"You should think about job seeking already as a student" – career specialist Outi Tolonen is an experienced employment professional

Specialist Outi Tolonen explains what kind of services are on offer at the university's Career Services established in January.

The university of Oulu launched its Career Services in January. It is now a one-stop shop, in which a Career Specialist co-ordinates employment services for students, manages connections to businesses, and also provides help for the personnel. Outi Tolonen is the university's Career Specialist.

Outi Tolonen.jpg

Career Specialist Outi Tolonen would like to wish all those who are interested in work-related matters welcome to visit Career Services in Tellus.

A link between companies and students

The establishment of Career Services started from student feedback and wishes. Students have been offered a wide variety of services related to employment, but in the future, these services will be coordinated, and Career Services will act as a one-stop shop in matters related to employment. In addition to the university, employment services are offered by, among others, Urasampo, TE services and the unions. Career Services' objective is to make also these services more easily accessible to students.

Through the establishment of Career Services, the university wishes to provide the students with the best possible skills for the world of work, and to improve student satisfaction. Career Services help students find a placement for traineeships or thesis work.

Career Services also act as a contact point for companies interested in recruiting students. Companies have already actively contacted the Career Services, which indicates that there is a need for centralised services.

"We have already been contacted regarding the organisation of recruitment events. The University of Oulu is a very interesting supplier of workforce. Companies are eager to find future talent and junior experts, and we have plenty of both", says Tolonen.

For this reason, Tolonen calls for a change of attitude in students.

"I would like the students to understand their own strength and the fact that they are genuinely desired professionals. This is precisely why we wanted to establish the employment services here in Tellus where the students tend to hang around. Perhaps by making a variety of opportunities physically visible, we will encourage the students to appreciate their own skills".

Career planning, where are you?

The dream is that the surroundings of the Career Services office will be decorated with job postings and other appropriate material.

"Employment and job hunting should not be something that the students only think about at the final stages of their studies. It is advisable to consider these matters along the way in order to develop a professional profile and identity while still studying". 

In addition to subject-related expertise in their own field, students develop their work-related skills and professional networks throughout their entire studies, and gain different experiences that will help them further in their careers. This will make it easier to plan their careers".

"Graduates from the University of Oulu are already now top professionals in their own fields. In addition to having subject-related competence, graduates should know what expertise they have and be able to describe this competence", University of Oulu alumni Tolonen tells.

"Graduates should also have an idea of where to find the next steps on their career. The university is not a vocational institution, but it is extremely important that university graduates have their own professional identity", Tolonen says.

Career Services do not only focus on companies. The university also produces experts for its own research units.

"Working as a researcher is a possible career path. We do not seek to ensure that all graduating students search for work in companies. Our goal is to encourage the students to make informed choices regarding their career, whether they work for the university or outside it", Tolonen explains. 

"Our goal is to make our activities an organic part of the university's operations."

Ideas from events

Career Services also arrange events, which are naturally supported by the other activities taking place in Tellus. The plan is to organize, for example, group days, small-scale recruitment events and coaching for tutor teachers.

"The tutor teachers would like to be trained in matters concerning the world of work, competence and career, as the students tend to ask many related questions. The CV sofa has also been a much liked employment event providing a low-threshold service". Kontinkangas Campus will not be forgotten about in terms of events. 

"We are planning to provide career services also in Kontinkangas. The CV sofa has already been in circulation in Kontinkangas, and when the Kontinkangas Tellus is completed, we will have an increasingly strong presence there," says Tolonen.

CV neuvontaa

On the CV sofa, students can chat with recruitment professionals and gain an insight into designing their own CVs.

Supporting the tutor teachers

"There has been a great demand for career services among students, but they are not our only clients. We are also here for the tutor teachers, persons responsible for degree programmes, and everyone who works with employment-related issues at the university", Tolonen describes.

Tutor teachers are also responsible for employment-related matters. Therefore, Career Services also wish to provide services and cooperation opportunities for the tutor teachers.

"The tutor teachers play a crucial role in finding employment. They need to know what kind of expertise the degree programme provides. Students usually turn to tutor teachers in work-related issues. In practice, we can organise training events tailored specifically for the tutor teachers. Since we are just starting, all types of feedback and wishes are welcome", Tolonen says encouragingly.

From a doctor to an expert in job search

Tolonen is familiar with the careers of university graduates. She is an alumna of the University of Oulu with a long career in employment and career coaching.

"I completed my doctoral degree in biochemistry in 2006. Already as a student, I was interested in the thematics of job search and employment. I was employed by a small biotechnology start-up and, in addition to my other tasks, I worked in recruitment. My interest in the subject grew to the extent that it led to various expert positions in the field of job search. Now I have brought my competence and networks back to the university in order to develop the employment services here."

 

If you want to stay up to date with jobs available for students and get tips for finding a job, join our LinkedIn group Tellus Talent Pool.

More information on Career Services and e-mails to Outi.tolonen@oulu.fi.

Contact Academic Affairs if you want more in-depth career counselling of a longer duration. More information on career counselling is available here: https://www.oulu.fi/forstudents/study-career-counselling

 

Last updated: 27.3.2019