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“The field of security management offers an endless range of opportunities”

Student interview with Merisade Kuusela from the Safety, Security and Risk Management degree programme.

Laurea offers studies in security management in both English and Finnish. The Safety, Security and Risk Management degree programme will be open for applications in the January joint application process. Merisade Kuusela, a second-year student in the English-language programme, found the choice to be easy:

-    I come from a trilingual family, so studying in English was a natural choice for me, she says.
-    The English language plays an increasingly important role in our field. This degree programme also offers new opportunities to focus on international duties.

After completing her basic education, Kuusela, who grew up in Kotka on the south-eastern coast of Finland, first obtained further vocational qualification as deck officer. She then worked at sea, completed upper secondary education for adults and began considering different options for further studies. Her choice fell on security management at Laurea. Merisade has been very satisfied with her choice.

-    Safety and security is something you become acquainted with in maritime operations. There’s always a specific number of crew members on a vessel, and no firefighters, for instance, are there to help should something happen, Merisade explains.

Comprehensive overview of security management

According to Merisade Kuusela, one of the best things about security management studies and the field in general is the diversity and numerous career options available. Students receive a comprehensive introduction to various areas of safety and security, ranging from cybersecurity to physical safety and security.

-    I don’t think any two students in our programme have an identical path in their studies, Merisade says.
-    The compulsory studies also introduce you to topics that you may not have chosen otherwise. This also helps many find the option best suited to them.

Projects are another feature that Kuusela appreciates in Laurea’s education. A major part of studies is carried out in various projects that help students learn through practical activities.

-    Best of all, we carry out projects throughout our studies for real customers, she adds.

“Support from other students is the best part”

The group of students in the English-language Safety, Security and Risk Management degree programme is characterised by diversity. The students in Merisade Kuusela’s group are between the ages of 18 to 40. International students account for nearly half of the 25-strong group, and the gender ratio is about the same.

-    A few students in our group have worked as guards, but most of us do not have experience in security management, Merisade continues.

"We have an incredible group, and I look forward to studying with these people every day."

Education in security management is relatively new, and Laurea has long been the only university in Finland to provide such education. Networking with professionals in the field is very important. This is something that Merisade has come to understand during her studies:

-    The importance of networks has been emphasised throughout our studies, and quite rightly so. The role of networks becomes apparent when you are looking for work placement or a thesis topic, says Merisade, who did a placement and worked on her thesis for the town of Kotka in the autumn.

In Merisade’s opinion, the student group and the support from it has been one of the most important parts of studies:

-    We have an incredible group, and I look forward to studying with these people every day, she says.
-    I couldn’t have imagined at the outset how close-knit a group we would become. We help each other with studies, work on assignments together and give each other feedback. I’m actually a bit worried about graduating, since I’ll no longer have this network around me, says Merisade with a grin.

The degree programmes are open for application during 8th - 22nd January 2020. Read more about The Degree Programme in Safety, Security and Risk Management and apply now!