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Join our English-language mentoring programmes!

Published on 18.9.2019
Tampere University
Mentoring group from last semesterThe latest group session from last semester inspired lively discussion among the participants of the International Talents’ Mentoring programme. Photo: mentee Ziyi (Shely) Yang facing the camera and mentors Eero Miettinen, Gagandeep Singh and Sari Paajanen.
In the academic year 2019/20, Tampere University will implement three Talent Tampere mentoring programmes that will be conducted in English.

Mentoring is a process whereby experienced professionals impart their knowledge and skills to aspiring talents at the beginning of their careers. The programmes to be launched in October and November are intended for international degree students, the spouses of international staff, and international and Finnish doctoral students, respectively. 

We are currently looking for new mentors and mentees. Sign up before 29 September!

Mentoring is a two-way street

Mentoring is a two-way relationship that benefits both mentor and mentee. It offers mentors the opportunity to build contacts with talented young professionals and share experiences with their fellow mentors.  

In addition to individual mentor sessions, the mentors and mentees will attend group meetings that bring together all the participants. We expect mentors to work in the Tampere region or be able to travel to Tampere for the meetings. Mentors may work in the public sector, the private sector or as entrepreneurs.

“We expect our mentors to have accumulated at least three years of work experience in their field in Finland, be fluent in English and have an interest in multiculturalism,” says Kaisa Niskanen, planning officer in the Career Services Unit at Tampere University. She coordinates the International Talents’ Mentoring Programme intended for international degree students.      

“In addition, mentors should be at an active stage of their career and be committed to the mentoring programme.”

As Niskanen says, feedback has been collected on the Talent Tampere mentoring programmes for several years now. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Many of our mentors have received guidance and support from an experienced colleague at an early stage of their own career and feel that it is rewarding to now be able to pass along their knowledge and help others,” Niskanen says.

“We have also heard from previous mentors that they have gained a whole new perspective on their own work environment after seeing it through the eyes of a young foreign professional.”

For mentees, the programme serves as a confidence boost and gives them a broader perspective on their career options.   

“For one, the programmes provide international mentees with first-hand experience of Finland’s typically straightforward business culture with a low level of hierarchy. It comes as a surprise to many of our mentees that they can be on a first-name basis with their mentor,” Niskanen points out.

Mariska Roelofs, career specialist at Tampere University, is responsible for planning the agenda and managing the arrangements ahead of the group sessions that are included in the mentoring programme intended for the spouses of international employees. Roelofs relocated from the Netherlands to Tampere in 2011 and took part as a mentee in a similar programme implemented by the former University of Tampere in 2012.

“The experience was definitely positive,” says Mariska Roelofs, who holds a degree in psychology from her native country.

“My mentor convinced me that I have something valuable to offer although I come from a different country. The process boosted my self-confidence and helped me realise that I do not have to start again now that I live in Finland as I already have competencies and experience that I can put to good use here.”

For people starting their career

The International Talents’ Mentoring Programme is intended for international degree students and other international talents who are based in the Tampere region and are at an early stage of their career. The programme will begin in early November and end in late April.

Serving as a mentor for an international talent is an easy way to develop multicultural competencies that are necessary in our global world. The programme enables mentors to expand their network of professional contacts and develop their interpersonal and communication skills. In addition, participating in the mentoring programme may support internationalisation efforts within the mentor's workplace.

Support for the spouses of international staff

The Hidden Gems Mentoring Programme is targeted at people who have moved to Tampere for their partner’s job.  They come from all over the world and have widely different professional backgrounds. In this programme, each mentor will assigned 1-2 mentees. The programme will be spread over four months from November to February in autumn semester and from March to June in spring semester.

The mentoring of international spouses is part of the Hidden Gems programme, that aims to not only improve employment opportunities among people who have followed their spouse abroad but also support their overall integration into Finnish society. The Hidden Gems project received the Tampere University Societal Impact Award last week. Of the 35 people who took part in first two six-month pilot phases of the Hidden Gems project, 17 have found employment.  

Support for career planning among soon-to-be graduates

The Mentoring Programme for Doctoral Researchers and PhD Students is targeted at both foreign and Finnish students who are working towards a doctoral degree. The participants are approaching graduation with a doctorate and are looking for support with career planning, expanding their professional network and seeking professional growth. Mentees will be paired with mentors who work in a similar field or have similar professional interests. 

Mentors may be pursuing a career in academia or, for example, in industry. 

In addition to supporting mentees in the planning of their career, the programme seeks to increase dialogue and build strong connections between the University and external organisations.  

The programme intended for doctoral students will last for six months from November to April.


Read more about our mentoring programmes and sign up!

Inquiries: Planning Officer Kaisa Niskanen, kaisa.niskanen [at], tel. +358 50 300 5964