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Get to know us: Doctoral student Taina Kalliomäki

In this interview we got to know more about Taina Kalliomäki and how she ended up at Aalto. She has two prior vocational degrees from The Finnish School of Watchmaking and The School for Gold- and Silversmithing. After that, she studied materials and surface treatment technology in Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences before transitioning to Aalto. Let's learn more!
Taina in lab gear in the laboratoy smiling

How was is to start you studies at Aalto University after studying at an university of applied science?

I didn’t have to study all the courses in Aalto. In the University of Applied Sciences, I learned the basics of research work and scientific writing; we had very useful courses in which I learned to write lab reports and essays. I have found Aalto only slightly more difficult than my vocational studies. All in all, it was easy to continue studying here.  

Why did you decide to study further after your vocational studies?

I decided to study more, since I wanted to get different kind of jobs than with the degrees I already had. People could have various kind of reasons to study more. The world is changing all the time. We need to change too and learn new skills. In addition, studying is a relatively healthy way of challenging yourself. Hence, if you are thinking about it, I would say: “Just do it!”

Why did you choose Aalto and hydrometallurgy? 

I previously studied materials and surface treatment technology. Thus, the option of Applied Materials Science in Aalto University was a good match with my previous studies. Furthermore, the location of the university was good for me since I already lived in Espoo. Initially, I chose the HYDRO group because of Professor Olof Forsèn and Docent Jari Aromaa.

What are you currently working on? 

At this state, I’m writing my doctoral thesis. So my main task at the moment is reading literature relevant to my topic. Actually, this is one of the hardest parts for me. I would be more excited if I could write new articles already. Other than finishing up my thesis, I’m one of the advisors of a master’s thesis. That includes me giving instructions and finding out answers to the students questions.

What are helpful qualities for a researcher? 

Being persistent, having determination and the ability to cope with failures and learn from mistakes!

What are your plans for the future? 

I like to keep an open mind. I want to see if I like the academic career path more than other options that could be available for me through my studies. Hence, I’m putting a pin in that for now. This is also a great mindset for you just starting your studies. There are so many possibilities and so much time to discover new things, be it through new studies or not.

This interview is conducted by Aleksanteri Kupi who has been working during the summer at the School of Chemical Engineering.

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