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Pathway Professor Takes Harvard Course to Level Up Your Education!

Have you ever met and interacted with someone from Harvard and is currently teaching in Pathway to Finland? Yes, a professor is teaching here in Finland while studying at a prestigious institution like Harvard! How is this even possible? 

Her passion goes beyond just teaching. She wants to push everyone, including herself, to think critically and actively participate, not just listen and forget. It’s all about learning that sticks and sparking curiosity in the classroom. 

Imagine this, a classroom where discussions are lively and your voice matters just as much as the professor’s. In this blog, you’ll witness the life of a student teacher who wants to impart her dedication to leveling up education for herself and her students. 

Meet Professor Irene Kujala: From Ghana to Finland to Harvard

Professor Irene Kujala is 46 years old and a mother of two, a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old. She is originally from Ghana. But in 2015, she went to Finland to do her Master’s in International Business at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences

She continued her studies for her PhD in International Marketing at Abo Academy University. Then worked as a marketing manager or export marketing manager for a Finnish company owned by her husband.

Read more here to know more about the top universities in Finland.

A Professor on a Mission: in Pathway

Last April, Dr. Irene started a professional educational training course in Finland, which was organized by Tampere. Given her desire to learn and upskill, she said, “I have always been interested in Harvard’s method of teaching.” 

She was inspired by the online videos of Harvard classrooms, which sparked her desire to experience Harvard one day.  

Luckily, her desire became a reality when she discovered a one-year intensive course at Harvard. Wherein it focuses more on the case study method, a teaching style that encourages students to think critically. 

When Dr. Irene was asked why she engaged with various courses and training, she answered, “My motivation? To learn something new, meet other educators, and constantly develop my skills,” she added, “It’s very important to continuously update myself on education and teaching to produce better students.”

Dr Irene Kujala

Dr. Irene Shares Her Aspirations from Harvard to Pathway

Dr. Irene shared that Harvard was not just about giving a series of plain lectures. Gone are the days of PowerPoint presentations. 

She shared that today’s classes involve interactive learning and in-depth discussions of real-world case studies. She said, “I loved how professors at Harvard encouraged critical thinking in students by asking insightful questions.” 

“Your teachers will not just stand at the front; they will interact and talk with you, creating a truly engaging learning environment,” she added. 

Dr. Irene was inspired by Harvard’s teaching method. Her experience led her to change her teaching style at Pathway. She plans to focus more on interacting and questioning and will no longer rely on lectures, encouraging students to actively participate instead of just taking notes.

She wants to guide her students through engaging with case studies, encouraging them to think, analyze, and experience real-world scenarios, especially in a business setting.

Through this, students will practice becoming more confident communicators and deep thinkers about situations they might encounter in the future.

Challenges Encountered Along the Way

Pathway to Finland Professor: Dr Irene Kujala

Dr. Irene’s journey at Harvard was not as smooth as we thought. And aside from those learnings, they go along with the challenges of Harvard’s interactive teaching style, particularly the language barrier.

However, Dr. Irene’s perseverance and emotional intelligence allowed her to get along in this new environment. As she explains, “The teaching approach of Finland is definitely different from Harvard.” She added, “I wasn’t prepared for that, so the first couple of days were quite challenging.”

Despite the barriers, Dr. Irene chose the positive side of the story. She embraced and was impressed with Harvard’s teaching method, which resonated with her highly effective teaching philosophy.

Dr. Irene describes her observations at Harvard classrooms and says, “One thing I noticed is that the institution encourages critical thinking. They aren’t always lecturing and they aren’t using PowerPoint presentations during class. 

In the case study class, the approach was based on real-world scenarios. They believe that through asking questions and more questioning, they encourage more students to think critically.” 

A Look Ahead with Artificial Intelligence 

Dr Irene wants to extend her passion for innovation and explore the world of artificial intelligence as a substitute for her teaching method. She is currently fascinated by the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool to enhance her students’ learning experiences.

Her forward-thinking approach positions her at the forefront of educational technology and demonstrates her commitment to providing her students with the most effective tools for success. 

In her own words, Dr. Irene highlights the importance of AI: “There is something on artificial intelligence that I want to really master because that is the future. So, I hope maybe the next course that I’m taking at Harvard will be teaching with AI. I definitely want to consider that in the future.”

Dr Irene Kujala

Dr. Irene’s Message to Students and Co-Educators

Pathway to Finland Professor: Dr Irene Kujala

For Educators: A Commitment to Lifelong Learning

Dr. Irene does not just preach continuous learning, she wants to embody it. As she was inspired by Harvard’s interactive approach, she advises educators to continuously develop themselves through educational training courses and collaboration with their colleagues. 

She said, “I would say, just develop yourself and read more. Ask for support from your colleagues, so for me, that’s what I want to say because we learned from each other. So, talk to your colleagues, get knowledge from them, and try to find out what other courses to take to develop yourself. And that’s the only way. “

Dr. Irene Kujala

Dr. Irene clearly embraces the best practices for an engaging and effective learning experience. What she also wants to talk about with her coworkers is how to get her students to be active participants and communicators instead of just passive listeners. 

For Students: Emotional Intelligence

For students considering a similar path, Dr. Irene highlights the importance of emotional intelligence, hard work, and asking questions. 

Dr. Irene wants to emphasize the need for the students to be prepared to handle the workload and the interrogative, interactive, and debate-style nature of the classes in Havard. In order to survive in the dynamic environment of the business world, memorization isn’t the thing; it’s about thinking critically and developing the confidence to voice out and realize your ideas.

Level Up Your Education with Us at Pathway

Dr. Irene’s story goes beyond just advice. It’s a testament to the transformative power of education. It’s about educators who constantly strive to improve and students who embrace the challenge of becoming active learners. 

As Dr. Irene herself puts it, “Just develop yourself and read more. That’s the only way you can learn. Try to ask questions because that’s what they do at Harvard.” Let’s all take a page from Dr. Irene’s book and start our own journeys of lifelong learning.

Are you ready to take your education to the next level and experience Dr. Irene’s engaging teaching style? Visit Pathway to Finland website today and book a free counseling session to learn more about our upcoming programs and see if Dr. Irene’s class is right for you!


Rene Kris Novises has been a content writer for four years. He simplifies complex topics, particularly in education and studying abroad, making reading enjoyable. You’ll find him juggling his dynamic skill set and passion for creating innovative and engaging visual content when he’s not crafting written content.

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