Opiskelija – Anam Hammid

My story at UEF Pharmacy

Anam Hammid working in lab.

Anam Hammid, Doctoral student at UEF

From Pakistan to Kuopio

I am Anam Hammid, a final-year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Pharmacy at UEF under the supervision of Professor Paavo Honkakoski and Professor Arto Urtti. My home country is Pakistan. Exactly 5 years ago I moved to Finland to start my journey as a doctoral student in the Ocuther project (Educational Network in Ocular Drug Delivery and Therapeutics) funded by the EU. I knew about Finland and Kuopio because of my partner. UEF and Kuopio were on the top of my list to move in, and luckily, I got a funded position here.

Let it snow

I started my Ph.D. studies at UEF in October 2017. Soon it started getting darker, days got shorter, and the land was covered with snow. Back in my home country, I had seen snow, but this much snow was a new experience. I was amazed by the amount of snow piled up each day and I was feeling I am in a snow castle. Everything was glittery, shiny, and dreamy. I loved the snow!!!

Our group is “ODD”

At work, initially, it was somehow tough because my educational background and previous work were slightly different from the project I started. Gradually with the help of my supervisors and colleagues, I started to understand things with clarity. I took a few introductory courses and reading literature on the eye and drug delivery, which helped me proceed with my research. Ocular Drug Delivery (ODD) group is very versatile and multidisciplinary working on various aspects of ocular research. I have learned a lot during group meetings, and listening to different topics and various research methodologies have broadened my view.  I have found a supportive and encouraging team of people who lead me forward in every step of my research.

European collaboration

Additionally, while studying in the city of Kuopio, I have been part of an educational network Ocuther, under which several European universities and companies collaborate to advance ocular drug delivery. This has been a very prestigious chance for learning and networking, and it has played a significant part in my work and career. I have visited various institutes and pharmaceutical companies to expand my vision and strengthen my knowledge in the field.

Finnish nature and Finnish habits

Apart from work, I have experienced various aspects of Finnish culture which are different and unique, yet interesting to me.  I enjoy all seasons here. I like picking berries and mushrooms with my kids. It is always very pleasant to roam around in Finnish nature and see blue lakes everywhere. Sauna has become my favorite. I also like Finnish food. As an introverted person, I like silence and personal space as most Finns do here. I found no problem in adapting to the culture here, the only thing I miss is my parents and my family back home.    

Living in Kuopio

During my stay in Finland, I have traveled around Europe. I enjoy going to new places, but I always missed Kuopio and Finland whenever I travel outside of Finland.  There are so many reasons that this place on earth is worth missing. People are friendly and nice, the healthcare system is good and I really appreciate the cleanliness here. As a working mother, I find this country very child- and family-friendly. I can manage my tough working routine along with my family and kids. I am thankful for the daycare facilities provided by the Kuopio City and the flexible and cooperative working environment.  

Finishing Ph.D. studies

Currently, I am winding up and finishing my research work. I am looking forward to defending my Ph.D. thesis. I have learned a lot and published my work. One thing I really appreciate about the Finnish education system is that it supports your research regardless of your background. I am more than happy that I am graduating as a doctorate researcher from a country that has the best education system.