Nuorten osaajien forum programme receives praise

News article

Working life experiences were shared in the Nuorten osaajien forum programme. It was important for them to develop their own behaviour and to share experiences, participants say.

As soon as the leader of the forum, D.Sc. (Tech.) Jari Ylitalo finished giving the assignment, a lively discussion began at the tables.

– The participants are roughly in the same situation in working life and are also facing the same questions. They want and need to share experiences and to hear how others are doing, Ylitalo says, referring to the buzz of conversation filling the meeting room.

The “final ceremony” of the TEK-organised Nuorten osaajien forum programme, already the third in a row, was held on 6 June. The fourth and final meeting of the coaching programme that began in February took place in Akavatalo in Helsinki. In addition to Ylitalo, there was another coach, M.Sc. (Tech.) Tuukka Kostamo.

The sparring programme for TEK members who have been less than five years in working life is a member service recently introduced by TEK.

The forum offers support for enhancing one’s professional impact as well as for developing one’s leadership and interaction skills and personal brand. In addition to introduction presentations given by experts, the coaching involves facilitated teamwork, peer-to-peer sparring and independent activities.

– Nuorten osaajien forum was developed as a response to a competence need not fully met by academic education. Furthermore, the forum offers an excellent networking platform for our young members, says Sanja Mursu, Forum Coordinator and TEK’s Specialist in Adult Education and Training.

Value for the membership fee

M.Sc. (Tech.) Heidi Tulensalo decided to participate in the programme to see what she can get for her membership fee.

– When groups were asked to tell why they joined the programme, their responses included all kinds of needs related to competence development. However, my group emphasised that we sought value for our membership fees, Tulensalo says, laughing.

– Well, of course we also wanted to learn more about self-development.

Tulensalo is especially satisfied with the chance of networking with her peers.

– It was great that already in our first meeting, I saw many familiar faces and got to know new people. A common educational background guarantees a shared way of thinking, thanks to which interaction is smooth and you get a feeling of belonging to a community, she says, describing the atmosphere.

Tulensalo used to study in the Master’s Programme in Information Networks at Aalto University and the coaching sessions related to interaction skills were mostly familiar from her studies.

– However, it was good to recap lessons learnt and, after each session, reflect on my own behaviour in the work community. Furthermore, sparring sessions in small groups were great experiences.

Tulensalo had hoped that the programme would also provide more information about the secrets of personal branding.

Working as Service Designer at Exove Design, Tulensalo was especially expecting to get advice on how to build and develop one’s impact not only in one’s own organisation but also in professional networks.

– We got quite little advice on exercising impact in networks.

On the other hand, Tulensalo reckons that at this phase, all the benefits of the coaching cannot be seen yet.

– Many of the things I learnt here will probably become more concrete only when I come across them in working life.

– I definitely recommend the programme to others. Especially if it is difficult to find time for contemplating and reflecting on your own development.

Increased awareness of one’s own actions

Eetu Lehikoinen, M.Sc. (Tech.) in Mechanical Engineering, spotted the advertisement about the coaching programme in TEK’s newsletter.

Lehikoinen completed his studies a year ago and now works as Maintenance Supervisor at Kone.

– It has been interesting to hear how others’ careers have started and in which kind of positions they work.

Lehikoinen also appreciates the networking opportunities offered by the programme.

– Knowing people from different companies and sectors can turn out to be very useful in the future.

Another aspect of the coaching programme that Lehikoinen especially appreciates is that it increased his awareness of his own actions.

– Previously, I had not thought about my management style and relationship to subordinates so much, but now I have learnt to pay attention to it and also to develop my skills in this field, comments Lehikoinen, who works as a supervisor.

During the coaching, he also noticed that there is room for improvement in his interaction skills.

– I should listen to others more.

As for the content of the programme, Lehikoinen wished for an additional aspect.

– I would have liked to hear a business executive’s views and experiences alongside with the theories presented. It would have been a good addition to the whole.