In this blog article, I’m sharing my experiences on Murata Finland’s Study Paths and studying for an engineering degree at a university of applied sciences while working.

My career at Murata started in spring 2005. First, I worked as a production operator in component manufacturing in on-the-job training and as a summer worker. I was studying to become an engineer at the time, but didn’t finish my studies. Over the years, I have worked in many different roles: as a maintenance operator, production development assistant, dispatch processor and now in the laboratory as a mechanical designer with the device development team.

The desire to study grew gradually

Before applying to become a student, you should ask yourself a few questions.

• Why do I want to study? What motivates me?
• What am I ready to give up for over the next four years?

For me, the key drivers were my motivation and my desire to prove myself. But prove myself to whom? To myself. Maybe I didn’t understand this right at the beginning of my studies, and I just thought that as long as I pass my courses, I’m fine. Despite this, my studies started well and I realized my motivations pretty soon and started taking the studies more seriously. My attitude changed. As my studies progressed, my motivation grew stronger, as I received pretty good grades from the first courses and could no longer be satisfied with just passing them. Of course, my motivation was not always quite as high, and I had to keep reminding myself that once this battle is done, many new doors and career paths would likely become available to me – and they did.

For me, the desire to study grew gradually. Well, it was in the back of my mind for a long time, but the threshold of actually starting the studies was high. Now, however, all the puzzles were in their right places, and I finally dared to take the leap. Over my career, I have applied for different engineering positions and have made it quite far in the recruitment process, but have never been picked. I thought that the lack of formal qualifications was at least one significant factor and something that I could fix myself.

Be kind to yourself

When you finally do decide to start studying, you should show some mercy to yourself. The first couple of years were quite a wild ride! In multiform studies, we had contact teaching on four nights a week, on average. The contact teaching took place from Monday to Thursday, sometimes also on Saturdays. The days were quite long. First, eight hours at work and then three or four hours at school, and then there was the homework, too. I made a deal with myself: “If you cannot do it in four years, it’s okay to take five years to graduate”. This way, I didn’t set a too tight goal for my schedule.

After the first term, I felt like I was on a roll, so I took on a few courses I believed I could easily complete over the summer. They were not that easy, after all, and I practically spent my whole summer studying. After this, I decided that I was done with summer studies. All in all, 60 ECTS credits in a year is a pretty good pace, and that takes plenty of work in itself.

The option for study leave gives peace of mind

At the start of my studies, I decided to save my study leave towards the end of my studies, if possible. For me, this was a planned “ace up my sleeve” strategy that relieved some of the scheduling and performance pressure. Students are able to plan quite freely how they will use their study leave. All in all, about 1.5 years of study leave is available. It can all be used at once or divided into several shorter periods. I took out one week of study leave per month in the spring term of my third year, about one month in total. Over the week, I was able to finish my school assignments without having to worry about work at the same time.

All in all, five Murata employees started multiform studies in the electrical and automation engineering program in 2019. Based on our knowledge, they are all on the home stretch and will graduate in the near future. Two of us have now completed our studies.

Link to a blog article on Murata Finland’s Study Paths

Antti Sohlman
Equipment Development Engineer