Eleonora Matrella is supporting VAMK international students in their recruitment process. Networking issues are one of the main reasons foreign students can’t find a job in Finland.

Eleonora Matrella started on May 3rd as Talent Coach in Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. The job is completely new, and it involves career and recruitment counseling services, providing useful information for the students and developing integration services, networks with working life and alumni operations.

Talent Coach is there to support the international students, and Eleonora Matrella knows what she is talking about. She moved to Vaasa five years ago for her Master studies.

– Gradually I contacted with people from companies around the Vaasa area, partly because of my volunteer work. That made the recruitment a lot easier for men. I believe my own experience and networks help me support others, Matrella says.

After her studies, Eleonora Matrella worked at the Ostrobothnian Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment as Talent Coastline expert. That made the new position at VAMK seem like it was made for her.

– I'm looking forward to do really practical, hands-on work with the students, for example to advise how to act in a job interview, what kind of body language to use and how to get the most out of your CV.

Matrella is starting off with a survey on students’ thoughts and feelings about employment. After that, the counseling services will start.

– The students can book an appointment, and it would be better to have more than one meeting. Some of the students are really young, barely in their twenties, so they need all the help they can get, Matrella says.


Out of the bubble

Foreign students find it harder to get a job after graduation than those of the native population. Eleonora Matrella believes that this is partly due to a lack of networks.

–  Often students from elsewhere stay in their own bubble, so they do not get to know the local people. This does not promote job search.

Networking is important to all students. Talent Coach also advises to use social media and visit various events.

– In this video conference era, it’s good to attend every online event and webinar you can access. That way, you stay in people’s minds and get to present your ideas.

Finnish work culture can also come across as strange if you are not familiar with it. Talent Coach can advise you, for example, what kind of tone to use in a job application, or how to dress for a job interview and what qualities are valued in Finnish working life. 

On the other hand, plenty of work is being done by the local actors to bridge the gap between internationals and local companies, which thrive on internationalization and export.


Smooth Finnish life

International students are often hard-working and finish graduate quickly. After that, they ponder whether to stay in Finland or not. A good job plays a big role at this point.

–  My own decision was also influenced by the fact that I have lot of friends in Finland. If your friends want you to stay, they’ll help you by sharing job postings and hint at vacancies and networking opportunities, Eleonora Matrella says.

In addition to this, Matrella appreciates Finland's peace and fluency.

- Once you are done with the bureaucracy, everything is smooth. Sometimes I hear my Finnish friends complaining about queues. I tell them, you haven’t even seen queues in Finland!


Posted on 05/10/2021.