Leen Rahnu standing by the train

Like stepping on a train that is just about to move

Leen Rahnu, Senior Researcher

My future mentor once said that in academic career one must think carefully what they want to do and then pick carefully where they want to do it. Every time, when I am at the crossroad, I remember this advice.

Why Finland? I come from Estonia. Studying how country context shapes behaviour and life course has always fascinated me. Finland was a logical next step for me because it is close enough, but still with its’ own specific features. Looking from Finland also Nordic context opens up from a new perspective.

Why Turku? My experience is that Finns as colleagues are sincere (so there are no disturbing barriers), serious (so you can trust them) and not overwhelming (so you can have space for your own thoughts). Sometimes Finns may have a strange humour, but once you learn it, you will get a good laugh. It is also international here – many researchers come from other countries, there is ongoing collaboration with top universities, most of the Finnish colleagues have extensive international experiences etc.

Why INVEST? Joining INVEST now is like stepping on the train that is just about to move. This is a perfect moment, because you do not need to spend much energy to get things moving, but you can still have a word where to go and how to do it.

I started in Turku two years ago when I joined the NEFER project that fitted my profile. Now I am about to start my own project LifeTraR where we study two largest foreign-origin groups in Finland – Estonians and Russians. Institutional support for starting and running a project has been outstanding. Many new projects are starting now and it is truly rewarding to be part of this process.