Looking for something specific? Use our search engine!



Second round of appreciated Talent Boost-initiative finishes at Åbo Akademi University

During the autumn of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024, a handful of students had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Finnish job market during the second iteration of Job shadowing day.

Job shadowing day is a project within the framework of Talent Boost, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The main goal of Talent Boost is to support international talent in Finland.

Job Shadowing is an on-the-job type of training where an interested international student follows and observes on or more employees during their workday. The normal procedure for similar kinds of programmes are for interested students to be matched with a company or organization from an existing pool of participating companies and organizations.

– We chose a different approach in order to give students the opportunity to get as much out of the day as possible. We chose the best possible organization for each student based on their background and master’s studies, and above all their own wishes, says Pekka Tenhonen, planner at the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

Instead of having a pool of companies and organizations that have agreed to participate in the programme, the team at Talent Boost sets out to find the organization that is the perfect match for each and everyone of the participating students, Tenhonen explains.

During the first round of the project, six out of 50 applicants were selected for a day of job shadowing. This time, eight out of 91 were selected.

– We are aiming high and are trying the find the best possible organizations in Finland that are a perfect match for the applicant, says Tenhonen.

Tailored experiences

Portrait of a lighthaired woman in a white shirt.
Simone Kneiffel.

Simone Kneiffel is one of the participants, she was job shadowing at Business Turku in December. Simone says her day was enriching, and she had the opportunity to shadow and learn from several different people within the organization.

– What particularly impressed me was the open and friendly nature of the staff. Everyone was very friendly. Even some people from outside the marketing department were interested in talking to me. I was able to make some contacts, but also ask questions about the Finnish labour market and what they would recommend to me as a foreigner. The day at Business Turku broadened my knowledge of the Finnish way of working and increased my interest in the Finnish labour market, she says.

Mukhtaram Miles spent her day of job shadowing at Cadmatic where she got to familiarize herself with the company’s developers and testers. She also noticed that by being with the employees all day, both during work and during breaks, she was able to get quite a good picture of work culture at the company.

– After leaving the office I understood I had many things to ruminate about and closely analyze what I would like to pursue in my carrier. One of the developers asked so many questions about what I like in the field that this lead to me to think more and explore more, Miles says.

Lighthaired woman with glasses in light clothes and a darkhaired woman in dark clothes in front of a sign.
Mukhtaram Miles (right) together with Cadmatic’s talent manager Irene Paju.

Both Kneiffel and Miles mention the important part the employers themselves can play in the challenge to attract and aid international talent in Finland. Both Business Turku and Cadmatic were able to provide them with valuable information regarding work culture in Finland and what employers might be looking for when hiring. As Miles mentioned, the people she met at Cadmatic also had many questions for her, which led her to learn and explore more on her own.

– Feedback from companies have also been positive. Companies and organizations have also gained new insights from students who come from other parts of the world with different worldviews. These insights may be valuable for companies and organizations, Tenhonen explains.

‒ We will evaluate and develop the concept this spring before we arrange the next round in the autumn. We hope to provide this opportunity to a larger number of students, Tenhonen concludes.