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International awareness in Finland

Kirjoittanut: Vili Anttonen - tiimistä Eventa.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

In Finland, we mostly like to do things on our own. It sometimes can be a good thing because that way you can learn to be more independent. But on the other hand, it makes Finns less social and that may lead to being less internationally aware. Being internationally aware would open better business possibilities and overall knowledge of other cultures.

People in Finland should show more interest towards other cultures to raise the international awareness. For example, when a foreign person asks you something, instead of giving them shortest possible answer and leave, you should try to make a conversation with them. You could ask them about their culture and so on to raise your awareness about their culture. Most Finnish people can at least speak semi-fluid English so it should be easy to do but the challenge to do so is more complicated than that. Here in Finland most kids in early ages are taught to not to talk to strangers. It is seen as dangerous and odd, which is a shame because it makes it harder to talk to strangers in the future life. Other way to raise the awareness is simply to travel more. Whether the traveling happens in Finland or in some other country, it doesn’t matter, because traveling helps you to become more aware of other habits and cultures. Though when traveling it is always good to know something about the country and people living there before the trip. This way you can avoid saying or doing something that is seen bad in local culture.

It is not a surprise that foreigners are not likely to come to work in Finland. For some the reason might be the weather in this cold dark country. But mostly the reason is that Finns like to hire people who speak Finnish language and that makes it harder for foreigners to adapt into our working environment. That leads companies to be stuck in the local markets and it’s harder for them to expand their businesses to other countries. It also limits the innovation in companies because if you have more staff members with different cultures, you will get wider spectrum of opinions for how to do things. With more different opinions on your products and services you can expand the clientele what you are trying to reach for. Finnish companies should be more open with the range of employees, so they could be more innovative and also get bigger range of applicants to choose the best from. Challenge here is that we are used to old habits like having only Finnish employees. Change would have to be made in longer period of time. Companies could start with doing competitor analyses from foreign companies. It could help with understanding business models from other countries and that way give more perspective about markets and people working there. After that, companies can start directing their recruitment to larger areas and this way they can confirm more suitable employees for their company.

In Finnish school system English is a mandatory subject. It is a good thing, but in today world there should be more focus in business related English. Especially in high and vocational schools. It is very important today, because globalism is a growing thing in Finland. This will affect our business models and customs in the future.  This would also help internationality because especially in business you need to know about the other persons culture and habits. Otherwise you can find yourself in awkward situations. A way to improve internationality in high and vocational schools could be mixing Finnish and foreign students together for group projects or organizing courses together with foreign teachers. These will give wider content for courses and more authentic view for students about the internationality.

In the end, we have a lot of knowledge about the internationality in Finland, especially in Helsinki. The idea of raising internationalism in Helsinki is to grow importance of entrepreneurship and to make already existing international companies more innovative. That is a very good thing for Helsinki city and I hope that other cities in Finland realize how important internationalism is for innovative business. The problem in other cities is that most companies are not yet willing to work with foreigners because they are not used to it. It will take time to get used to but I believe that cities all over the country will follow Helsinki after they see the importance of internationalism. As an old saying goes “Slowly but surely”.

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