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Aalto International Talent Programme brings together international students and companies

'The best part of this kind of mentoring is the one-to-one interaction with company representatives and learning how to approach future employers', says first year student Manila Kodali
Aalto-yliopisto / Manila ja Anna-Leena keskustelemassa keskenään / photo: Kaisa Paasivirta
‘My dream is to work for a company like Nokia’, says Communications Engineering student Manila Kodali talking to Nokia’s Anna-Leena Maaranta.

Aalto International Talent Programme pilot was launched in the beginning of December to support the employment and careers of Aalto University's international degree students. The pilot is run this academic year in the Computer, Communication and Information Sciences Master’s Programme. The pilot involves around thirty international master’s students and eight companies: Bayer, Elisa, Ericsson, Nokia, Supermetrics, Vaisala, VTT and Wärtsilä.

Students taking part in the programme are assigned a mentor company whose recruiters, specialists and alumni they will meet for a series of informal group mentoring sessions to discuss and learn about various topics related to professional life, careers and the industry. Additionally, students will visit their mentor company.

Completing the programme will be awarded with one credit.

The programme offers students a chance to grow their networks in Finland

The programme brings together international degree students with employers who are facing a labour shortage as the working-age population is decreasing in Finland.

'These talented individuals who study at Aalto have already chosen Finland as a country of destination. But to really settle down, one needs a job. And to find a job, you need to do heaps of networking. You just need to know people in your industry', says Elisa’s Recruitment Team Lead Saku Tihveräinen.

Elisa had no hesitation in taking part in Aalto International Talent Programme.

'We want to help international students to understand how valuable networking is. They need to learn that it’s not a sprint – it’s a marathon', continues Tihveräinen.

Aalto-yliopisto / kansainvälisiä opiskelijoita ja Elisan edustaja Aalto International Talent -tapahtumassa / kuva: Saku Tihveräinen
”It’s been so much fun and I’m looking forward to the remaining sessions”, says Elisa’s Recruitment Team Lead Saku Tihveräinen (on the left), who is running the Team Elisa mentoring group for Aalto International Talent Programme.

For students, the programme offers a chance to expand their network in Finland and to learn about Finnish working life and the industry.

'It is really beneficial for us to meet experienced people from companies and get personal advice on how to approach employers. I am a first year student, and I have very little knowledge on Finnish companies and the Finnish working culture', says Communications Engineering Master's student Manila Kodali.

The programme offers a unique opportunity to meet recruiters and specialists in a relaxed and informal setting.

'I think it’s a great initiative. Especially because it removes the hierarchy and formalism between students and organizations', says Communications Engineering second year Master's student Waqar Abbas,  who joined Ericsson’s mentoring group.

Aalto-yliopisto / kansainvälisiä opiskelijoita ja Nokian edustajia / kuva: Kati Auvinen
"Taking part in Team Nokia’s mentoring session and Aalto International Talent Programme offered also me new ideas and insights about work, professional life and the way students think", says Aalto alumnus Teemu Alonen (on the right).

The programme brings also Aalto alumni back on campus to share their experiences on working life with students. For many alumni, like School of Electrical Engineering graduate Teemu Alonen, helping students is close to the heart.

'As a recent graduate myself, I want to offer insights and answers to questions I myself had when I was still a student and about to make the transition into working life', explains Alonen who now works as a Software Developer for Nokia.

The group mentoring sessions allow the students to learn about alumni career paths but also to acquire concrete information on actual work tasks alumni might have and on the course of a typical working day.

'The students wanted to know about everyday routines: at what time do I begin working, whether I can decide on my own working hours myself and what kind of colleagues do I have. They also wanted to find out what kind of tools I use for programming. Additionally, we discussed summer job opportunities at Nokia and of course, salaries', sums up Alonen the conversations they had in their mentoring group.

The group mentoring sessions of Aalto International Talent Programme continue in the spring term. The pilot is part of the International talents accelerating growth co-project that is linked to the Finnish Government's Talent Boost Programme.

More information

Kaisa Paasivirta
Project Manager
Aalto International Talent Programme
Talent Boost - International Talents Accelerating Growth Co-Project
Aalto University Career Services/Advancement and Corporate Engagement
[email protected]
+358 50 359 3620

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