It’s the traditional Finnish way to scare international newcomers by telling them to take off their clothes and taking them to the sauna. Sometimes it might come off the wrong way but the Finnish people mean well. Only drenched in relentless sweat we can really think about bonding and integration.
The statistics tell how the ”sauna-mentality” effects the Finnish working life as well.
”High amount of the local companies would want to recruit an international student as a full-time worker or as an intern,” says Asta Salomaa, the OYY’s event producer and community specialist.
”And according to ISB 2010, 70 percent of international students have considered Finland as their study destination because they would want to be employed locally.”
Löyly 2018 event will be held at the Linnanmaa campus on 6th of April to help bringing the local employers and international students come together. The objective of the event is to assist students to find a workplace in Oulu and motivate them to stay.
”One leaving student means 50 000 euro loss for the education system,” says Salomaa. It’s easy to believe the numbers since this term only one current international student pays for the tuition without scholarship.
Why is the Finnish work culture so different?
The organizers wish that both the students of the University of Oulu and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences would take part in Löyly. The event will feature local companies and other employers, keynote speakers and international student alumni who have already made it to the working life. Workshops will give students tools to navigate the tides of the Finnish working life. The programme will be multidisciplinary to cater the diverse international student pool.
OYY’s Vice Chair of the Board Jenna Suorsa says that it’s important to prepare for Löyly: ”Students need to keep an open mind and they must want to learn and network. Workshops will be filled in the order of registration.”
Students should also bring business cards, their resumes and a portfolio if they have one. At the event’s photography stand there will be a chance to update the resume photo to the standards of 2018. And students will be offered other hints on how to make their resumes appeal to their future employers.
The dark reality of an international student
Salomaa believes the international students have a high value and emphasizes their knowledge of different cultures. Additionally international students need their own event because of the ruthless time limit.
”Students will get a residence permit after the graduation maximum for a year if they’re looking for a job”, Salomaa says.
”And if the student doesn’t have funds for it, the deadline might be less than a year. The pressure to get work is high”. It’s very hard to get a job from the field a student has majored in, so any workplace will have to do.
Starting a career should not be so difficult since the employers could attract the international students more easily. ”Companies could relax on the Finnish language qualifications and make job advertisements also in English,” Salomaa says.
”We opened the Vulcanalia internship application for students who didn’t have proficiency in Finnish. The result was three times more applications and some of them even from the outside of Oulu area.”
Will this be the ”Slush of Oulu”?
There are no events like Löyly 2018 in the Oulu area and the organizers are out to build a tradition. Salomaa and Suorsa want to put all of their expertise and contacts on the line to have a high impact on the lives of the international students. Salomaa tells that she started planning the event last year and Suorsa has business experience from the Oulu Entrepreneurship Society.
Löyly will benefit students that are close to graduation and those that have just started their studies. Networking is the most usual way of finding a job for an international student. ”Even first year students should actively build contacts,” Suorsa says.
”You don’t want to be that student who at the end of the studies knows only his closest classroom buddies from Oulu.”
It’s safe to say that everyone knows at least one person like that from campus. You can only hope that it’s not the same one that looks back from the mirror.
Löyly 2018 will be held in Oulu on 6th of April. The event takes place in Business Kitchen, located at Tellus Innovation Arena in Linnanmaa campus. The day event will be held from 9 am to 4pm. The event will continue to downtown Oulu in After Löyly event from 6pm to 9pm. The event is organized by OYY with support from the BusinessOulu, Business Kitchen, University of Oulu, and Oulu Entrepreneurship Society.