I think I should start this blog off with a post explaining my background and how I came to land a full-time IT job at just 19 years old. It's not a movie-worthy story, but I think it's worth telling.
I was born in 2002 (Yes, that's just a few years ago), and I've really been a computer nerd my whole life. My father worked at a small, pretty unknown IT company called Nokia, you've maybe heard of it😉. My favorite toys as a young child were old mobile phones with the batteries removed, I'd play with them for hours, pretending to be on conference calls yelling "yes yes, no no!", since those were the only English words I knew.
Later I got also interested in something else than technology, and that was video. I fell in love with filming skateboarding videos with my neighbors and short movies with my classmates. I got my first touch with video editing software at the age of 7 with iMovie on our family Mac Mini. Video production became my second obsession alongside technology.
My school offered me great opportunities for growing my skills in both tech and video production, giving me the chance to film and livestream school events (before doing online events was cool!) and being a tech support person for teachers all around the school. These were the decisive years that made me really want to pursue a tech career in the future.
During this time I also started running a YouTube-channel, which slowly evolved from vlogging and gaming to one of the first tech channels in Finland. I was able to combine my two obsessions to create some awesome content for likeminded people online.
Later at 16 years old, I got accepted into Kerttuli Upper Secondary schools ICT program, which was and still is the country's only school program specialized in ICT. During my studies there I got to learn the basics of programming, Linux, networks with the help of CCNA courses and many other skills! I also had many opportunities I'm extremely thankful for, like being able to participate in a hacking competition after a penetration testing course held for us. During the 3 years at Kerttuli, I also found a new interest and one I've really wanted to stick onto - and that was teaching others.
During my time in upper secondary school I kept on creating content for YouTube, amassing over 23 thousand subscribers. During that time I also flicked my camera from video to photo mode - becoming a freelancer doing stills and video for companies and families. I shot portraits, parties and ads for local companies, really enjoying seeing my work out there in the world appreciated by others.
After graduating, I started to think about what I wanted to do in the future. Going to university and studying computer science was out of the question for me due to me not studying advanced mathematics in upper secondary school (I could write a whole article about how the university admission system in Finland is a total failure) so I decided to pursue other options. I applied at a couple film schools, an economics school and to study chinese language at the University of Turku. I ended up being rejected immideately from all of the schools except chinese, where I made it to reserve spot #1, never getting the position in the end.
Later I started thinking about my skills, and wanting to play it safe, I decided to apply to study a BBA in Business Information Technology in Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki. The fact that the degree programme was in english really motivated me, since I quite enjoy communicating in english with people from all around the world. Getting admission to the school meant that a lot of things in my life were going to change. I had to look for an apartment and move to Helsinki, start in a school where I knew no one, and see if I really had it in me to study IT "seriously".
So how did it go?
Well, I showed up at school, took a look at the courses and study paths offered to us and a weird feeling hit me - I already knew almost half of the things. Then I thought of something to do, I could get a job to go to while studying and already start my career even before graduating.
I started looking and sent some applications, I was quite picky with places I wanted to apply to and sent 4 applications and received 4 invitations to interviews. The first 2 interviews went great, I even did second interviews and was in the final round of applicants in both of them, but fell through in the final steps and ended up as the "We'll call you if something with the chosen applicant goes wrong" -person both times. The recruiter in the first position promised to call me the same night of my interview since I was the last applicant, but I only heard back in the form of an email a week later. That's a lesson for all recruiters: keep your promises, especially when they are pretty simple.
My third interview was at a company called Sulava, where they were looking for people interested in becoming Microsoft Azure consultants. The catch was that they were not looking for experienced consultants, but rather people who were willing to go through training and learn. I did a total of 3 interviews with them and ended up getting an offer. It felt surreal, I really wasn't expecting to get a full-time job offer at this early on my career and studies, but there it was. After brief thinking and excited jumping around, I accepted the offer and subsequently contacted the 4th company I had applied for to cancel my second interview.
So what is Sulava really like? Is it really that good? How was the recruiting process? Those are things I could write whole other articles about, and so I probably will. So stay tuned for those! 😁