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Getting to know future workplaces – without forgetting internationality

Published on 30.1.2024
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Elias Mustonen (left) and Tuomas Kivimäki study entrepreneurship. They were particularly interested in how companies appear at the fair. Behind them at the same stand are Iurii Lozhkin and Jie Li, students of the English-language Sofware Engineering degree program.
Tampere University of Applied Sciences student union brought students and employers together on 22.–24.1.2024 on its main campus. This time, 120 companies participated in the Gateway to Working Life event.

In the recruitment event organised by the student union Tamko, its sub-associations and TAMK Career Services, students and companies have been able to meet each other with a low threshold since 2010.

“The event, developed and implemented by our student union, brings a significant number of companies to campus every year. Gateway to working life facilitates and promotes TAMK students' cooperation and contacts with working life, which may help students get summer jobs, thesis topics or, at best, a permanent job. So it's a great event!” says Ari Sivula, Vice President of TAMK.

Tuomas Kivimäki, who is studying Bachelor of Business Administration in the Degree Programme in Entrepreneurship and Team Leadership, has one more perspective on the event.

"I wanted to see how different companies have invested in their recruitment. At the same time, I took tips for myself on what good stand marketing consists of. So my goal is to build a company and find employment that way, so the event came at a good time. A few IT companies stuck strongly in my mind and I was left wondering how I could collaborate with them in the future,” Kivimäki says.

Job opportunities for English speakers

Tamko's fair coordinator Kati Tuomisto says that the internationalisation of working life has been taken into account at the event.

"We have used company registration forms to identify companies that offer English-language jobs. Based on this, we have created our own fair catalogue for English-speaking students. CV photography, CV clinic and PorttiBingo will also be bilingual. On Tuesday, the event was attended by International House Tampere, a service of the City of Tampere that supports the employment of international people. I hope TAMK's international students benefited from it!”

Iurii Lozhkin and Jie Li, third-year Software Engineering degree students, got to know employers as English-speaking job seekers. They consider the general atmosphere of the event to be nice and friendly, and the best part is the discussions with company representatives that prepare for possible interviews.

"I've been looking for any kind of IT job for a long time, so an event like this was a nice opportunity to talk to company representatives, get advice and contacts," Lozhkin says.

Li came to the event specifically looking for an internship.

"We know that if we got an internship at a company, there would be a good opportunity to continue working for the same company after graduation. In practical training, we aim to expand our knowledge acquired at school by applying it in working life. The salary for internships should also be better than for normal part-time work.”

TAMKin Teiskontien aula on täynnä opiskelijoita ja näytteilleasettajia.
Every day, the event gathered a large number of students to the main lobby. The companies praised the expanded showroom in the second, renovated lobby.

A showcase of the company's operations

Sandvik is one of the most international companies at the event. According to HR Manager Jonna Kaminen, trade fairs are an important way for companies to be visible.

“TAMK students are our target group. We don't make that kind of retail product, so these are the few opportunities to make our company visible. We have a lot of cooperation with TAMK anyway, a lot of trainees and theses. Continuous cooperation, which is very important to us.”

There is room for English-speaking students in the company.

“We have a lot of English-speaking employees at the moment, especially in white-collar positions,” says Petri Liimatta, Industrialization and ECM Manager.

“There are 21 different nationalities working at the Tampere website, and the official language of the company is English, so Finnish as such is not a prerequisite,” Kaminen adds.

Sandvik also brought an underground drilling rig simulator to the event to illustrate the company's operations.

“I have heard from students that the simulator we brought to the site has aroused a lot of interest, and through that people have approached and applied to work for us,” Liimatta says.

There have been very good discussions with the students.

“There has been a lot of interest from electrical and automation students, which has been great to see. For us, the need increases on that side. Electrical equipment is slowly starting to come to Sandvik through projects, and that's the direction we're heading.”

In addition to production work, Tampere has many different white-collar tasks.

“Tampere is the largest of Sandvik's offices in Finland. There are around 1,500 personnel, so there are also a lot of support functions here. Tampere is home to finance and finance, direct and indirect procurement, personnel management, marketing, communication, as well as legal and IT functions,” Kaminen says.

Last year, Sadvik had almost 200 trainees and summer employees. This year, the figures are slightly more moderate.

"This year, a few dozen summer workers and trainees will be recruited into production and 30–40 for white-collar tasks. The application period is open until the end of February, Kaminen hints.

The next Gateway to Working Life event will be held in January 2025.

Text and photos: Emmi Rämö