So, Riku, give us a short introduction to you and your career so far.
I’m Riku, born in Finland but living in New Zealand for nearly 20 years now. I graduated with a B.Sc. Electrical Engineering in Finland 1997 and have worked in telecommunications since. Currently, I work as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Nokia New Zealand—we employ about 200 engineers and technical salespeople here.
What do you enjoy about your daily activities as a CTO?
Part of my work involves statistical analysis of very large data sets. I also have access to interesting data and always enjoy working with it. I find data science is an interesting area of science where lots of things have not yet been discovered and development moves fast. That’s also why I chose to join the M.Sc. Artificial Intelligence programme which I am currently studying at IU (formerly known as IUBH).
Why did you decide to study online with IU (formerly known as IUBH)?
For many years I’ve had a dream of continuing my studies, but not many programmes allowed the flexibility required to carry on my busy work and family life (in my spare time I go running and weekends are often spent by taking my daughter and horses around to competitions). All other programmes I found either required physical attendance during the day or at least had fixed start/end times. I was very glad to find IU (formerly known as IUBH) and quickly abandoned the other options I had—without regret.
What aspects or benefits of studying at IU (formerly known as IUBH) do you appreciate?
Prior to joining IU (formerly known as IUBH), I had done courses around statistics and machine learning. However, even if many of those courses were great, I did not feel I really understood the big picture. I needed direction and help in finding the materials and books that are worth reading. The programme, tutors, and professors at IU (formerly known as IUBH) are really accessible and have provided me with exactly that.
For the engineers working in the very leading edge of technologies, it is essential to keep up to date with developments. I am convinced this programme will help keep my knowledge current or even create a new trajectory for my career.
Do you have a few words of advice for students taking a distance learning degree?
I can see that online studies require self-discipline, interest, and willingness to work. Read the suggested books and don’t just go with the bear minimum.