The program helps them build professional networks and gain professional developments with the support of experienced mentors. I was lucky to be able to participate in this program last spring, and I want to share my story and recommend the program to other international fellows who want to kick-start their careers in Finland.
What is mentoring?
The mentoring program is aimed at international talents who want to start their careers in Tampere in specific and Finland in general. In this program, the mentoring is done one-on-one which means each mentee is paired with one mentor to receive the guidance for their case. The mentors are Finnish professionals whose backgrounds are somehow related to the mentee’s and the pair are matched by the details provided in the application form.
Throughout the program, there were in total 4 group meetings, including an orientation and approximately 5 pair meetings. In the group meetings we met together to tell our stories, network, and receive the career planning sessions from the career consultant. When it comes to the pair meetings, the mentor and the mentee agree on the schedule themselves for the individual mentoring.
What I have gained through the program
I decided to join the program during the final year of my Bachelor’s studies to get prepared for job hunting before graduation. I was very glad to meet my mentor, she is a forestry engineer and I have an environmental engineering background, therefore, we shared many things in common to discuss. She was the one who gave me a lot of encouragement, strength, knowledge, and advice for my career goal.
Moreover, I am grateful that I received many other supportive ideas, information about the job opportunities, and importantly motivation from other mentors, mentees, and the host during our group meetings as well. Hence, it is not only about my mentoring with the assigned mentor but also the chance to network and to join a bigger community.
Through the mentoring program, I have learned a lot about the Finnish market and working culture.
Through the mentoring program, I have learned a lot about the Finnish market and working culture. Honestly, I am a quiet and introverted person, so I always find it hard to talk to people at first but luckily, my mentor is so friendly and has a bright personality that energized me a lot. She was so patient to get me close and help me to open up.
I enjoyed the personal talks with her so much. I could tell her about my weaknesses, strengths, my dreams, ask questions and she gave me a lot of advice on how to develop myself better and create a plan for my career goals. She took good care of me, also helped me connect with the people working in my field that she knows. During our pair meetings, we also practiced interviewing to help me gain confidence because I was so shy to talk. I am very appreciative and feel very lucky to have met her.
Meeting with other mentees who are also in the same boat is a relief for me, as we can share stories and encourage each other.
Overall, I had a great journey throughout the program. Being provided with the necessary local information is important to prepare and build competitiveness in the market. Receiving guidance from an experienced mentor about real working life is a great chance. Meeting with other mentees who are also in the same boat is a relief for me, as we can share stories and encourage each other.
Thanks to the program, I have built for myself a bigger network of friends and working professionals and broadened my horizon in the Finnish market. I think there are so many other people like me who need help with job hunting in Finland and I do recommend that the mentoring program is where to reach for support. Good luck with your career paths, everyone!