TTU international students shadowing at Estonian companies
During yesterday’s Job Shadowing Day and the coming weeks, the Estonian Employers’ Confederation and Tallinn University of Technology (TTU) will be sending 24 international students to get to know Estonian companies. Ten leading Estonian companies will be participating in the project.
“There are thousands of international students studying in Estonia and it is our desire that after graduation the majority of them would tie their professional careers with Estonia and implement their skills, experiences and networks in favour of the local business environment,” the Education Advisor of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation Anneli Entson says. “For many international students participating in job shadowing provides the first real contact with the Estonian work culture, and hopefully it will later facilitate the process of finding a suitable apprenticeship and a job. It also provides an opportunity for employers with no or little experience with foreign workforce for an insight into the value international students might add to their organization.”
According to TTU Vice-Rector for Innovation and Internationalisation Tea Varrak, more than half of TTU international students have expressed their desire to work in Estonia. “No doubt employing foreigners – most of who do not speak Estonian or do so with considerable difficulties – poses a challenge for local employers unless English is used at the working environment. Job shadowing provides us an opportunity to understand the limits of skills, horizons and contact networks of international students and encourage employers to first offer apprenticeships and later actual positions,” Varrak adds.
Job shadowing includes students from Turkey, Italy, Ukraine, India, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Russia, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Georgia, and Mexico. Most of them study engineering and technology at Tallinn University of Technology, yet information technology, international relations and business administrations students are participating as well. Most of them are master’s students.
The companies welcoming international students are Standard, Valga Gomab Mööbel, Hilding Anders Baltic, Pärnu Hospital, HD FestForest Estonia, HKScan Estonia, Nortal, LHV Group, Reach-U, Enics Eesti, Stora Enso Eesti, Baltic Connexions, and Tarmeko Spoon.
The current project is only a pilot, yet all Estonian universities and companies wishing to introduce their working environments to international students are welcome to join next year.
According to a TTU survey conducted this spring among international students, more than half of the respondents are planning to find employment in Estonia post graduation, with as many as two thirds of the international master’s students. The rate is highest among the international students of chemistry and material science with 80% planning to enter the Estonian labour market. They are followed by international students of the Faculty of Information Technology (66%), the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (64%), and the Faculty of Science (62%).
The current year TTU admitted 509 international students from 56 countries, thus increasing the number of international students of the only technological university in Estonia to 1400.
The job shadowing project of international students is financed by the European Social Fund.