Students with international and immigrant backgrounds are trained to boost Finnish business life

In the IMIB network, comprised of coaches, students, and businesses, international and immigrant-background students have the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in addressing real-world working life challenges under the guidance of coaches from universities of applied sciences.

Kansainvälisiä opiskelijoita Haaga-Helian Porvoon kampuksella
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In January, Haaga-Helia, Laurea, and Metropolia Universities of Applied Sciences (3AMK) initiated a program dedicated to advancing the employment prospects of international students and students with immigrant backgrounds. This initiative offers coaching to enhance their workplace skills and entrepreneurship, facilitating their interaction with Finnish companies.

With the collaborative support of universities, students from immigrant backgrounds actively tackle business challenges alongside proficient coaches. Simultaneously, students gain invaluable business contacts and essential work experience, elevating their chances of securing employment in Finland post-graduation.

Unified as the IMIB network, coaches, students, and domestic companies create an impactful platform. Within this network, students showcase their proficiency in addressing real-world and business-related challenges. For companies, the IMIB network provides an accessible avenue for networking, aiding in exploring potential employees.

New perspectives and work experience

According to Nina Kallberg, the project manager at Haaga-Helia, it is paramount to recognize and leverage the expertise accumulated by international and immigrant background students in the business world. The cultural awareness of these students alone can significantly streamline the foray of domestic companies into international markets.

The IMIB network also endeavors to tackle challenges related to the employment of individuals with immigrant backgrounds. Kallberg underscores that individuals with immigrant backgrounds in Finland belong to a group that faces challenges in employment, but it doesn't have to remain so. The primary identified obstacles include language proficiency, education, and work experience.

"I firmly believe that accumulating work experience during their studies substantially enhances our students' employment prospects. Companies have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with potential employees and make employment decisions based on genuine competence," she expresses with optimism.

Kallberg also emphasizes the importance of supporting entrepreneurship among immigrants to maintain the vibrancy of the Finnish business landscape. Hence, the IMIB network includes a dedicated path for entrepreneurship, guiding and coaching international and immigrant-background students toward entrepreneurial endeavors.

"Our IMIB network students are globally connected, and they possess a wealth of intangible expertise that can lead to success in the business world. We just need to assist them in unlocking this dormant potential," she reflects thoughtfully.

What on earth is the IMIB network?

The Immigrants as Mentors for Internationalizing Businesses (IBM) project, coordinated by Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, is set to run from January 1, 2024, to May 31, 2026. Collaborating as project partners are Laurea and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

The primary goal of the project is to enhance the employment opportunities for international and immigrant-background students, along with SIMHE (Recognition and Comparison of Foreign Qualifications) clients. This objective is achieved by facilitating their engagement with Finnish companies through the expertise of professionals from universities of applied sciences.

Together, these entities form the IMIB network, a platform that serves not only educational and employment purposes but also contributes to the business community. Students interested in joining the network can do so through the following link:

+358 294471331