International talents kick-start their working life in Finland

This autumn, the Talent Tampere Mentoring Programme for international talents will go into its seventh round. 20 mentoring pairs will be invited to join the programme which is designed to help international talents in Tampere build a career in Finland; an exciting process from which both mentors and mentees have a lot to gain. The application for the programme has already started!

Who wants to be a mentee – or mentor?

When Terhi Kipinä and Kaisa Niskanen, the programme coordinators located at Tampere University of Technolgy, start matching talents and mentors from dozens of applications in October, they will be looking for two things in particular: “commitment – and an open heart and mind!”, says Kaisa.

On the one hand, mentees – who can be students at one of Tampere’s universities, but also other international talents – “should have the intention to stay in Finland, to be an active part of society and to establish their life here“, explains Terhi. On the other, each mentee is expected to commit fully to the programme. “The mentoring programme should not be your plan B or C. It’s a half year which you can dedicate to building your career in Finland.“

Mentees as well as mentors have a lot to gain from being part of the programme: “For mentees, the programme is the perfect opportunity to start building a professional network and to plan a career in Finland. And our mentors have always loved that working with a young person gives them a fresh perspective on their work and that they get to see Finnish working life through the eyes of an international talent”, says Kaisa.

The Talent Tampere mentoring programme is for talents wishing to establish a career in Finland, say program coordinators Terhi Kipinä and Kaisa Niskanen of TUT

What is the programme about?

The programme consists of four group meetings (including the orientation meeting) between November 2017 and April 2018 as well as one-on-one meetings between mentor and mentee, the details of which are agreed on by the mentoring pair. The purpose of the group meetings is to get to know each other, to share experiences and to reflect on one’s learning. “There are also opportunities for getting to know the other mentors and mentees – we call this ‘speed networking’“, says Terhi, “which at the same time helps you practice pitching; an important skill in working life.”

For the individual meetings, the mentoring pairs can use the guide materials provided by the programme – they cover many topics related recruitment and working life in Finland, from writing your CV to Finnish workplace culture –, but each pair can also set their own agenda and pick the topics they are interested in.

Even if some mentees have gotten traineeships or even job offers through the mentoring programme, this is not its primary goal.

“Prospective mentees should be aware that this is not a recruitment programme”, says Kaisa. “The aim is to learn new skills and get new contacts, all of which are important factors to build a career on in Finland.”

Ready to take the first step?

Sounds interesting? Then the next step – whether you are interested in being a mentor or mentee – is to fill out your application.

Prospective mentees can find information on how to apply here and then fill out the application form – the link is included in the article – until September 15.

Terhi and Kaisa have already received the first applications for mentorships as well. “Anyone – Finnish or with an international background – with some years of experience in the Finnish working life is welcome”, says Kaisa. “We also welcome applications from mentors from fields outside of tech and business, such as the arts, humanities and social sciences. There is a number of English-language programmes in these fields in Tampere with international students who are eager to establish a life in Finland.”

If you would like to join the programme as a mentor, you can apply here until the end of September. And who knows: Maybe you will be part of the next mentoring success story.

Mentoring helps both mentors and mentee to build new professional networks

Photos: Julia Rigal and Terhi Kipinä