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Opening our doors to the next generation

Every year Finnish companies open their doors to students, for two weeks, giving them the chance to experience work life. This is known as ‘Kesäseteli’ - Summer Job Voucher.

At Basware, traditionally students are children of employees.  But this year, Anna Hakala a Data Scientist in our Tampere office and a member of our Young Professionals group, had other ideas.  She suggested to our HR team that we should extend the program outside of Basware families – “I saw this as a great opportunity to give something back to our local community and support the next generation of tech talent.  It also seemed like a perfect fit with Basware’s culture and values and our growth mindset.”

Anna worked closely with the City of Tampere’s youth worker to find two young programmers, Julius and Eero, to spend two weeks with us. We also had Elaura, another student in our Espoo office, join the project team.  Anna managed their time at Basware – including their onboarding, setting goals, and overseeing their project work – “I know from personal experience that finding the first job in IT can be difficult if you don’t have previous experience in the field. I wanted to be able to help an enthusiastic student get that first job experience. The youth worker found two candidates, and to make it real we interviewed them for the roles. Luckily, our HR let me hire both!”

Rising to the challenge

We wanted this to be a learning experience.  Anna collaborated with fellow data scientist, Anders Demant van der Weide in our Danish office, “When Anna planned to get the summer trainees from Tampere in, we came up with the idea to let them work on a live project and let them experience being part of a real data project.” Elaura, Julius and Eero were then tasked with a live project, getting hands-on experience writing programmes for large projects.  And they rose to the challenge admirably with high praise from Anders, “they did much more in the 2 weeks than I had dare to expect.  They asked sharp questions, were keen to learn, showed great initiative and worked dedicated on the project.”

Beyond expectations

Elaura commentedI was able to gain experience on writing programmes for large and real projects.” With Julius adding, “My biggest surprise was that I got to learn R code, I was only expecting to use Python. R-studio/R and making graphs with Python were challenging at, least at the start and little mistakes in codes were frustrating and challenging to find, but when you did find them oh man you were happy.”  Eero’s highlight was “when I realized that we made something important, and it will benefit others.”

Shaping the future

The learning didn’t stop with the students, with Anders reflecting “I learned a lot about planning, managing and overseeing of a project involving multiple people contributing. And I learned about leadership and what it actually involves being a people manager.”  It was both exciting and pleasing to see the youngsters rise to the challenge; it feels great having taken part in the shaping of new, young professionals – and possibly future data colleagues – and I am rather curious to see how they fare in the years ahead of them.  With Anna adding “this was the first time I managed the entire process from recruitment through to the exit interviews.  So, I now appreciate all the work that goes into managing and motivating other people and looking after their wellbeing.”

Always learning

Eero summed up the whole experience very nicely, “Working here was really fun and yes, I still want to work in tech/programming. You always get to learn new stuff.”  We couldn’t agree more!

About the Summer Job Voucher Program

The Summer Job Voucher “Kesäseteli” is a program where students, entrepreneurs and the cities in Finland come together to encourage companies to offer jobs and experiences to young people. The aim is to strengthen their work skills and give them positive experiences of working life.

The cities taking part in the program provide a reimbursement to companies for each person they employ. Several cities in Finland, including Espoo, Helsinki, Tampere and Pori take part in the program and we were able to offer 20 places in our Tampere and Espoo offices in 2022.

Lets grow together

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