Hi, my name is Scott and I’m in my final year of studies on the IBL degree programme in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. I am currently completing my work placement in Nairobi Kenya for a Finnish company called Business Finland.
What is Business Finland?
Business Finland is a Finnish government owned organization that does innovation funding, trade, travel and investment promotion. Business Finland’s 600 experts work in 40 offices globally and in 16 regional offices around Finland. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.
Team Finland is a network that consists of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Culture, Business Finland Finnvera and other government entities (including the Finnish embassies abroad) that work together to promote Finland abroad. In a nutshell, Business Finland is an accelerator of global growth. The company creates new growth by helping Finnish businesses go global and by supporting and funding innovations.
Internships in Business Finland?
Business Finland has 16 regional offices around the world, in which most of them ,they take interns for 6 months to work in the offices. It is a great opportunity for students completing their studies to gain international work experience as well as gain a lot of practical work experience from different aspects related to business administration such as accounting, market research, event management and brand promotion.
Another plus is that the interns get €6000 for the 6 months. €3000 the first month of the internship and €3000 on the third month of the internship from the Finnish National Agency of Education (Opetusshallitus). Additionally, the flight tickets are also sponsored by Business Finland, thus it really enhances the loyalty and appreciation to the company. Lastly, Business Finland Offices globally are considered part of the Finnish Embassy of the country, even if the office is physically somewhere else than the embassy.
So how do you apply?
Business Finland recruits twice a year. Once in the autumn and once in spring. Be active by checking their website about application periods. Application happens through their website www.businessfinland.fi . The application process is not the shortest. Firstly, you fill in an application online, as well as print it out and send a hard copy via post. From the best applications received, the Finnish National Agency of Education (whom are responsible for the first round of choosing suitable prospects), choose the ones they feel are suitable and forward them to the different offices (depending on where the applicant applied). From there on, each office decides whom they will choose for a phone interview. If they like you, you are invited for a final interview in the head office in Ruoholahti.
For the country you are applying, research the publications Business Finland has done about the country. This will familiarise yourself with the operations of the country and Business Finland. They might ask your opinion about possible market opportunities for Finnish companies in the specific country. I spent hours reading through Business Finland publications about Kenya before the interviews, thus I was well prepared for them. Write notes and learn the information by heart when studying the publications. Additionally, dress formally for the interview.
To see how my personal life is during my internship follow me on Instagram @Scott.Fagerstrom