Book Creator

International Talent Programme

by Mariana Moretti


Vaasa International Talents Programme
Portfolio by
Mariana Moretti Carvalho
January 19th, 2022
Tomas Häyry
Mayor, City of Vaasa

Vaasa is a city known for its electric energy sector, where regardless of the field of work, people can be part of a network due to the small size of the city. It is aimed to be a carbon-neutral city by 2023, which reveals the city's great concern about environmental issues. Vaasa has more than 120 nationalities and 100 languages spoken in the city. In this sense, a question arises: how it can be more "international"? A competent force is needed for the future, the reason the city wants to be open, better, and inclusive.

Mikael Hallbäck
Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce

Vaasa is extremely attractive for companies to invest in the region. A picture was shown (on the right) to illustrate how locations are close and reachable. Vaasa is the Nordic Energy Capital and its aim is to have the cleanest energy possible, fulfilling the goals of the Paris agreement. More than 160 companies are located in the city and 12.000 people are employed. There is a "top condition", where more companies are established than closed. A campaign called #employtheyouth is also developed. There is also a website for English-speaking jobs and a one-day contract, when employers share one day with a student, is also possible. "There is no planet B" shows the idea that is about time to solve problems and create something new. Furthermore, innovative projects such as Wärsilä Smart Technology Hub for co-creations, the ferry "Aurora Botnia" Vaasa-Sweden, and the bridge over Kvarken are good examples. Plus, the boat cluster is formed by over 100 companies and 1.500 people employed, worldwide known. There is also a chemical Industry cluster in Kokkola, Scandinavia's largest cluster of inorganic chemistry.


1) How to develop the sense of belonging of international-minded individuals?
2) How to keep internationals after the degree?
Comic Panel 1
My reflections
January 19th, 2022
How can Vaasa become a more international city?

1) Develop a multicultural environment in schools

One question to consider to develop an international-friendly city is the situation of international children (sons and daughters of internationals whose mother tongue is not Finnish or Swedish) studying in Finland. From 2000 to 2019, Vaasa experienced a large growth in the number of inhabitants whose mother tongue is not Finnish, Swedish, or Sámi. It is stated that the most common languages to hear in the city are Russian, Arabic, Estonian, English, and Somali among other 100 languages spoken (International Vaasa, 2021). Despite this data showing that almost 120 different nationalities are living in the city of Vaasa nowadays, it does not mean that schools in the city are 100% prepared to face this shift. The language barrier between cultures is among the difficulties faced in developing a multicultural environment in schools. Teacher training needs a shift to understand the needs of international-minded children and support guidance as we know may not be enough for them. Guardians are also distant from the school environment, sometimes excluded from teacher-parent meetings because of the language barrier. Therefore, one question arises: how can we solve the challenge of including international children in the Finnish classrooms? I believe this is a reflection that international teachers can help a lot with their expertise and cultural background in order to develop strategies to overcome this issue. Constructing a sense of belonging to the city is highly related to a multicultural environment in schools.

2) Flexible language requirements for jobs.

Finding a job in Finland is a complicated task for many internationals. Most job opportunities require fluent Finnish or Swedish, and for new arrivals is a challenge to fulfill these criteria. Learning a new language takes time and for most internationals, the need for an income is urgent to start building a life in the country. My proposal is that companies start to be more flexible with the language requirements, so people can have more time to acquire Finnish or Swedish language skills.
Extra Lecture
January 25th, 2022
Integrating into Finnish society and work-life

On this date, I attended a lecture with coach and facilitator Francis Oyeyiola, who talked about his experience as an international finding a job in Finland. It was especially interesting because I could relate most of his challenges at the beginning of his settling in Finland with the things I have been through since I arrived. Despite not being part of the International Talent Programme schedule, I thought it was interesting to report my take-aways from this lecture here.

● Going out, engaging in new activities (sports, music, dance, among others), and creating a social network by showing people who you are, what you like, etc.

● Avoid prejudice or judgment when meeting new people. When you judge, you tend not to listen to other people. Every person you meet has something to teach you.

● Create a nice CV and be active on Linkedin.

● Immersing into Finnish life and culture, getting familiar with music, literature, history, and other aspects that are important for understanding the place we live.

● Planning your career and projecting the place you want to be in a couple of years from now.
Open Lecture Session
January 26th, 2022
Freeha Hussain (Wärsilä)

The lecturer started presenting her experience as an international working in a Finnish company. She gave some advice regarding job seeking.

1) Having a job search strategy and a clear plan to achieve it.
2) Reflect on what type of person I am, what is important for me as a professional, what my strengths are.
3) Know if the company is offering positions for English-speaking employees.
4) Do not hesitate to know more about the company and the job offer. Ask questions when necessary.
5) Have weekly goals to network, work on applications, and stay engaged with them.
6) Be always on time creating the applications and the network.
7) Be confident but humble, be objective and show the employers that I am a person that is willing to always learn.

Tareque Mahmud (International Business, University of Vaasa)

Tareq's lecture was based on his journey to find his niche of work. He was part of the International Talent Program along with Freeha in 2021. Tareque emphasized the importance of marketing yourself, knowing your niche and your skills to be assertive when looking for a job in Finland.


1) The importance of having a clear idea of the job I want to apply.
2) Finding a niche of work and investing and improve the skills needed for this specific field.
3) Always be opened to learn.