I was in the middle of my second year when I applied for an internship at Crazy Town Tampere. Crazy Town is a community, a co-working area. It has its offices in, for now, three cities in Finland: two offices in Jyväskylä, one in Tampere and one in Hämeenlinna. What unique business proposition do they have for their members? In my opinion, Crazy Town is exceptional in its market because of the design of the co-working place itself, favorable atmosphere among members and high-quality service. In other words, a great place to work!
The recruitment process for me was normal. I saw post on Yammer that CT needed two interns in Hämeenlinna and Tampere. By the way! Yammer is a great tool for searching for internships and work placements, and my advice is to have a habit of daily checking it in order to get up-to-date info about HAMK’s activities and other important stuff. I sent my application and had interviews for both positions. Ultimately, I got in and decided to choose Tampere position since I live there.
Learning valuable skills
What did I gain during my internship? I think, the most important things I have gained at CT are networks and connections. In Finland, like in many other countries, almost everything is built on relations. It is easier to find a job, knowing people that are already in the system and that can recommend you for valuable contacts.
Another important feature gained at CT was of course experience in arranging events both in leading and assisting roles. I got a chance to organize an event with speakers and workshops, was able to take part in events like Tampere Chamber of Commerce Meeting, weekly CT Morning Coffees, etc.
Working in a multinational environment
In general, my day to day duties were about assisting. I was responsible for the whole venue when my supervisors were not present. I also became a temporary contact person with our technical support (a field that is really far away from my major!)
It is quite challenging to find a work without knowing native language of a country. Internships are the solution. It is easier and safer for an employer to hire you first as an international talent on an intern position rather than for a permanent, and there is always a chance of getting fixed-term contract after your internship will end. I got lucky to work in the international atmosphere, since quite many of members in Crazy Town are foreigners.
I had a three months long internship and I did not face any major difficulties. Working in Finnish company without speaking Finnish was never a problem. However, sometimes I needed to work with material that was only in Finnish, but it was just practice in suomen kieli.
Starting a career from an internship
For me, this internship was a starting point in my career path. I got hundreds of contacts from there. Since I am originally not Finnish, I also acquired relevant knowledge about Finnish working culture. Working at Crazy Town opened doors of Finnish working life. It became clear to me, that working in Finland is fun, interesting and, most importantly, possible!
In conclusion, I want to emphasize that to test and to challenge yourself is an essential part of developing your inner self, because at places like this you will get in stressful situations and things will go not the way you planned them to go, but the good thing is that you will prove yourself that your abilities and skills gained at the university are so wide that you can do basically anything. However, you need to have a focus, to choose your major, to choose your specialty and workplace/ internship will play a role of valuable asset. Apply for internship, test your skills and abilities and choose what you are best at! For now, I can tell that working at Crazy Town gave me the most important thing that a student needs – focus and direction.