Guidance Counsellors Johanna Nikkola and Salla Niittymäki
Guidance Counsellors Johanna Nikkola and Salla Niittymäki seem to be in their calling. For both of them, the versatility of the work, the people-oriented approach and the feeling of being able to support students in important issues in their lives and careers are important.
“We often talk about building the student experience: what kind of feeling does the student get when he or she is studying with us?” says Salla, who works as a student counsellor in Mechanical Engineering degree programme.
Even more significancy comes from the fields of study of the students being supervised. Both mechanical engineering and the Traffic and Transport Management degree programme, which belongs to Johanna’s responsibility, are engineering education that tackle many issues related to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Engineering fields play a pretty big role in the development of the world.
“Engineering fields play a pretty big role in the development of the world. At best, they can come up with inventions that will save the world, save energy and materials. My role is to support these future experts,” Salla says.
In many cases, students’ careers can be followed with pride even after graduation. A recent example comes to Johanna’s mind.
“The last one was during the summer holidays, when I was painting walls at our summer cottage and listening to the radio. There was one of our graduates giving an expert opinion on the radio. I thought to myself, wow, we have such great graduates!”
Mutual sparring club
Johanna and Salla wanted to give the interview together, as they have known each other for a long time and have a good “sparring club”.
“We often wonder aloud: hey, thing like this, how could this be handled better? One of us might have an idea, and by talking about it, we can refine those ideas,” Salla says.
“Sometimes we improve each other’s work just by saying that you’re doing a great job,” Johanna adds.