Through the most recent run of the Talent Tampere Mentoring Programme for international talents, Haoxue Wang from China was able to score an internship with a local company. But the programme was also a gratifying experience for Haoxue’s Finnish mentor, Emilia Valkonen.
Success goes both ways
When asked to sum up her experience as a mentee, Haoxue’s – who goes by the nickname of Lumi in Finland – answer is: "It worked out like magic!" The social sciences major, who holds a BA in Finnish language from her home country, applied to be a mentee in order to learn more about the Finnish working culture and to be better prepared for the recruitment process in Finland. "I knew that finding a job in Finland isn’t easy, and hoped that I would find someone to support me in my search", says Lumi.
She was matched with the perfect person to do this: the recruitment professional Emilia Valkonen. Emilia herself was curious to see if her work experience could be useful for an international talent. "In addition, I am quite a talkative person and love to share ideas with young people, so this was a pretty natural way to do some good for someone else", explains Emilia.
The key ingredients: confidence and positivity
Between October 2016 and April 2017, the two met about seven times (including a "double date" with another mentoring pair of the programme) to discuss topics such as Lumi’s CV and LinkedIn page, as well as the current needs of the Finnish labour market. "Emilia has provided me with a lot of helpful information about the Finnish job market", says Lumi, "but the most important thing I learned was to stay positive and active, and to be confident about myself and my experience. Emilia has really been a source of positivity for me."
Moreover, Emilia set up a meeting for Lumi with the manager of a small IT company which resulted in an internship for Lumi for the summer. Lumi is thrilled about this: "There is so much to learn there! Plus, I will be able to improve my Finnish on the job, and if the internship goes well, it could even lead to full-time employment."
Ready to define your future in Finland?
Lumi and Emilia were perfectly matched to help define Lumi’s future in Finland. Following the mentoring programme, they are both optimistic about it. When asked about how to describe her mentee, Emilia says: "Lumi is one of a kind. She has an excellent attitude and a lot of positivity – and she is an excellent example of how far you can go with the right attitude."
We will keep our fingers crossed for Lumi and all the other mentees – by the way, the next mentoring programme will start in the fall 2017. Information on how to apply as a mentor for the programme 2017 - 2018 can be found here.