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.

Who

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

Why

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.

What

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.

Where

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.

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How

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 oulutalenthub.fi
Text: Débora Oliveira

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