During spring of 2015 I decided to reach out to my colleagues at the other universities of applied sciences in the metropolitan area, to do an event in co-operation to enhance the international students and alumni networking possibilities and employability. During the fall we started planning an event with alumni coordinators from Diak, Haaga-Helia and Metropolia. We found out later in the fall that others had similar plans, and soon we we’re co-operating with student unions and unions. Finntegrated was born! Finntegrated will be an annual seminar arranged in co-operation to enhance internationals employability both among students and alumni.
During Finntegrated attendants were offered varied program. A panel discussion about internationals education and employability in EU with former ministry of education Krista Kiuru, Risto Kousa, from Finnish federation of professionals, Gramoz Shapendi, Samok and Sofia Lähdeniemi from Cimo. The panel discussion came to bring out a lively discussion on an important topic for internationals, the upcoming tuition. The day was filled with lecturers and workshops as well. One could take part in workshops on how to increase your employability, how to make the best CV and what to think about in the employment agree just to mention a few. The whole afternoon offered several different workshops that introduced the participants to get better acquainted with what to expect at a job interview or how to brand yourself in social media and many more workshops.
During lunch, the attendants had a chance to take part in the career market. Felipe Cañete from me2we, a startup firm with a goal to build an international network of companies, universities and talents to collaborate in courses or projects. Mr. Cañete was content he says. “This is a good event with interesting discussions and students. We’ll definitely participate again.”
Another employer, 720, was represented by Brand developing manager, Taru Saloheimo. The rising startup 720, is founded by an Arcada alumni Rick Aller. Their company’s field of expertise is within indoor air quality. Ms. Saloheimo found Finntegrated rewarding. “Finntegrated is a good event, has good candidates and discussions. I got a CV from an interesting candidate, so it was definitely worth participating in the career market.”
Alejandro Santacreu gave the closing key note speech, he’s the founder of PuzzlePhone. He revealed lessons learned in product and business development in case of his company. His advice for being able to succeed in Finland includes being honest, direct and clear. One student commented on his closing speech afterwards, that it left her with the feeling that nothing is impossible.
We all need hope in challenging situations and this is another thing Finntegrated wanted to offer students and alumni. Denise Villikka, lecturer at Arcada, came with a group of students and was delighted. “The biggest take-away for me was the warm feeling that had been created through those serving in the event. Their relaxed and friendly attitudes and willingness to help was touching. The feeling of caring was tangible. At the end of the day, I left feeling refreshed and encouraged.”
With these words I ask you to stay tuned for more – Finntegrated will be back! Meanwhile keep your network growing, you never know where you’ll meet your next employer.
Organizer and alumni coordinator at Arcada