TYY organised once again Working in Finland seminar in collaboration with Career Services of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi. The programme included interesting topics based on previous year’s feedback and several student cases.
Jan Kraufvelin from the Career Services of Åbo Akademi opened the seminar by introduction to Finnish working life. It was followed by presentations from both doctoral student Emrah Yıldır (Åbo Akademi) and master's student Eftychia Giatsiou (University of Turku).
Emrah is doing PhD at Pharmaceutical Science in Åbo Akademi and has gathered broad experience in Finnish working life as well as in applying for grants. According to Emrah, it is important to be active towards the employers. It is vital to speak out, how your skills could benefit the employer and not see the lack of Finnish language skill as a barrier.
Eftychia has just got a job in hotel in Helsinki. She is soon finishing her master's degree in the University of Turku. After first year of studies Eftychia realised it was a good idea to pay attention to networks, not just studying. She mentioned Ambassador Network of Soutwest Finland among the other useful ways to be active.
Off-campus support facilities for international job-seekers
After the student experiences, Päivi Ruotsala informed about the services provided for international students and graduates in TE-Office. These include counselling on job applications and guidance on the labour market. There were several valuable websites and platforms highlighted in which the students can look into to get help in their job hunting process. Ruotsala reminded also that there are many Finnish learning possibilities in Turku, Turun iltalukio (evening high school), Turun kesäyliopisto (Turku Summer University), Turun kristillinen opisto, Turun suomenkielinen työväenopisto, Sondip ry, Auralan kansalaisopisto and Kielikahvilat (language cafés) being some examples.
Päivi’s presentation was followed by Pirkka Hyssälä from Potkuri, who with his engaging style challenged students to not imagine but create their own future and reminded that skills and motivation can be transformed into business opportunity. It was highly encouraged to be innovative and take business ideas to the surface with consideration of structured planning and not being hesitate in seeking consultation and advice in the journey of success.
After Pirkka's presentation, Sari Kanervo from the City of Turku presented wide variety of networking, guidance and training opportunities in the city. There are several multicultural projects going on in Turku as well as active immigrant associations. Kanervo also mentioned Kielisilta Language course that can be taken online to support regular language courses in the university.
The importance of finding your community
With more student experiences, Barun Bashual, start-up entrepreneur encouraged to consider enterpreneurship as a career choice and start by investing time in networking and participation in start-up communities like Boost Turku.
ISTU - International Students of Turku Universities members Paulina Chávez, Milena Doroszko, Matti Karinen and Shkar Maruf presented their activities and highlighted the importance of networking and organisation skills that are valuable when applying for jobs. In ISTU's activities students are encouraged to organise events on their field of interest and one does not have to be afraid of failure. ISTU, as well as any student association, provides family-like support during studies and lifetime friendship.
Towards the end of the seminar day, TYY's international Executive Board member, Ali Benkherouf gave an enthusiastic speech and encouraged to take the steps forward and integrate within the student community and its organisations. He highlighted the importance of boundary crossing competences in career prospects and demonstrated how to improve soft skills and networking possibilities by being a student active in TYY organisations, councils, and wings.
TYY’s year 2017 will involve essential working life projects to support the integration of international students in the working life and increase their opportunities to find jobs. These projects aim to strengthen the cooperation of TYY and Career Services for more vacancies and visibility and increase the involvement of work-life related sections in degree programmes.
If you are interested in participating in the planning work, you are more than welcome to send us feedback or attend TYY International Council's meeting on Monday 20 February 2017.