Simona Mitmann, Maritime Management, Captain
I was born and grew up in Tallinn, Estonia, and that's where
I also got my basic and high school education and even worked at a few jobs.
The one I believe is worth mentioning is that for the last year and a half that I lived in Tallinn, I worked for Olde Hansa restaurant, and my job was to make and sell sugar and spice-coated almonds on the street right outside the restaurant, and look and act as medieval as possible (in the good way, of course). The almond stand is quite famous; a lot of people who go to the Old Town in Tallinn will probably walk past and at least smell it. And it was definitely something I would've been willing to do for years if I'd stayed in Tallinn.
Why did you choose Novia UAS and Maritime Management, Captain?
My liking for ships actually stemmed from my liking of Finland (which in turn came from my huge fandom of Nightwish, which has calmed down a bit by now) - because I visited Finland whenever I could and that obviously involved travelling by ship. So I knew for sure for many years that I would study to become a sailor, though the initial plan was to do that in Estonia.
However, I soon felt like nearly 19 years of living in Estonia was well enough and having recently set foot in Turku for the first time and absolutely loved it, I looked into the possibility of studying the same thing here and was delighted to find that there's a programme taught in English. So I set a goal to come study here, and I received my acceptance letter before the application process for the Estonian Maritime Academy had even started. And the best part is that applying here, I didn't need to worry about my high school results and could focus on other things as long as I met the graduation requirements.
What is living in Turku like?
I do like living and studying here quite a bit, though my liking of Finland in particular has calmed down a lot during the year I've been here, so it is not all impossible that I might move onward to another country at some point after my studies are done. Time will tell. But I must say that I do still like it here, and Turku is a lovely and great place to live and study.
In my spare time.. Well, it really depends on the time and feeling. Sometimes I take long walks or exercise, I'm slowly learning Swedish and Norwegian, I have a bit of a thing for crafts and design, and I'm a bit of a hoarder of art and office supplies. I also have a blog that I like to write every now and then and that I also do the design for (https://simonasfleet.blogspot.fi/), and whenever I get a longer period off school, I try to travel somewhere.
Studying in an international group is just the right thing for me too, because I've always liked international things and nowadays I don't really feel like I'm a part of any nationality at all (so, I don't really like being called an Estonian, or anything else either). So it just feels very natural and positive to me.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I hope to have a decent sea job, hopefully as a higher rank officer by then, but that's all I really aim for, for now.