Desire to develop career in architecture led to combining work and open university studies

Tamara is an open university student, a structural engineer and a mother, among other things. Studying at an open university is sometimes difficult to combine with work and family life. However, Tamara believes that studying pays off, as it deepens and broadens the skills she has acquired in working life. Read Tamara's story below.
Henkilökuva Tamara Louis

Work, studies, and loads of new knowledge

My name is Tamara and I am a 29-year-old Master of Science in engineering. I moved to Finland eight years ago from Russia, where I completed my first university degree in civil engineering. I have also completed a degree programme in civil engineering in Finland.

I currently work in an architectural office and I really like my job. I've been in the industry for six years now, and in that time my interest in expanding my knowledge of architecture has only grown. This is why I started studying at the Open University.

This autumn I have completed two courses, Modern Wooden Architecture and History of Architecture I. I am very satisfied with both courses; there was the right amount of work to do, a lot of new knowledge and I feel that I received enough support and guidance during my studies.

The best thing about open university studies has been the collaboration with professionals from other fields. The courses bring together a diverse range of people interested in architecture, including graduate students, developers and structural engineers. This inevitably leads to a diversity of perspectives. Next spring, I will continue with my courses in the history of architecture at the Open University.

"I have to say that I really want to deepen my knowledge, not just get a diploma, so it's great that an open university offers the opportunity to learn."

Unfortunately, the number of architecture courses offered at the Open University is limited, which is a pity. There are only a few open courses that I am interested in left, and I will complete them during this academic year. All the courses I have taken are online, due to the prevailing corona situation. Distance learning has saved me time in getting from work or home to lectures, but on the other hand, I find it tiring to constantly stay on the computer. Fortunately, my workplace has been positive and supportive of my studies.

I have to say that I really want to deepen my knowledge, not just get a diploma, so it's great that an open university offers the opportunity to learn.

Time management has also been a challenge in combining work and studies. My advice to future working students is that you should not take on too many courses at the same time.

Dreaming of becoming an architect

I have been dreaming of becoming an architect for several years now, but unfortunately I have not yet been able to become a degree student. However, I intend to keep trying and next spring I will reapply for a degree programme in architecture. Although I am already working in my dream job, I feel that studying at the Open University will help me grow as a professional. Although my dream is to become an architect, my current studies have helped me to build up my knowledge of the whole field.

I recommend open university studies to anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge, or explore a new field.