International business leaders’ message to Finnish companies: Let’s recruit foreign students 


Offering summer jobs and internships to foreign talents studying in Finland is an under-utilized opportunity. Confederation of Finnish Industries EK launches “Stay!” campaign in order to activate companies to recruit foreign students.

International business leaders who make career and live in Finland are key individuals when discussing and solving issues regarding Finland’s future competitiveness and competences. The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK wants to make their voice heard in Finnish society and public debate. That is why EK has established a permanent advisory board, where international business executives’ views, experiences and initiatives are addressed.

The EK International Advisory Board is chaired by CEO Miriam Holstein, Bayer Nordic:

“I am a true believer in Finland’s competitiveness but we need to aim higher and use the untapped potential to meet the future recruitment needs. Companies play a big role and we could do so much more to engage with young talents, including foreign students. In addition to concrete initiatives Finland needs to have a truly global mindset, and to be more open and inclusive. We need to work together because in this setting we all stand to gain.”

The Advisory Board members are:

  • Peter Kelly, Senior Lecturer, High Growth Entrepreneurship Aalto University
  • Annaïg Quéméré, Traffic Director, Western Europe, Beweship Finland
  • Nidhi Singh, Director of Research, Elisa Corporation
  • Nicklas Ilebrand, SVP Strategy, Executive Board member, Finnair Plc
  • Siamäk Naghian, Managing Director, Genelec Oy
  • Suzanne Innes-Stubb, Head of Global Compliance, KONE Corporation
  • Patricia Drake, Managing Director, MSD Finland
  • Joanna Przetakiewicz-Janhunen, Head of Transformation Communications, Nokia Corporation
  • Matthew Elderfield, Chief Risk Officer, Nordea Bank Abp
  • Monika Põldkivi, Managing Director, Sivex Oy
  • Anil Joshi, Country Manager Finland, TATA Consultancy Services

“Stay!” campaign starts – recruit foreign students!

The EK International Advisory Board is concerned about the urgent challenge Finnish companies face: how to attract and recruit skilled experts and world class talents. A wide range of methods must be used in order to overcome the shortage of competences. One method is, however, clearly under-utilized: recruiting foreign university graduates studying in Finnish Universities or Universities of Applied Sciences.

The amount of foreign students taking their master or bachelor degree in Finland is over 16.000. However, a quarter of them is estimated to leave Finland within one year after completing their studies. That is a tremendous loss for both companies as well as the Finnish state.

EK is taking up the challenge by launching “Stay!” campaign, the aim of which is to activate Finnish companies to recruit foreign students for summer jobs, internships, project work, bachelor or masters thesis and other assignments.

The campaign wishes to address SME companies, as well. Recruiting a foreign trainee or summer worker can be an easy and effective way for a company to enhance international mindset and introduce new fresh competences. A student can advance the company’s export activities when assigned, for example, an international market research or providing connections to his / her home country.

Business Finland has launched a website to help Finnish companies find and recruit foreign students: