Applying to the University of Jyväskylä

So how did I end up studying Service Innovation and Management at the university of Jyäskylä?

It's a story replete with a lot of personal anecdotes, but to cut the long story short, I decided that I had been working a long time to garner enough of valuable work experience and it was time I added additional skills to my repertoire. Having worked in the software outsourcing industry, I had learnt a lot about working in large scale IT projects and their management and also had a fair, unbiased idea of how things that were planned to perfection tend to go wrong. Looking for a degree in Information Systems Science seemed like the next logical thing to do. So I set about looking for reputed universities with programs in Information Systems Science that were affordable as well. Googling around made me familiar with the Scandinavian concept of free higher education of top notch quality, which by then had been limited to just Finland. (According to recent reports, Finland might as well do away with the concept in not so far future - read more here

I was therefore, pretty much decided with my study destination. How do I get there? Searched around more and I found some really useful references. StudyInFinland being the most useful one with the most up-to-date information in a very user-friendly format. UniversityAdmissionsFinland was my next stop. This is an official platform that most (and not all) Finnish universities use for managing the complete admission process and making it more student friendly and efficient. Soon, I was choosing programs that I wanted to apply to and after much deliberation I zeroed down to two of them. 

Why was Service Innovation and Management at the University of Jyväskylä one of my choices? It's a question that I have been asked time and again by various people at various points of time. To be honest, as I study and live here more, my answer keeps evolving. Initially it was all because of the fact that JYU is one of the world's premier research universities with the first and oldest IT faculty in Finland. The program is being spearheaded by some of the most well known names in the field of Information Systems Science research. And once you look at the pictures of the Agora building adjacent to lake Jyväsjärvi in all its glory (it's only better in real life), you just want to come here and be a part of this amazing institution. But yeah, I am glad I chose to study SIM at JYU

The next part was applying. This is a little time taking but interesting process as you try to formally answer questions that have led to you applying. Things like how, why, when, where and obviously the formal stuff like your previous educational qualifications and work experience come into the picture. Different universities ask similar things in varying formats in the form of questions on the application forms that are made available to the applicants through UAF. The key to getting a study place at a university of your choice is to be honest in your assessment of yourself - that, is basically what most universities are looking for. Candidates who know their strengths and have the motivation and zeal to learn. Of course, the paper work has to be in order - so you must have a bachelor's degree in a suitable field, your mark sheets and transcript of records and a required score in a test that certifies your English proficiency level. You can get more information about the same here

About three months after sending in my applications, I got a mail from the IT Faculty at JYU saying I was through to the next round of interviews. That was a huge achievement and source of relief as well. So what is the interview all about? My interview which was conducted telephonically at the Embassy of Finland in New Delhi, focused on the things I had mentioned in my application form. It was a way to ascertain that the person who sent in the application did it on his own, and he or she has what he or she has been bragging about in the application form. Of course, it's a good idea to check up briefly on the course contents and prepare for basic questions like - "What do you think this program is all about?" or "Why did you apply specifically to this program (and not some other one)?". 

I had my results from the interview in a week and I was in. It was indeed a great feeling when about three months worth of work, running places for paper work and trying to rediscover yourself for the application essay finally came to a successful conclusion. But this, was the beginning of another important phase - planning to get to Finland, Jyväskylä and SIM.

More about that in the next post.