Galimatias julkaisee sarjan haastatteluja aikuisten maahanmuuttajien kotoutumiskoulutuksen entisten opiskelijoittemme kanssa, jotka ovat menestyneet työelämässä Suomessa. Osa työskentelee suomeksi ja osa pärjää työssään englanniksi, alasta riippuen. Ensimmäisenä on Omar [keksitty nimi, hän haluaa pysyä nimettömänä], joka osaamisensa ja sinnikkyytensä ansiosta on saanut hyvän työpaikan Suomesta. Hän on alun perin kotoisin Afrikasta ja hänellä on kaksi maisterintutkintoa. Julkaisemme haastattelun englannin kielellä, jota hän puhuu sujuvasti ja joka on hänen työkielensä Suomessa.
Nice that we can interview you. Please tell us some background information, your degree and profession.
I have a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and in IT. I’m working as an Applications Consultant in the IT-sector.
When did you study at Galimatias in the integration training for immigrants (kotoutumiskoulutus)?
I studied from March to December 2020, mostly on-line due to the pandemic.
Tell us about your current workplace and position.
Now I work exclusively in English at an international technology consultancy company in Finland as an Applications Consultant. My previous work experience in Finland was also in English working within the supply chain in the IT-sector.
What were the benefits for you from the integration training at Galimatias?
It was to learn Finnish, even if it was just at an elementary level and to get a 7-week internship in my field of expertise. I was very happy with the training and the Galimatias’ trainers were just brilliant!
How did the career coach at Galimatias help you clarify your career plan?
The career coach helped me focus on my work applications and on what I am best at. My profile fit perhaps 60% with some jobs I applied for. Finally, I think it is better to focus on jobs that fit your profile at least 80%.
How did your internship lead to employment or new contacts?
Before the integration programme, I only had one short internship in Finland and even if I had many job interviews, I was never selected for the job. Thanks to Galimatias, I got another 7-week internship in the electronics manufacturing industry. A couple of months after my internship, the company opened a position that matched my qualifications. I applied for it and asked my former manager to be my referral. I had a few rounds of interviews and finally signed my first full-time contract since I moved to Finland. It was a one-year contract that was extended twice. Then I changed jobs. Now I am working at another international company still with tasks that correspond with my background.
How much effort did you put in to get a job?
“A lot’’ would be an understatement’. It took me about 300+ applications, 40+ interviews, 1 technical certification, 4 career fairs, 2 training programmes (Hanken, Metropolia), level A2.2 in Finnish language, 2 internships and 2 reference letters from Finnish working places. Then I finally succeeded. I often was among the final candidates. Then they hired someone from the same industry, who they said knew the local market better or they chose someone internally. I would say that 99% of the recruiters seem to prioritise Finns for the recruitment, the same for international companies. At my present job they hired me and a Finn. A reference letter from a respected Finnish employer seems to mean a lot and it helped me.
Would you like to say something to Finnish employers and foreigners looking for work in Finland?
Employers seem to fear diversity, they seem to prefer “the safe choice”. To hire foreigners, we need to get out of our comfort zone. Hiring immigrants means four WINS: the Finnish taxpayers, the immigrants, the employers, and the Finnish economy benefit from it. As a foreigner, you need to be strong and be convinced that success is the only option. Believe in yourself; being nice is not enough. Keep learning, get certifications, and stay away from negative people, locals or foreigners who try to discourage you. You need to be inspired; you must move forward. You need a strong character to succeed as a foreigner in Finland.