Mentoring programmes

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Mentoring is an excellent way to improve your self-knowledge, networks and familiarity with employment. Several parties will provide opportunities for participating in mentoring.

What is mentoring?

As a method, mentoring is very simple, based on interaction between the person receiving mentoring, or the actor, and the mentor. The content of mentoring is determined by the actor’s questions, fields of interest and goals. Mentoring discussions are based on confidentiality, commitment and openness. Setting and pursuing goals is central to mentoring. 

Mentoring can be helpful if you are weighing up career options or needing support to clarify your expert identity. Mentoring can cover the identification and expression of your personal strengths, development and competence areas, various career options and familiarity with professional life, career planning and decision-making, as well as job-seeking skills.

In addition to the graduation stage, mentoring works well already during your studies, if you are mulling over these issues or are unsure of your future.

University of Helsinki Group Mentoring Programme

In group mentoring, alumni (graduates of the University of Helsinki) provide mentoring to small groups of students (2–4). The programme is available to all students of the University of Helsinki. In the groups, students will be able to take advantage of the expertise, understanding and experience of mentors, as well as the wider perspective and support offered by a group of peers.

Applications are accepted in the autumn term. The programme will kick off with a joint event held in November, after which the groups will meet approximately once a month until the end of April. The closing event for the programme will be held in May.

Based on feedback, mentoring has provided students with

  • Support and advice, self-confidence and belief in their abilities
  • Self-knowledge, the ability to identify personal strengths and communicate them to others
  • Knowledge of various career options and affirmation of their expert identity
  • Clarity for their career plans
  • Courage to make decisions and believe in their dreams
  • Practical help for job seeking, as well as networks

See also:

The programme has been ongoing since 2012, and since that time has engaged 480 participating students from nine faculties. The programme is coordinated by the University of Helsinki Career Services in cooperation with University of Helsinki alumni team.

EntryPoint mentoring program for international students

EntryPoint helps international talents increase self-awareness and boost confidence in order to reach their full potential. By taking part in the EntryPoint program as a mentee, you will meet and connect with business or academia professionals, learn first-hand about the Finnish working life and understand what a hiring process looks like. While the program promotes networking and ways how you can establish yourself in the Finnish job market, its purpose is not to offer, or guarantee, mentees’ employment.

Mentees must be international degree students, recent graduates from higher education institutions, or anyone who has graduated with a higher education degree somewhere else and moved to Finland. The mentoring program is based on voluntary participation, and there is no enrolment fee. Mentees must be fluent in English.

Next round of EntryPoint commences in mid-January 2020 and ends in mid-June 2020. The registration for EntryPoint starts on 3 October 2019 and ends on 1 December 2019. To ensure the best possible match for your pairing, please fill in the registration form as thoroughly as possible. 

Read more about EntryPoint mentoring program and apply!

Other parties organising mentoring

Mentoring programme by the Suomen Mentorit association: (programme in Finnish)

The application period for the programme is twice a year.

You can apply if you

1) Will graduate from a university within six months, or

2) Have graduated from a university no longer than two years ago

3) Are looking for your first permanent job and interested in developing yourself

4) Are without a mentor

5) Are 32 years of age or younger

Further information is available on the Suomen Mentorit website (in Finnish only) and Facebook page.

Subject-specific student organisations:

Mentoring at the University of Helsinki is also organised by some subject-specific student organisations and student associations. You can ask about mentoring from the career coordinator of your association. Contact details for all associations are available on the Student Union of the University of Helsinki website.

Trade unions:

If you are a member of a trade union, you can also ask about mentoring from your union. Contact details are available on the Akava website.

Acquiring a mentor independently

You can ask a person working in a field that interests you to be your mentor. If there are no suitable individuals in your network, you can use, for example, the alumni search on LinkedIn. Instructions are available under Job Seeking in the section Occupational knowledge.

If you acquire a mentor independently, you should read the Workbook for Mentoring.

You may also contact Career Services in matters related to mentoring.