The Amcham team represents six nationalities: American, British, Canadian, Estonian, Finnish and Greek. (Over the years, we’ve had fourteen of them. And six religions. And seven mother tongues.)
According to research, organizations with more diversity in their workforce grow and outperform those with less.
Let’s hear what two of our colleagues, Katie and Martin, think.
I was originally attracted to Finland by the idea of studying here. Finland has high quality schools and I am not finished learning yet! The only thing is, I want to work and gain experience before starting to study again. How can you really know what to study with no experience of the world?
Enter Amcham. I don’t think I’d learn more about the world anywhere else. Whether it’s because I sit next to Finland’s own “Kimmo-pedia” or realize nuances in the English language I’d never thought of through my Canadian and American colleagues, you always leave work a little wiser about the world. Having colleagues from around the world really reinforces and challenges my own views, helping me make better decisions.
On the flipside, I’ve found on many occasions people checking with me “Does this sound polite?” suggesting that sometimes my own “Britishness” is appreciated too!
For employers considering employing an English speaker: if you can’t go international, bring international to you. It’ll do wonders for the internal culture and that’ll reflect in your results. All the research says so!
To foreigners looking for work: keep looking! It is out there, but (if the stereotype is anything to go by) Finns aren’t good at communicating what they want. Keep your eye on the news and meet as many people as you can; all those networks help to integrate you into Finland’s community.
— Katie Girow, UK
I came to Finland to find better career opportunities and stayed because I ended up falling in love with Finnish people and culture. Even though Estonia is a close neighbor, I was surprised by how different Finns are from Estonians: Finns move at a much slower pace, they work less and focus more on social values such as family, their hobbies, and leisure time. They even talk more slowly. I also found it interesting that Finns are, at first, hard to get to know but once you do they are down-to-earth, honest people.
Since moving to Finland, I’ve gotten married and now have a six-year-old daughter. Her birth has definitely been the highlight of my time here so far.
My advice to foreigners living in Finland is to be culturally open-minded and give Finns time to “warm up” during social encounters. Overall, Finnish business, political, and social culture is very transparent and honest. There is a lot less crime, corruption and hierarchy in the workplace compared to Estonia.
— Martin Mandli, Estonia
Read more about the cast of Amcham in our previous post on Matthew and Anne.
Amcham has partnered with EK, Team Finland, Finpro, Sitra, and Me2we to build the Findwork.fi service connecting Finnish enterprises with highly-educated internationals.