January 2017

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26 Mobility | January 2017 PATHWAYS: HOW I FELL INTO MOBILITY I have always been outgoing, social, and interested in new experiences. In 1996 I found myself in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, on a work experi- ence. It wasn't my first time traveling on my own, since I'd already visited family friends abroad as a child, but it certainly sparked the keen interest I have in international affairs to this day. Ever since then I have been involved in international activities, in my studies, through hobbies and volunteering, as well as in working and private life, socially and through extensive traveling. After finishing my diploma in business, I went on to study for a master's degree at the University of Helsinki. There I expanded my international expe - rience in my studies at home and abroad, learning about languages, intercultural communication, teaching, etc. I volunteered at the Erasmus Student Network, organizing activities and events for interna- tional students at our university. Graduating some years later, having gained a great education and invaluable experience, I was excited with all the possibilities of the future. Set to volunteer in exciting Latin America, I had great networks and fun times ahead. What puzzled me was what to do with all the experience I had gained up to then, in my studies and work as well as through my interna - tional activities and networks. With a background in languages, intercultural communication, and inter- national activities, I was keen to combine my skills, experience, and interests in international affairs. My friends from the university and I joked that we should start a business that would utilize our versa - tile knowledge of languages, history, law, economics, and event-organizing, spiced with our keen interest in helping people and making sure everyone has a good time. In hindsight, that would have been a good idea, definitely a great adventure, and a fresh perspective on relocation in Finland. A little more than a decade later, I'm an experi - enced specialist in global mobility, and many of my friends are involved in international activities, too. We did not form our own company then, but one of my friends came to me with an article on a reloca- tion company. Having just returned to Finland from another international adventure in Asia, I was look- ing for a new place to put my energy to work. I did not know much about the relocation industry. I was familiar with immigration and settling-in issues, real estate agents and moving companies, but combining them was still something quite novel in Problem-Solver Extraordinaire By Kirsi Korhonen

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