The mentees have invariably felt that the programme has taught them working life skills: they have gained a better understanding of Finnish working life and the practices in their own field, they are better prepared for job searching, and their professional self-confidence has improved.
Over and over again, the mentees express their surprise on how generously the mentors share their knowledge and contacts and see much effort in supporting their mentee. Even though direct employment is not the goal of the programme, so far approximately a third of the mentees have been employed during the programme or soon afterward. They acknowledge the importance of the programme in finding a job, especially the role of their mentor.
The benefits for the mentors are more difficult to generalize, as their goals differ more from each other. The mentors often appreciate the opportunity to form new contacts with future specialists of their own industry. They also learn new aspects about the culture and business model of the company’s possible target country, gain new points of view to Finnish working life and work communities, and get an opportunity to improve language skills and intercultural communication skills. Yet another benefit is to gain experience about working as a mentor under good instruction. Many mentors have stated that watching the mentees’ encounters with new situations and their resilience and enthusiasm has reinvigorated their own career, too.
Making new contacts is one of the most significant benefits of the programme for both the mentors and the mentees, even though they rarely anticipate this beforehand. The participants represent different fields, languages, nationalities and age groups, as well as both sexes; this guarantees that networks do expand. One’s partner is not the only new contact formed; new cooperation possibilities emerge when everyone is given enough time and space for networking.
Kaisa Niiranen, suunnittelija, WorkPlace Pirkanmaa
Read more about mentoring programme WorkPlacePirkanmaa - Organizer's point of view
Experiences of participating in the mentoring programme