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A webinar produced by Talent Traction students attracted interest both online and in person

Published on 11.8.2022
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Two people talking in front of a camera.
Finding a job can be difficult for newcomers in Finland – difficult, but not impossible. A webinar arranged by students taking part in Talent Traction featured five speakers from various immigrant backgrounds who presented their success stories in finding employment in Finland.

Immigrant talents shared their valuable knowledge during a live-streamed event

On Wednesday the 8th of June, people gathered both online and at the International House of Tampere to hear about five motivational career success stories from speakers with international backgrounds. What made the webinar: I did it, and so can you! even more special was that it was also produced by a team of international talents participating in Talent Traction – a programme organized by Tampere University of Applied Sciences, TE Services, and International House of Tampere.

During the live-streamed seminar, Dela Edinam Aheto, Gilbert Gueye, Monir Mozumder, Viktoriya Riyaka, and Tatiana Anagnostaki each gave insightful speeches. While their paths to career success in Finland followed slightly different routes, there were several common themes that emerged from their stories: perseverance, networking, making friends, doing what you enjoy, showing interest, not being afraid to ask questions, and most importantly: believing in yourself and not giving up.

It was the Talent Traction team’s first live webinar, and as per team members Ersin, Vaida Kavaliukaite-Kaijanmäki, and Irmine Hero, it was a success.

"The number of people who registered for the event, and the number of live viewers indicated that there is demand for these. We learned people are highly appreciative of such motivational programs," says Ersin.

"The stories that our speakers shared are universal; they are not specifically bound by Finland’s borders or any nationality," adds Kavaliukaite-Kaijanmäki. "All the variety of ways how they got to where they are today are all relatable."

The three students were all grateful for the experience they gained from producing the webinar, and the help they got from the programme’s organizers.

"TAMK, TE Services, and International House of Tampere deserve a huge round of applause for giving their full support," thanks Ersin.

Webinar speakers answering questions from viewers
The webinar speakers spent a moment answering some questions from eager viewers.

Talent Traction helps international talents integrate into working life in Finland

Even with the resources available for employers for international hiring, there is a vacuum in the services offered. Most of them concentrate on the phase where the hiring manager has already made the decision to hire a professional with a foreign background. With Talent Traction, the intention is to rectify this and offer direct assistance to businesses that have yet to hire international talent. According to TAMK’s key account manager Johanna Koivulampi-Howard, Talent Traction provides workforce training in a completely new, innovative way.

"It is a seven-month training that includes contact and remote learning, as well as an on-the-job development project tailored to the needs of the company. Our talents use service design methods in aiming to improve Finnish businesses’ readiness to recruit and successfully employ international employees. While working on the project, talents themselves improve their employment prospects by strengthening their networking and business skills."

A major obstacle to labor market integration recognized by both the webinar speakers as well as the organizing team is the Finnish language. Talent Traction has taken this into account and offers its programme participants the opportunity to practice their Finnish. The lessons are planned based on the student’s starting level and the vocabulary needed in the workplace.

Employing highly skilled immigrants has many advantages

As Finland’s population ages, the supply of labor changes. Finland will need people to make up for the labor shortage caused by the aging generation’s retirement from the workforce. It is a fact that not many businesses seem to realize.

The Talent Traction students believe that addressing job seekers’ concerns directly and more openly would help eliminate barriers they face in the labor market. It is for this reason that the team thinks the webinar had such a big impact on viewers. 

"Talent Traction programme gives a chance for companies to see with their own eyes the benefits of having talents from abroad, to discover the change they have to make for a better future for all," acknowledges Hero.

It is true: change comes from within, therefore companies should be encouraged to realize their power to help successfully integrate these bright and devoted workers into the workforce. A more diverse staff can essentially help businesses expand domestic and international markets, enhance diversity, and generate new ideas by bringing in a broader global perspective. All this contributes to a stronger company, and programmes like Talent Traction are here to assist with that.

Learn more about Talent Traction here.

Text and photographs: Outi Räsänen