Elizaveta Kulakova is originally from Russia, but international studies in Environmental Engineering -program brought her to Finland and Xamk. Kulakova says that she is comfortable in Finland and that she wants to move to Helsinki in the future. Kulakova completed a 4-month internship at a distance from her home in Russia.
Kulakova’s professional skills have been guided by an internship at Ailecon. Ailecon Oy has extensive real estate development experience with changes in the use of real estate, new construction projects and land use planning.
The internship lasted four months and challenged e.g. in the application of revolving topics in the field of environmental technology. “During my internship, I learned a lot about ecological construction and environmental management. There is a lot to give to the students in our field around these topics, and I believe that more and more jobs in the future will be connected to these themes”, says Kulakova.
AWARENESS AND DEMONSTRATION OF OWN ABILITIES
The internship gave Kulakova a lot of confidence about her own skills. She says that the internship has shown concretely what working life entails and what kind of skills are needed at work. The internship also led her to consider essential issues of professional competence; where am I particularly good at and where do I still want to develop?
Kulakova talks about combining soft and hard skills during her internship. Soft skills are traits or qualities that make a good worker. They humanize and make the employee a pleasant member of the team. These can be, for example, cooperation skills, listening skills, social skills or good manners. Hard skills, on the other hand, are skills that can be technically learned or measured. These can include using computer programs, writing, or doing math.
It is good for an attractive employee to have traits from both branches, says Filip Bovin, who handles Cooperation and Coordination in TUTORS. “We are discussing with students the summing of hard and soft features. Both are needed in today’s job market as, for example, the number of project-type jobs increases. The employee must be enterprising, but also able to work in a team.”
TUTORS AS A PARTNER IN XAMK’S INTERNSHIPS
It was great to see that my expertise is trusted and my opinion is valued. It was good to work through Tutors, because they also trusted my skills when they helped in the job search process
TUTORS is a Finnish-Spanish company that offers its customers e.g. marketing and online pedagogy solutions and production services. TUTORS is responsible for the smooth running of the internship, enabling the company and the intern to have a meaningful meeting place through the TuDo internship concept. Students practice on real work assignments without being ultimately responsible for them.
Filip Bovin says that at the heart of TUTORS’ activities is the idea of creating a bridge between the educational institution and the work. The student is allowed to work in an interactive and personal growth supportive atmosphere. In addition to professional growth, high-quality internships provide networking, thus supporting employment opportunities in the sector.
TUTORS supervise the trainee e.g. the right kind of etiquette and the way you work. “We go through, for example, working with customers in the workplace and working according to the customers’ clock. The aim is to develop the skills and growth that students need,” comments Annukka Hupli on TUTORS. Hupli works as the project and work supervision manager at Tutors.
“The trainee performs his or her work responsibly, but without the pressure that industry experts are required to endure in working life. The trainee learns to assess the time required for the job and gets an idea of the expectations of the expert as well as the responsibilities towards the quality of the work. Expert and consistently implemented guidance ensures that the team understands the customer’s needs at a sufficient level, so that the completed work meets the order and the customer is satisfied. Project-related communication is analyzed together so that trainees learn to distinguish between personal and professional communication. With guided and co-planned communication, students get to practice active interaction, define assignments and meet different clients,” says Hupli
AN INTERNSHIP MODEL THAT DEVELOPS EXPERTISE
At Ailecon, Kulakova was given five cases of ecological construction and asked to draw up an action plan for each of them. In the action plan, Kulakova had to come up with a solution to the problem and delve into the matter. Topics included the use of renewable materials, energy efficiency, reduction of losses in construction processes and temperature control.
Students can take courses in other disciplines within Xamk, which Kulakova thinks is great. “In addition to EE studies, I had taken business courses, so I understood the basics of business when I started at Ailecon,” says Kulakova. She says that she enjoyed Xamk well and could apply to Xamk to complete a Master’s degree in the future.
Ailecon’s CEO Antti-Juhani Lehti commented that the company is mainly looking for an intern who is able to work independently. “In the case of Kulakova, she succeeded and was able to produce the text from different perspectives. It can be very difficult for a company to find a suitable trainee, so the help from the TUTORS was significant. This was a successful internship.”
WHAT DID THE INTERNSHIP GIVE?
I would say to a trainee, be open to opportunities. Before my internship, I also did not think I was excited about ecological construction, but with Ailecon, I understood the potential and future of the industry. In addition, I would say that the help of TUTORS was great through the application process.
Kulakova says that the cooperation with Ailecon will continue, in the future. The continuation of the work is currently being negotiated. The work is also not site-specific, which is an advantage for Kulakova, who currently lives in Russia.
During the internship, Kulakova was able to test her skills and work with topics in her field in real life. “The internship developed my skills and work identity. I know now that I want to continue working in the field of environmental technology in the future. ”
“I would say to a trainee, be open to opportunities. Before my internship, I also did not think I was excited about ecological construction, but with Ailecon, I understood the potential and future of the industry. In addition, I would say that the help of TUTORS was great through the application process,” concludes Kulakova from her experience.
Text: Matleena Ahoranta