Hello, I am Carolina, and I am going to tell you how is it that I ended up living in the happiest country in the world, Finland.
This story starts back in Mexico, my home country, where I studied for my bachelor’s in Business Administration at UNAM. I was a marketing specialist across different international companies, where I supported the growth of different brands in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry.
My life somehow seemed to be on a good track, but I was missing something. So I decided to do an international study program in the UK, where I met a Finnish guy that conquered my heart and mind. One long-distance relationship and the COVID pandemic were no-brainers to make us want to plan a future together in the same country.
So, the answer to my story is…
“I arrived in Finland because of love”
Last August 2021, after 24 hours of flights from Mexico to Finland, I arrived with one suitcase for a short trial visit of 3 months, which has now been extended to one year and 3 months.
During the first year of my arrival, I worked remotely as a Digital Marketing Analyst in a company, overseeing and leading the launching of the first eCommerce of medical devices in LATAM, besides crafting and implementing all the digital strategies. This experience solidified my skills and knowledge in digital marketing, entering new marketplaces, e-commerce management, SEO, SEM, creation of content, and much more that have a crucial impact on the marketing funnel of the brand.
Unfortunately, the time zone difference made my integration and starting a life in this country quite difficult, since I had one foot here and one foot there. My decision to move to Finland was related to love but now it’s not just that, I fell in love with the Finnish lifestyle which is aligned with my dreams and aspirations. I have been learning about the culture, the beauty of nature and the seasons, how to cope with the 6 months of cold winter plus dark times, and the Finnish language which has been cracking my head with its uniqueness.
Another thing I have been doing is networking, which is one of the most important things you need to do as a foreigner; because if you don’t know anyone, you don’t know anything. That is why I recently joined the community of top marketers in Finland, and I have connections with other international highly-educated women that are also on this same journey of finding a suitable job in this amazing country. Which is hard, very frustrating, and sometimes you feel very lost.
To continue up to date with the ever-changing tech industry, I have been improving my skills and learning about UX Design, Entrepreneurship, and Ecommerce with a Professional Certificate from Google, and volunteering at SLUSH, the most significant event for start-ups in Europe, JUNCTION, the biggest hackathon of students, and other social and multicultural organizations as Familia and Kulturikeskus Ninho Ry, where I have learned tons of things and get to know new people.
Besides all the networking and volunteering, I also have found time to try new hobbies here, like hiking, baking, reading, meditating, and starting a podcast of my foreign journey. I didn’t know the importance of having a hobby for your well-being and I have been enjoying it so much.
My goal now is to get a job in tech where I can put all my knowledge and skills to work for the growth of start-ups in Finland. I have been applying to jobs since August, unfortunately, the lack of a proficient Finnish has been a show stopper, as well as not all companies are open to diversity in their teams. However, as the proactive and persistent person I am, I will be applying and polishing my skills until I introduce myself to this job market.
After all, life is like that, trying, failing, learning, and pushing yourself forward to succeed.
Finally, I can tell you that, living in Finland has been such an experience, full of happy moments such as the first time I felt the snow, the first time I saw a northern light, and the peace in the sauna with 70 C, and other not-so-happy moments as frustration for not knowing the language, feeling homesick, the death of someone in my home country, or breaking a bone.
So leaving in one of the happiest countries in the world has been one of the best experiences in my life. I have learned so much about myself, have met excellent and kind people, and lived in another culture, and all of that has given me so much happiness in the process.
Why do I want to become a Growth Hacker?
The answer is simple, is a great responsibility and challenging to have in your hands the future of the company, and I am willing to take both. My next mission is to find a Growth Hacking internship with Herizon at a hot nordic start-up and bring my knowledge and experience to work for its growth.