Event programme

Event programme

Tips and inspiration for your career development: learn from the experts and international alumni!

With six higher education institutes and over 40,000 students, Turku is the city of students. But what does the Southwest Finland region has to offer for international talents after their studies?

At Study and Stay in Turku 2021, you’ll hear inspiring stories from international alumni who have made their careers in Finland and learn how to stand out as a job seeker in the job market in Turku, Finland.

Join us on Wednesday 10 November 2021 at 4.30-6 pm Finnish time and you will learn…

  • How has working in Finland changed Joel Willans, the creator of the social media sensation Very Finnish Problems?
  • How to plan your career and prepare for job-hunting?
  • What services does city of Turku offer for international talents, looking to stay in Turku?
  • How do the international alumni find the stereotypes of Finnish career life?


Register for the event

Learn more about the 2021 speakers:

Keynote Speech by Joel Willans, creator of the Very Finnish Problems:
“3 wonderful ways working in Finland changed me for the better”

Originally from the UK, Joel Willans came to Finland for love and ended up falling in love with the entire country. 18 years later, he’s the Creative Director of Ink Tank Media, a best-selling author and creator of the social media sensations, Very Finnish Problems and Very Brexit Problems. As a pioneer of content marketing in Finland, he’s crafted digital marketing campaigns for organisations as diverse as Nokia, Microsoft, Moomin, Fiskars, YLE, Rovio, Amazon Prime, Duolingo, L’Oreal and the European Parliament.

His prize-winning fiction has been broadcast on BBC radio and published in countless magazines and anthologies worldwide. He’s also the author of three books, including a short story collection and the bestseller, 101 Very Finnish Problems: A Foreigner’s Guide to Surviving Finland.

In November, Joel arrives in Turku to share his experiences in working in Finland as an international.

Practical advice for career planning in Turku

Get ready to take some notes: we have two recruitment professionals eager to share their expertise and tips for finding a career in Turku!

Essi Karvonen is a psychologist, executive search consultant and coach at HRS Advisors. She provides recruitment services that makes businesses flourish and grow, and has passion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Previously she has worked as a counselling psychologist for people on different career paths and life situations, helping job-seekers to find the next step. Currently she is working on a digital platform tailored to support career development and personal growth for specialists, managers and leaders. Essi moved to study in Turku eleven years ago, and after a versatile and active student life she decided to stay in Turku. She will focus on giving practical advice and tips on job-hunting and career planning.

Mika Salonen is a Project Manager at the City of Turku, Development Services. Over the years he has led projects focused on the education of immigrants as well as vocational education and training. Questions regarding the accessibility of education have been at the forefront of his work. Since the beginning of August 2021 he has project-managed the Osaamiskeskus (or, the “Know-how-center”, in English) for immigrants in Turku which is here to help non-Finnish speakers find jobs or apply for further study. Born and raised in Turku, he graduated from the University of Turku with a Master’s Degree majoring in Finnish language. Before he joined the City of Turku as a Project Coordinator in 2010, Mika taught Finnish as a second language, working in different schools. He is here today to tell you about the services that the City of Turku provides for international talents looking to stay in Turku.

Event hosts & discussion moderators:
Jonathon Murphy and Lucia Vuillermin

Who would be better people to interview our guests than two internationals with experience in both studying and staying in Turku?

Originally from the UK, Jonathon Murphy started his Turku adventure four years ago. He is currently working for the City of Turku as a Talent Advisor on the Talent Boost project, using his experiences to improve the integration process for new international arrivals and supporting them to Stay in Turku. He is also completing his Master’s thesis in Futures Studies at the University of Turku, and was previously an International Student Ambassador there. Away from the office, you can find him on the football pitch, jogging by the river Aura or learning Finnish nursery rhymes with his daughter.

Lucia Vuillermin has been working in the communication and event organization field for the past 17 years when she moved to Finland following her Finnish husband. She is currently the Vice-Chair of International Working Women of Finland Association where she started the Turku Chapter and manage the communication. Last year she started the Empower Wednesday program to support international talents in their working path in Finland.  She is currently a master’s student in Digitalization at Åbo Akademi. In addition to being a natural networker champion, she is also a mother of 3, and she loves pasta and Rapujuhlat. “When I arrived in Turku, I had no network and I no idea where to start. I struggled to put all the piece of the puzzle together and now I want to help all international talents to settle in this beautiful country.”

Alumni panel Turku alumni 2021

Panel Discussion by Turku Alumni


Markéta Mikolajková-Alifov, Process Development Engineer, D.Sc. (Tech.) at Paroc Group
Graduated from the Åbo Akademi University

  • Born in Czech Republic, Markéta came to Finland in 2011 as an Erasmus exchange student. She decided to stay in Finland and finished both her Master´s and PhD degree in Process and Systems engineering at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University. During her doctoral studies, she was a visiting researcher at EPFL in Switzerland and had a possibility to participate in many different projects and courses. In the end of 2018, Markéta has started to work in Paroc Owens Corning, who has a long history of producing stone wool insulation products. She is working in the R&D department as a process development engineer focusing on the process sustainability, energy efficiency and safety when researching new ideas and improvements.  Her work is placed in the R&D office in Parainen, housing 82 people, but she is working with her Owens Corning colleagues and plants in Europe and all around the world. She is interested in science and technology, foreign languages, and sports. In her free time, Markéta loves to try out new sports and free time activities that are offered locally, so you can sometimes see her rowing in the beautiful Archipelago around Parainen.

LinkedIn contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markéta-mikolajková-alifov-5647b513a

Shruti Jain, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Turku
Graduated from the University of Turku

  • Shruti, originally from India, came to Finland in 2016 to pursue her Master’s in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics at the University of Turku. She is now mid-way through her doctoral studies in the same field. During her studies, she has also been a member of the advisory board of development cooperation at SYL (National Union of University Students in Finland) in 2019-20 and the International Wing of the Student Union of the University of Turku (TYY). She is the founder and chairperson of Indian Student Association of Turku. She has also been a part of the Erasmus in Schools programme in 2019. She has participated in research pitching competitions and was a 3MT winner at the University of Turku in 2020 and won the second prize at the Millennium Pitching contest.

Mikkel Klinge Knudsen, Customer Service Coordinator Nordics at Ewals Cargo Care Nordics
Graduated from the Turku University of Applied Sciences

  • Mikkel, originally from Denmark, moved to Turku in 2014 together with his girlfriend, now wife, who is Finnish. He did his Bachelor’s degree in International Business in Turku University of Applied Sciences and graduated in 2018. He has worked in a few different places here in Turku, for example as a bartender and waiter Aussie Bar (now The Boat), as an intern in Plantui and as as Cutomer service representative and also operations in Sykes (now Sitel). Currently he is working in Ewals Cargo Care as a Customer Service Coordinator in the Nordics team.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikkel-klinge-knudsen/

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