Author: Tampere Talent Ambassadors
Previously we looked at the many reasons why Tampere is the best place to do your internship. You can read more at internationaltampere.fi/tampere-the-best-place-to-do-your-internship. However, you may still have some questions about the general internship scene in Tampere. Are interns well received? Will you gain usable/transferable skills? What doors might an internship in Tampere open for you? In this article, we hope to give you an overview of the internship culture in Tampere and show you what you can expect while undertaking your internship in Tampere.
Tampere University generates 1700 new bachelor’s degree graduates and over 250 masters’ graduates every year. This stimulates a healthy and thriving graduate job market. Both before and after graduating many students undertake internships and ‘summer jobs’ to help increase their employability and improve their CVs. A quick glance at LinkedIn will show you how many current internships are available in Tampere. An increasing number of employers are also interested in Erasmus+ postgraduate internships.
In Finland, the vacation allowance is generous. It is quite common for more seasoned employees to take a whole month off in the summer. This means there needs to be a lot of holiday cover. This is one situation where summer trainees and interns can help. Usually, summer trainees are paid in accordance with a locally agreed contract for the sector a company operates in. However, with Erasmus+ internships, payment is not always guaranteed. However, it is still worth raising the question of whether the employer is willing to ‘top-up’ your Erasmus grant. Companies that are used to paying summer trainees might be receptive to paying Erasmus interns.
The Happiest Place on Earth
Finland is one of the happiest countries in the world. It also has some of the happiest employees. A positive, happy working environment is seen as beneficial to all involved. In fact, many Finnish companies consistently rank highly on the Great Place to Work award that celebrates companies that look after and invest in their employees. Tampere companies like Framery consistently score highly in their category, While the Tampere Head Quartered Gofore has not only been ranked top in the country but also took the number 2 spot in the whole of Europe! Companies like these are serious about treating their staff well.
Day-to-day, the work-life in Tampere is much like any other Finnish city – efficient, punctual, reliable, and egalitarian. As an intern, you may find you are given a lot more responsibility than you would otherwise have in other cultures. This is because Finland is one of the most trusting countries in the world. Tampere is situated outside of the metropolitan area and is thought of as being friendly, open and honest. During your internship in Tampere, you may well find that you have a high degree of autonomy, trust, and value to your team. You certainly won’t just be making coffee for 3 months!
Collaboration not Competition
We think it’s fair to say that Tampere’s business culture is more collaborative than competitive. Finland has a long history of collaborative work. In fact, the Pellervo Coop Centre currently lists over 4 million Finns involved in some form of co-op business arrangement, from micro-businesses to massive groups like OP-Pohjola Group and Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta (SOK) – more commonly known as the S-Group. It is this heavy focus on cooperation that gives rise to thriving ecosystems in Tampere. Tampere Smart City aims to promote the free-flowing of information between different stakeholders in the business ecosystem. Managed business ecosystems like these are more efficient, collaborative, and foster transference of information and skills. By working in established business ecosystems in Tampere you can increase your exposure to other companies and actors, possibly leading to a full-time job after graduating.
As an Erasmus+ intern, you will have the support and backing of the Erasmus project, with contacts at your home institution and Erasmus coordinator. However, as a foreigner working in Finland, you can also access free impartial advice from SAK, the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions. Trade unions are strong in Finland, and employee rights are taken very seriously.
It’s not just What you Know
Up to 85% of all jobs in Finland are not advertised. This means job seekers rely heavily on their existing networks. In Tampere, this is made easier through well-organized networking events and communities. Places like Bloom offer good international contacts and peer support on integrating. If you are serious about finding a job after your internship, or just want to increase your contacts in your chosen industry you should check out Tribe, a community of people dedicated to the startup scene in Tampere and their Platform6, as well as events hosted by Business Tampere. A more detailed list of networking opportunities can be found on the Career Boost page of International Tampere.
The Internship Culture of Tampere
Tampere has a thriving graduate job market and summer job and internship opportunities in a range of sectors and business ecosystems. As an Erasmus intern in Tampere, you will gain valuable experience through being trusted and given real responsibility.
Here are key takeaways that you should know about the internship culture in Tampere:
- A thriving graduate job market
- Summer is the best time to undertake an internship in Tampere
- Employers in Tampere may be open to the idea of paying you in addition to your Erasmus grant
- Tampere has many companies recognized for their excellent employee satisfaction
- You will gain excellent, in-depth, and valuable experience
- Business in Tampere is built on collaboration with many thriving business ecosystems
- As an Erasmus intern, you will have the support of both your sending institution and help and advice from Finnish sources
- Networking is the key to success in Tampere!
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland has participated in the financing of the project. The project contributes to the goals of the national Talent Boost programme.