Yakubu is an International Business student from Ghana. He comes from a large family and likes watching football, music and dancing.
Why did you decide to come to Finland and study here?
I have a marketing degree from previous studies, and after working for a while I decided to come to Finland to have this experience in international business, and learn how business is done globally. To help me understand issues better and to solve problems when I go back to Ghana.
How do you perceive the differences in education between Ghana and Finland?
There are many differences. In Ghana it is more reading and memorizing. Here there is more a relation between learning and companies. I have also learned the skills needed for presentations which is very important to me.
What kind of differences are there between your marketing degree from Ghana and the international business curriculum you are following now?
There are so many differences. Courses are structured totally different. One thing I have learned here is that the lectures are analytical in nature, and also how to write a report and work on a project for a company. These type of analyses help me a lot in differentiating what I have learned back in Ghana and what I am learning here.
I know you are a big football fan. What kind of leagues and teams do you like to follow most? Do you follow Finnish football?
The Spanish and English premier league. I don’t really have any idea about the Finnish football league. I like Real Madrid and Barcelona, and Chelsea.
Are there any other sports you are interested in?
Yea, I like athletics! Everything about athletics from marathon to the 100 meter. Anything that involves running I really like.
How difficult was it for you to adjust to living in Finland?
It was really difficult. Back home in Ghana everything is in groups and communities. Here it is more individualistic. The weather also was really terrible at the beginning. When I came here it was very cold because in Ghana it is every day 20 to 30 degrees. Then when you are all of a sudden faced with -15 to -20 it is terrible, but I am coping. I love the nature in Finland, the fresh air, the forests. Now I am settled and have so many friends here now.
Do you see a future for yourself in Finland or do you plan to go somewhere else when your study is done?
I am planning on doing my masters in the UK, and after that I will definitely go back to Ghana.
So you already have your masters planned?
I am planning it right now. I want to get into public health administration. In Ghana we need a lot of public education in terms of health. So in the first year I decided to already do extra courses so I can graduate quickly and move on.
Where in the UK would you like to study?
I am planning on going to Cardiff University, or Aberdeen. It doesn’t really matter to me if it is in Scotland, England or Wales.
Do you have a job besides your studies?
Yea, I work at Posti now. Combining working and education is very difficult but I am doing my best. It was really difficult to get a job but through online applications I got hooked up with Posti.
Do you think that Ghana is benefitting from the liberalization of trade that is going on at the moment?
It has merits and demerits. One merit is that you get foreign exchange to support your economy, and it helps to boost the local production but on the other hand it defeats local farmers in terms of how to add value to what they produce locally. Also there is the idea that anything that is cultivated in Ghana is shipped abroad.
Last week I talked to Meri Ketonen and she wanted to ask you: “If you could learn one skill what would it be?”
One skill I would really be able to learn is how to drive big machines.