Possibly after you have lived one month in Helsinki, you would have known all the corners in this capital city. However, small as the city is, opportunities are abundant!
It might come as a surprise depending on where you are coming from. In Finland, more than half of the university students are working while studying. What’s more connected to your future career than real work experiences? Finnish society actively supports student work offering part-times, traineeships, internships, and summer jobs. The vibrant local startup world also welcomes both local students and internationals. During my first-year master studies, I had an internship in an NPO initiating and organizing events for foreign jobseekers in Finland. I have been also volunteering for different events such as for the legendary SLUSH – the world biggest startup event organized by Finnish students.
Here comes another important path to your future career – networking! Through all these work and volunteering experience, you get to meet different people opening doors for more opportunities.
Besides working and volunteering, there are many other ways prepare you for your future career. Through Hanken’s career services, CV clinics, mock-up interviews, company visits, on-campus recruitment events, and seminars are regularly organized. Depending on your interests and needs, some of these services might come in handy before sending in job applications and/or heading to interviews.
Another wonderful way to get ahead with your future career while studying is through mentoring which myself has also benefited greatly. I participated two mentoring programs, one from COME’s (Chamber of Multicultural Enterprises) EntryPoint program and the other from LOGY (Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics). The first one aims at facilitating the interactions between local companies and international students, and the second program aims at helping young logistics professionals from their more experienced experts. Hanken also offers mentoring program great for thirsty minds.
EntryPoint 2018 – First Group Meeting
Why mentoring is important and how to best benefit from your mentoringship? Mentoringship basically sets no limit until you set the goals with your mentor. That said, the higher and clearer your objective, the better results you possibly get. You can use this mutually beneficial relationship to horn your desired skills, to learn about different career paths and companies, to learn to deal with certain problems and challenges, to expand your network, to get practical tips on how to apply for jobs, etc. Through my own experiences and talking with friends who had similar experiences, we feel the most important is to take actively role to set the objectives meaning knowing what you want from this relationship before your first mentoring meeting and setting tangible goals with action steps with your mentor. Always be prepared before the meetings and give back (such as feedback or offering help for other things) while receiving.
One more important tip: asking your fellow Hanken students what they are doing and how do they do it. Peer learnings are the most practical ones which can be put to your direct use. Where did they find certain positions? What career programs are they participating? What’s their success/failure stories? What’s good and bad working at certain positions/companies? What could you do in xxx situations? What interview questions? … Sometimes it can be more useful than a career counselling! Through talking and sharing, you also gain more support and confidence and become more action-oriented.
There are probably so many other opportunities I forgot to mention or that I do not even know about. Please share with me your experiences and knowledge too 🙂