Tallinn University of Technology

Interview with Anna Christina Reite, Master's student of International Business Administration at TalTech.

Anna Christina Reite

What was your drive to start Master's studies?

I have a Bachelor's degree in fashion design and a Master in textile management, which covers the business skills that are needed to manage the textile industry. After working within e-commerce for six years I felt a bit bored and wanted a change in my life. I was overworked and I had to be alert and available all the time. So, I wanted to start a new chapter, learn new things, meet new people and widen my career opportunities.

Education is important for me, and both of my parents studied a second time during their early 30s, so I know from their experience that it’s worth it.

Why did you choose TalTech?

I found a suitable programme at TalTech, and I love this country – I had visited Estonia many times before I moved here. I didn´t want to start Bachelor's studies again and most Master's programmes require a Bachelor's degree in the same field. TalTech allowed me to enter the programme although I didn't have a previous degree in business administration. If you don't have a Bachelor's degree in business or economics, you need to just pass 36 ECTS in business courses before starting your Master's studies, which I already had from my previous education. So far I have an average grade of 4,89 of 5 so I don’t think I’m doing too bad.

I think many universities don't take their time to consider the true potential people have, but TalTech did that and I appreciate it a lot. Looking back now I think we’re too young and inexperienced to decide our one and only career path in life at the age of 19, hence we should be given more opportunities.

How do you feel here in Estonia? What is similar or different compared to Finland?

Moving to Estonia was not difficult for me because I have moved a lot in my life – I've lived in Sweden, Norway, Finland, England, Japan and Poland. Moving from one country to another opens up a new chapter for me. It is a refreshing process. The lifestyle here is very similar to Finland, Sweden and Norway. It's a very safe country, people are friendly, and I’ve found it very easy to settle down. Tallinn itself is very beautiful, especially the Old Town. And in the new part of the city, there’s a truly fresh vibe – new skyscrapers appear the whole time. Estonia is a bit more modern than the other Nordic countries – new ideas are executed quickly, and buildings here have more creativity and uniqueness to them. I can even see myself living here after I’ve completed my studies.

What is the most important thing you have so far gained from your studies?

The business performance management and analysis course has taught me a lot. It was a difficult course for me because I didn't have a strong background in finance. At first, I felt completely lost. I went to my car and almost cried because I believed that I might not be capable of passing the course. Later I collected myself and just taught myself what I didn't know and managed to pass the course with a very good result. So don't freak out, stay motivated, study and you will succeed! I believe this course will help me a lot in my career.

Are you satisfied with your studies? What is good and what could be improved?

I am very satisfied – things have gone very well so far, better than I expected. I like that we have many international professors. I have also even enjoyed having the courses online during the pandemic. During those months I could stay in Finland and manage my time a bit better by spending time in nature, doing gardening or taking my dog for walks along the shore. It has allowed me to have a healthier and more balanced lifestyle than what I've had before. Being at the university does make it easier to socialize with people though. I think in the future universities should combine online studies with in-class learning to provide more flexibility enabling people to live where they like and not be attached to only one place. The only thing that could be improved is that as it is a new version of this programme some courses are still in the process of modifications, which sometimes brings some uncertainty.

Which specialization did you choose and why?

I chose international business over marketing as I've worked in marketing for many years, and I want to move towards a more numerical part of business.

What fields or topics interest you the most?

I enjoy the analysis of different companies – numbers and investments are something that I love. Management and leadership is also fascinating, especially optimizing the wellbeing and productivity of employees in workplaces. I didn't know I was interested in HR topics before, but the courses have been very interesting.

What are your career goals?

I'm not completely sure yet. I know that I want a happy, successful and healthy career. I wish to develop myself through my career. I have also considered being self-employed or in a role that doesn’t tie me to a specific location, enabling me to do my work while living in multiple countries. Time will tell.

Do you have recommendations for potential students?

I recommend getting started with assignments early to avoid piling up. Don't get scared if you can't understand something – just go home and study. In the beginning, try to find 2-3 people to work with through group projects. I managed to find two amazing friends. We work very well together through all projects, and having that security makes the whole program much less stressful.

Application deadline for Finnish, Latvian and Lithuanian candidates is 15 July 2021.

More about the programme: www.taltech.ee/en/business-ma