Sports gives lessons for working life

Robert Rotkirch came to Vaasa from Espoo for sports and studies.

Robert Rotkirch“In 2003, I joined the Army at the Defence Forces Sports School in Lahti. It was there that I met someone who had previously studied in Vaasa, and he inspired me to apply to the Novia University of Applied Sciences, to study mechanical and production engineering. I’m from Espoo and applying to a university this far away from home is pretty unusual.

I’m very happy with my decision to move to Vaasa, as it allowed me to focus even more on sport. I received a lot of help, training and support from the Vaasa Region Sports Academy, which has helped me to combine professional sports and academic studies. After the first two academic years, I started to put all my time and effort into sports and less on my studies.

I have ten Finnish championships medals and I think that moving to Vaasa is one of the reasons for my success: here I was able to fully focus on my dream of pursuing a career as an athlete.

There came a time when I decided to leave my career as a professional athlete behind and to focus on finishing my studies. Around the same time, I got a job at the Vacon factory. Athletics has given me a lot of valuable lessons for working life too: for one thing, I’m focused and goal oriented.

I completed my Master’s degree in Mechanical and Production Engineering at the Novia University of Applied Sciences in 2013.

My thesis dealt with the construction and optimisation of a new kind of production line for Vacon. In the summer of 2013, I got a job in Vacon’s productisation team, where I’m responsible for the manufacture of prototypes for product development. I’m a member of a small, skilful team and I’ve been very happy there. My day consists of analysing and documenting prototypes and communicating with the product development team.”