Students at the library

Arcada strengthens the position of international students on the Finnish labour market

Published: 21.06.2022 / Cooperation

Finding work on the Finnish labour market is not always a walk in the park for international students. In order to improve the situation, Arcada University of Applied Sciences (UAS) has taken a giant leap forward by starting a pilot project focusing on internship collaboration between the UAS and Finnish companies.

– Research shows that one thing international students all over the world keep asking their hosting countries for is support in finding internships, says Linn Hongell, Senior Lecturer in Business Administration at Arcada. Hongell explains that international students, who often lack networks in their new hosting countries, sometimes struggle with finding suitable internship places on their own. Internships are an obligatory part of their studies.

– It is not uncommon that they either work with something that is not part of their studies, or that they go back to their home countries to do their internships.

Linn Hongell

That is why Arcada has decided to start a pilot where Finnish companies commit to taking a certain number of interns, i.e. business students, onboard per year. The pilot will be tried out for the first time starting next autumn, with three Arcada students doing their internship at the Finnish company Quuppa during 2022–2023.

– Each student will be there for 20 weeks, and during the last two weeks there will be an overlap between the current and the new intern, so that the current intern can introduce the new one to the job. The internship is non-paid, but the student will receive 30 study credits. This is an excellent opportunity for international students to get their foot in the door, to work for Finnish companies and to add valuable work experience on their CV, says Hongell.

The pilot is financed by the Lindstedt foundation, and part of the “Working life integration” project. The goal is to have two new companies next autumn. In the future, Hongell hopes that Arcada will be able to offer internships to all international business students.

Quuppa – a global, Finnish tech company

Quuppa is a ten years old Finnish tech company based in Espoo, with offices is in the US, China, Australia, United Arab Emirates and Germany. The company has 60 employees and around 90 per cent of the business takes place outside of Finland. Quuppa specialises in real-time location system (RTLS) for indoor tracking. Thanks to the tracking, valuable data can be collected.

– RTLS is used within a broad range of industries, such as logistics, sports, retail and smart offices, to name but a few examples, says Thomas Hasselman, Chief Sales Officer at Quuppa. For Quuppa it was a no-brainer to enter the internship collaboration with Arcada.

– The internship programme makes the recruitment process a lot easier for us and we can start several new projects without going via the management every time. At Quuppa, the students are given the opportunity to develop professionally. Our organisation is flat, the communication is open and we also have a lot of fun.

Thomas Hasselman

Hasselman has been a visiting lecturer at Arcada for a few years, and he knows that the students have a lot to offer.

– Every lecture at Arcada has been an eye-opening experience. The students are smart and this generation has a lot of valuable new insight to bring to the table, for example regarding sustainability which is becoming increasingly important in our field of work too, says Hasselman.

The time at Quuppa does not have to end when the internship ends.

– The internship is non-paid, but we are willing to invest in the student after a completed internship period. As we are looking to expand globally, we continue to build our foundation based on diversity, and the goal is to establish new offices where there are business opportunities. Depending on the background and language skills of the student, they can play a key role in the process, says Hasselman.