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Students will be employed: – Challenge both the teachers as well as your field

– The Bachelors of Hospitality Management who graduate from SAMK have a wide understanding of the systems and basic structures of the field. Also fellow students and the teachers remain as positive memories, tells Miikka Valo who works with international congresses and events for Visit Espoo. 

2.5.2018 | By: Tiia Koskela, SAMK student | Photo: Miikka Valo

Miikka Valo

Miikka Valo graduated as a Bachelor of Hospitality Management in Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in the summer of 2010 and currently works for Visit Espoo. The key function of Visit Espoo (Espoo marketing ltd by its official juridical name) is to promote and develop both tourism and meeting- and congress activities in Espoo. 

Miikka Valo, a 33-year-old father of a 5-year-old son, spent the first 20 years of his life in Pori. Valo graduated from the upper-secondary school in 2003, after which it was time to join the army. Valo spent altogether two years serving in the air force working among other things as an assistant mechanic. The thought of applying for studies occurred to him during the years in the air force, even though he would have had a chance to continue his career there as well.  

Trying out tourism studies lead to a career in the field

– My primary application was to geography studies, but I was not enrolled there and I got a place at SAMK in tourism studies. I thought I would come to have a look at how a year as a tourism student looks like and if it doesn’t feel like the right place for me I will reapply to geography studies the next year. Now after 12 years I am still on the same track and not once have I regretted having started my studies at SAMK.

From SAMK Valo remembers interesting courses and contents regarding tourism. In addition SAMK’s decision to offer so called general teaching of tourism is the right choice according to Valo, because it prepares the students for real work situations really well.  

– The Bachelors of Hospitality Management who graduate from SAMK have a wide understanding of the systems and basic structures of the field. Also fellow students and the teachers remain as positive memories, says Valo. 

– A broad understanding of the field is critically important especially when working in the world of regional organizations.  

Traineeship abroad is an amazing experience of living in a foreign country

Valo did his traineeship abroad in the conference team at Visit Manchester. He worked at the congress unit that searched for international congresses to the greater Manchester area. That was Valo’s first step in the international congress business, which is the area he works in currently.  

– I recommend strongly to do your traineeship abroad, if it suits your situation in life. As an experience international work practice gives you a lot and helps you in finding a job in the future.

Mikka Valo has worked for Visit Espoo for approximately seven years now. He started his career as a service developer of travel information services. Nowadays in addition to service development Valo focuses on international congresses and business events. His tasks include searching for congresses and events to be held in Espoo and assisting in organizing them. Visit Espoo is a member of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association). Valo has represented Scandinavian countries as a chairman since 2017. In his job he gets to travel and build international networks. 

– Take full advantage of your studies and work practice. Ask and challenge both the teachers as well as the field itself when you have the opportunity, advices Valo as a final note. 

Miikka Valo

Miikka Valo

Bachelor of Hospitality Management

Project Manager, Visit Espoo

2.5.2018 | By: Tiia Koskela, SAMK student | Photo: Miikka Valo

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