‘I got to hear, in practice, what kinds of work tasks are available in fields that interest me, and the talk with an alumnus reduced the fears that I've had on the transition involved in starting a job.’
That is how a student at the School of Business commented on the group mentoring event that was held in late March. The School of Business wanted to test group mentoring with a short duration, in which students are given the opportunity to talk in small groups with alumni working at different jobs. The discussions focused on skills needed at work and the development of personal skills and knowledge.
Alumna Anni Harju, who took part in the event, sees group mentoring as a positive way to help students and to advise them in their career choices. ‘I believe that discussions with small groups work much better than mass lectures or panels, where we don't get to speak with the students with the same intensity’, Harju said.
‘One of the ideas in group mentoring is to lower the bar for starting a discussion with an alumnus. A small group makes it possible for students to either just listen or to ask questions - whatever seems to suit the individual best. We have held different kinds of career events for several years, where students have listened to career stories and had an opportunity to speak with the alumni. The School of Business has many active alumni, which makes it possible to hold events such as these. This event will be a good addition to our career events in the future’, says Tanja Makkonen of School of Business Career Services.
Recognising one's own skills is important
Students who took part in the event also gave positive feedback about the evening.
Juhana Peltomaa, who is studying in the Economics and CEMS Master's programme said that alumnus Samuele Machì confirmed the idea that a personal active approach has a bearing on what kind of a work a person ultimately gets. He was encouraged to amass experience also from outside his own major subject, such as student organisations and courses from other fields with whose help it is possible to steer his future employment in the desired direction. He also recommended drawing attention to a good attitude and personal skills and knowledge while applying for work. Recognising one's own skills is important, but Samuele also emphasised that ‘good enough’ is often ‘just fine’.
‘I took part in Mikko Rummukainen's group, where he told about his own interests and how his own knowledge developed. Mikko also spoke about the importance of soft skills, which I think is very good to keep in mind, especially from the point of view of a business school student’, says accounting student Wenyang Xu.
According to Tanja Makkonen and School of Business alumni coordinator Emilia Nevalainen, the second organiser of the event, the experiment was a success. The groups of five alumni invited to the event were booked solid almost immediately after signing up began, and at the event itself, there would have been plenty to talk about late into the evening.
Alumni taking part in the event:
Anni Harju, Futurice (IDBM)
Ekaterina Tolpa, Lumi Accessories (ISM/CEMS)
Samuele Machì, Nokia (Economics/CEMS)
Mikko Rummukainen, Vapa Media (International Business)
Antti Honka, Salaxy (Finance)
Senior Manager, Career Services
Alumni Relations Coordinator