|Rihab El Bachiri
||” We are sisters. We come from Ouezzane, Morocco, a city known for its spirituality, and the production of olive oil. Rihab had a bachelor’s degree in English back in Morocco. We wanted to study something together, so we came to study IB in Finland together three years ago. “||Imane El Bachiri
|Degree programme and campus: International Business, Valkeakoski (2020)
Home city and country: Ouezzane, Morocco
Languages: English, French, Arabic
Talents: Digital marketing and social media marketing (Imane); management of business and event organizations (Rihab)
“It is not a harm to ask if you are looking for a job or an internship. Talk to the people around you and let them know what you are looking for.”
Rihab was teaching English to kids in Hämeenlinna. The CEO of the association Raisa is the mother of one of her students. One day, they were talking about their plans for the summer, and Rihab openly mentioned that she and her sister were looking for an internship. Raisa told about her association and asked if the sisters are interested in working for her association.
“It is important to keep in mind that it is not a harm to ask if you have a need for a job or an internship. But once you find an opportunity, you will have to really work for it. It does not just come to you. When we had the meeting with the CEO, it was like a negotiation. Raisa told us the tasks and ask if we could do them. We also showed Raisa what we can do as persons, what we expect and what we are good at.”
“You will have to invest yourself into the work process to learn something new from there.”
Time management is important at every field of work. Imane and Rihab learned to follow big projects´ timeline and to plan small steps for their everyday work. They are dedicated to their responsibilities and tasks. When there are important tasks with a strict deadline, they are willing to put more time and effort into making things happen.
“Every day when we started working, we needed to set up our daily goals: what do we need to finish today? It helped us to be more productive this way. Sometimes, if the task is important, we are willing to work for a longer time to get things done. We believed that if you want to get something (to learn something), you will have to invest in it.”
Marketing research skills, social media marketing, marketing content production, event organisation…
Skills and talents needed in the Finnish labour market.
Through this internship, Imane and Rihab have greatly developed both hard skills and soft skills, all of which are demanded in the Finnish labour market. They did marketing research, during which they learned to be creative in solving problems with limited resources. They promoted events by using different marketing efforts, via emails and on social media. In the event, they supported their customers throughout the event, contacted judges and speakers, as well as negotiated with sponsors and dealers. They provided contents for the association´s web pages. In addition, their time management skills have advanced a lot because they had to multitask every day at work.
“We always have to keep our mind open and don’t be afraid to ask if we are not sure about thing. Because we are not experts, we are always still learning.”
“Nowadays, it is very important that you are able to work online.”
Imane and Rihab´s internship was remote work. They communicated with co-workers located in the UK and they organized virtual events together. All marketing was done digitally and virtually. They were very skillful at using digital tools for teamwork and for all the work tasks. For them, communication in virtual work environment is very smooth.
“We felt that this work opportunity has raised our standard for our future job. We really like working remotely. We were working full time every day from 9 AM to 4PM, but most of the time we did not even feel that we were working online at all. Communication was smooth. Co-workers are usually very responsive.”
“As a foreigner, it is a power that we have, leaving our own country, our comfort zone and move to Finland. We want to develop our future in Finland. We feel that it’s the beginning of something good.”
Imane and Rihab are planning to stay and work in Finland. They are willing to apply their talents in the Finnish labour market and help companies and business grow. For them, Finnish work culture is straightforward, and workplace environment is safe.
“It seems hard at the beginning, but everything will work out. You need a lot of patience. Don’t let the weather get to you, meaning that if someone tells you that it is not going to work and that you should stop trying, you shouldn’t let it get to you. You should be proud of yourself for getting out of your comfort zone, coming all the way to Finland. It is power that we have when we leave our own country and come to Finland, starting everything new.”
Amazing story. I met them at the end of first year and its good to see that things are working out.
They have been so active, not only in this internship, but also in other activities!