re, so I star­ted researc­hing master’s degrees abroad.

Man snowwalking


I did a master’s in com­pu­ter science at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu, Fin­land. One of the rea­sons I cho­se the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu was because I knew that the­re would be a chance to work as a research assis­tant, in my pro­gram­me and my depart­ment, whi­le stu­dying; being able to work and stu­dy in the same field was an ideal com­bi­na­tion. I also had friends from Egypt in Oulu, and I’d heard that it was a nice place for stu­dents to come.


I wor­ked as a research assis­tant at the uni­ver­si­ty for two years, so I wasn’t only stu­dying but also wor­king and lear­ning new things at the same time. In gene­ral, wor­king in research is very rewar­ding and helps you learn more, especial­ly in the com­pu­ter science field. I had a chance to teach one cour­se as well. It was about the same topic I was wor­king on: natu­ral lan­gua­ge proces­sing.


Befo­re Soli­ta I wor­ked for Nokia for three years. I gra­dua­ted around July 2019, and then the fol­lowing Octo­ber I star­ted wor­king with Nokia.

Somet­hing fun­ny hap­pe­ned one year befo­re I star­ted applying for jobs. I found an ope­ning with Nokia, and I did the inter­views. The com­pa­ny wan­ted me as a the­sis wor­ker. Howe­ver, I cho­se to con­ti­nue my research work; it was the best situa­tion for me at that time, and I was very inves­ted in the pro­ject I was wor­king on as a research assis­tant. So I said no to Nokia. Then, after I gra­dua­ted, I got a job from Nokia through my job at the uni­ver­si­ty. I’d wor­ked with a lot of people on natu­ral lan­gua­ge proces­sing as a research assis­tant. One per­son who was a cofoun­der of anot­her com­pa­ny was doing a con­sul­tancy, and he put me up with Nokia. The team that inter­viewed me the first time was the same team I joi­ned one year later.



When I moved to Oulu, a kum­mi, a stu­dent tutor at the uni­ver­si­ty, hel­ped me in the begin­ning and made sett­ling into a new count­ry so easy. I regis­te­red at the immi­gra­tion office, bought fur­ni­tu­re, purc­ha­sed a bus card, and applied for a bank account, all in just one day. It was great; he hel­ped with eve­ryt­hing. I was surpri­sed how fast we did eve­ryt­hing. It was impor­tant to have someo­ne here to help me sett­le in during the first days.

I alrea­dy had some friends from Egypt in Oulu. On my second day, an Egyp­tian celebra­tion took place, so I met more Egyp­tians the­re and they hel­ped me in the begin­ning. After that, I star­ted making friends at the uni­ver­si­ty. I joi­ned a lot of acti­vi­ties, such as AIESEC. I was real­ly acti­ve as a stu­dent and also atten­ded acti­vi­ties orga­ni­sed by other orga­ni­sa­tions.

Knowing people here is what makes my per­so­nal and pro­fes­sio­nal life easier. It enables me to know what other people are doing, to figu­re out how things work in gene­ral, and to expand my network.

Swim­ming is my favou­ri­te part of sum­mer in Oulu. In all, I think I pre­fer sum­mer here over sum­mer in many other places because the weat­her is good, not hot eit­her insi­de or out­si­de.

The water is cold, but I think I kind of like it. It’s the per­fect tem­pe­ra­tu­re for both swim­ming and visi­ting the sau­na. The floa­ting sau­na in Tui­ra is whe­re I go most of the time. Eve­ry day or eve­ry sum­mer. Brace your­self for the cold weat­her, howe­ver!

This article was ori­gi­nal­ly publis­hed at
Text: Débo­ra Oli­vei­ra

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