'It was a great learning experience' - Aalto International Talent Programme introduces Finnish working life to international students

This year 150 students and 17 companies participated in the group mentoring initiative.
A group of students sitting on a sofa
Stora Enso's group met at the company's head office in Salmisaari. Photo: Kalle Kataila.

Anusha Bhat, a Master’s student at the School of Chemical Engineering, joined Aalto International Talent Programme to learn about Finnish working life and to understand the dynamics of Stora Enso, one of the leading forestry companies in the world.

Together with other students, Bhat met Stora Enso’s people at the company's head office in Helsinki during the spring. They discussed various themes related to working life, careers and the forestry industry.

‘We got to talk to Stora Enso’s R&D directors and international employees as well as sustainability experts', Bhat explains. 

The student group was happy how well Stora Enso organized the sessions.

‘We felt a warm welcome from Stora Enso’s side. They were genuinely interested in arranging the sessions and discussing with us'.

Students sitting around a table and smiling
For Anusha Bhat, the best part of the Programme the chance to network with one of the leading companies in their field. Photo: Kalle Kataila.

Best part was meeting new people

For many students, visits to the companies and their production sites were a highlight of the whole programme. Also Bhat visited Stora Enso’s Sunila mill in Kotka at the end of the programme.

‘We had a great day! We talked to the mill director and got to know how the mill functions and what it produces’.

For Bhat, who takes a deep interest in sustainable packaging, the best part of the programme was the chance to network with one of the largest forestry companies in the world and to meet new people.

'I got to know great people from Stora Enso, but it was also nice to get to know my fellow students. Overall, the Program was a great learning experience’, Bhat concludes.

Discussions with students were inspiring

For Stora Enso, it was the company’s second time taking part in the Programme. Collaboration with Aalto University has been smooth. 

'We participated last year and had a great experience. That is why we decided to return for another year', Stora Enso’s Employer Branding Specialist Mari Saarinen explains.

The competition for the best talent is fierce. Also for Stora Enso, it was important to reach international students and raise their awareness and interest towards the company.

Stora Enso’s senior R&D Specialist Marcelo Hamaguchi enjoyed participating in the programme and sharing his expertise and experiences as an international talent working in Finland. 

'The discussions with students were really positive and inspiring. I learned a lot from students myself’, Hamaguchi concludes. 

The Aalto International Talent Programme supports international students in building their networks and learning about Finnish working life. The programme was organized for the fourth time in 2023. The participating companies were CGIElisaF-SecureFiskars GroupHuldIfKemiraKonecranesMetsoMurataNokiaOkmeticStora EnsoUmicoreWithSecure, Wärtsilä and Ylva.

The Aalto International Talent Programme continues in spring 2024. More information: Program Manager Kaisa Paasivirta, [email protected].

A group of students standing outside on the rooftop of a paper mill.
Stora Enso's group visited the company's Sunila mill in Kotka at the end of the programme. Photo: Stora Enso
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