At its best, mentoring functions as a knowledge sharing platform, where both parties, mentor and mentee, benefit and learn something new. Mentoring as a concept can be utilized in international talents’ integration to Finnish work life and society, and it will also benefit to companies and business by giving them the first-hand experience on competencies and skills from people with diverse backgrounds.
– Mentoring is one of the most successful tools in connecting international talents and companies. And the more diverse the companies are, the more successful they are, says Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s Migration Director Sonja Hämäläinen, keynote speaker at “EntryPoint Mentoring – How to pave the way for further” seminar.
For companies and business mentoring gives a valuable insight on the benefits of having people from different cultural, educational and generational backgrounds. Moreover, having diverse workforce increases companies’ language skills, ability to think outside the box, and insight on international markets and new market areas, and it also might bring more investments. For international talents mentoring offers better integration to Finnish job market: it gives insight on hidden jobs, enlarges networks and helps in career planning.
EntryPoint Mentoring Programme – Connecting companies and talents
Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce’s COME project has coordinated EntryPoint Mentoring Programme since 2016. The programme has brought together 113 mentors representing business, academia, public and private sector and 113 mentees, who are international students or recent graduates in Finnish higher education institutions. Participants and key stakeholders were invited to discuss the future of the programme and share their experiences in a seminar “EntryPoint Mentoring – How to pave the way for further”.
EntryPoint Mentoring Programme’s foundation is in the cross-sectoral cooperation and in creating mutually beneficial partnership for mentors and mentees. The programme has been built on three-dimensional model to better answer to the needs of mentors and mentees. Collective meetings offer the participants an opportunity to meet all the other mentors and mentees of their respective programme, while one-on-one pair meetings focus on the partnership between mentor and mentee. In addition, numerous company visits and thematic group meetings support the further development and learning of the participants.
According to EntryPoint feedback surveys from 2016 and 2017 programme, majority of mentors feel that their leadership and coaching skills, cross-cultural competencies and communication skills have improved. Mentees experienced that their professional networks, self-motivation and communication skills had improved and that they were more familiar with the Finnish working culture after participating to EntryPoint Mentoring Programme.