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[Written by Thao Nguyen]

Promoting employment chances of international students studying in Finland has been a great interest for Universities across the country. A group of open-minded, dedicating Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland had come together and started project KILKAS, including Tampere University of Applied Sciences. At TAMK, it is believed that students are the ones who can really make the differences, not the teachers. Therefore, project KILKAS was done by recruiting students from different countries and degree programmes to come together and work on the project. The project includes different teams with different roles but can work together in harmony to serve the goal of KILKAS – promote employment of foreign students in Finland. Our team is the Navigators, whose mission is to create a service or event that can accomplish the aim of KILKAS. Through 3 months working in the project, our team has succeeded in finalizing the concept and planning of an event called “Explosion Event” for Environmental Engineering students in TAMK. However, the time frame does not allow us to continue and implement the event, since the project will end at the end of January 2018. The idea in the future might be adopted by people from Y-kampus as well as teachers of IDEE to make it happen.

The idea behind Explosion Event is to inspire students by speeches of experts working in the field of Environmental Engineering. The speeches don’t stop at the basic level of working experience, but more about personal experiences, interesting stories of their working life. Our team believe the personal experience is what truly matters in your working life, choose a job you love, and you won’t have to work a single day in your entire life. After these speeches, students will have an idea of what their future career could be and won’t waste time looking for jobs when finding internships. This is the impacts we want for students, to trigger their inner ‘explosion’. Besides the speeches, the event will have stands introducing some companies in the field of Environmental Engineering and Clean Technologies in Finland, so the students can have a vision of the career market out there.

While developing the idea, we came across multiple difficulties and challenges, which sometimes slows down the progress of the project. But thanks to our mentors and coaches, everything is solved at the end of the day. All the confusions disappeared after each meeting with our coach, Jussi. Having someone as experienced as him guiding us through the project is a great support we need. And I must be honest, it wasn’t easy doing this project. At first, we weren’t given any specific guidance, telling us what to do. We didn’t even know what we are about to work on. But as Jussi said, the main thing that differs experienced people and newbies in projects like this is how you deal with the confusion at the first stage of the project. Oldbies will know and feel comfortable with it, while newbies are often worried. This is the greatest thing that I learn after the project. And in the end, everything can be solved, if you just sit down and discuss with your teammates and coaches.

The project is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with people from multiple countries, besides working environment in classes. After the project, I have an idea how working in a multi-cultural environment can be. I also noticed my communication skill has gotten better, and I even learned some formal meeting rules through the ICC course which is integrated with this project. This has exceeded my expectations when I sign up for the project. 10/10 would recommend it for other students who would want to participate in school’s project.