The mentoring program is one of the best experiences I have had in Finland
The MESH project has organized mentoring programs for international talents in Turku. One participant, Hang Vo, joined the mentoring program in March 2020, when she was writing her master’s thesis. She has lived in Finland for two years. She moved from Vietnam to study in the master program in international business and innovation management at the University of Turku. During the mentoring process, she graduated and started looking for a job in the field of logistics, supply chain and data analysis.
“As an international student in Finland, during these 2 years I have quite enjoyed my life. I love to learn innovative knowledge, to get to know more people, and to explore new cultures. — However, after graduation, I felt a bit stressful with the current situation. I must accept that finding a job is not easy.”
Hang participated in the mentoring program to learn from a more experienced professional. She set three goals for the mentoring:
– Building a professional network
– Perceiving the future working life and career
– Developing the job application
When asked, Hang told that she achieved almost all her goals.
“This mentoring program helped me to improve my confidence and to keep optimistic for the future. I have met many positive people and they motivate me a lot in my job-seeking journey. “
Support from several mentors
Hang was a part of a mentoring team. She had two mentors, Irina and Eeva-Leena, and one peer-mentee, Celeste. The mentors’ experiences helped Hang to understand Finnish working life better. Even though it was more difficult to set up meetings, the benefit of the mentoring team was that Hang got to hear more experiences and learn from them.
“It was interesting to hear many different points of view.”
Hang feels that her mentors were very supportive and helpful. Irina and Eeva-Leena helped her to improve her job application and supported her in completing her master’s thesis related to circular economy.
“Although my mentors – Irina and Eeva-Leena – were busy, they still tried to meet us frequently and answer our questions. They helped us to be more confident, to understand our roles in a team, and they commented on our CV and did a job interview trial, and they shared their working and life experience.”
In addition, Hang got support from another mentor, Anna, who contacted her after a mutual kick-off meeting and asked, if Hang would like to meet and get a cup of coffee. They met several times and Hang found this very useful, because Anna was able to guide her about the field of data analysis. She suggested that Hang could learn more about data analysis and gave detailed information about what would be useful to learn.
Because of the Covid-19 situation, Hang’s future seems unpredictable. Due to the Covid-19 virus, many companies have postponed their recruitment processes, which makes the job-seeking even more difficult for international talents.
Now Hang focuses on improving herself and enjoying her life more like one of the mentors, Eeva-Leena, suggested. She’s trying to learn more about data analysis and language skills. And of course, she’s hoping to get a suitable job in the near future in Finland.
Grateful and connected
Hang is happy that she participated the mentoring program. She highlights that the mentoring program is one of the best experiences that she has had in Finland. And after the mentoring program, she will stay in touch with the people she met.
“Although the program is finished, I still keep in touch with my mentoring team and some other people, and they are always willing to give me some directions.”
Hang is very grateful for getting help from multiple people, and she wants to thank all of them:
“I would like to thank the organizers for organizing such a necessary mentoring program, and for connecting me with super nice mentors. Special thanks to Irina, Eeva-Leena, Celeste and Anna for all their time, support and sincerity.”
Writer: Janna Peltola, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Photo: Hang Vo