Åbo Akademi Goes

Talent Boost 


The Finnish government has long acknowledged the importance of international students and their integration into the Finnish society and labour market as a valuable asset for boosting their economy and solving their social issues. International students bring essential skills and are at the prime employment age. Their transition to work after graduation will help Finland retain its competitive advantages on a global scale. Although every year Finland welcomes many international students, most of them leave the country after graduation. This migration trend of international students is a serious loss for the Finnish government and its labour market.

International students face various barriers to entering the labour markets in Finland, such as language issues, cultural barriers, and limited employment opportunities.

The Finnish government and higher education institutions are struggling to attract and utilise the potential of international talents for their national long-term development plan. Therefore, Talent Boost, funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education, has launched with the main aim to support the stay of international graduates to work and settle in Finland. Being a part of this programme, at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business, and Economics at Åbo Akademi University, we take our role in organising networking events, recruitment campaigns, and conducting relevant research work on international talents and their integration into the Finnish job market.

Through our project, we aim to achieve the following objectives:


For the International Students:

  • To familiarise international students with the labour market, self-employment, and entrepreneurial ventures in Finland
  • To familiarise international students with the essential skills needed by the labour market
  • To improve the opportunities of international students in finding internships or employment in Finland, especially in the fields where students typically struggle to find employment, by providing extensive information on recruitment
  • To increase the networks and connections of the international students
  • To help international talents from Åbo Akademi University settle in and integrate in the country and in the Finnish job market

For the Finnish Employers:

  • To close the gap of expectations and requirements while building a strong bridge between the recruiter and prospective talents
  • To solve Finnish skilled labour shortage while supporting the internationalisation of the Finnish employers
  • To increase the access of Finnish employers to an extensive international talent pool
  • To increase innovation and creativity among Finnish companies
  • To increase the competitiveness of Finnish employers’ companies by retaining international talents and their valuable experience and skills

For the Finnish Society:

  • To provide solutions for Finnish higher education institutions in attracting and retaining international graduates
  • To build an efficient ecosystem for labour migration on a large scale by developing the cooperation and coordination of key interest groups and organisations

Meet Our Speakers

Stefan Willför
Elina Koskela
Michael Lindholm
(Turku Business Region)
Ann-Jolin Grüne
(Finnish Refugee Councils)
Robert Nygård
Jan Kraufvelin
(ÅAU Career Services)

Åbo Akademi University Alumni

Farhan Ahmad
(Turku School of Economics)
Jie Guo
Fuad Khan
(PBI Research Institute)
Petros Bekhet
(City of Helsinki)
Jolene Hoang

Meet Our Team

Project Leader
Shahrokh Nikou, Ph.D.
Project Assistants 
Stephan Philips
Project Assistants 
Thao Orrensalo
Project Assistants
Maedeh Ghorbanian
Project Assistants 
Jessica Blackburn
Project Assistants 
Tuija-Liisa Pohja
Project coordinator
Mirjam Granström


Upcoming Events on 15th December, 2021


  • Vice-rector Stefan Willför from Åbo Akademi University (opening the event)
  • Elina Koskela: from Barona talks about working life in Finland and how the job market looks like, what potential employers are looking for (skills and knowledge)
  • Michael Lindholm: from Turku Business Region talks about the values in the Finnish Business Environment, talking about the culture and how students can adapt themselves to the Finnish working life
  • Ann-Jolin Grüne: from the Finnish Refugee Councils talks about the work FRC does, competence requirements and employment opportunities within especially the third sector
  • Robert Nygård: from idBBN talks about working life in Finland and how to prepare for job market, particularly in the analytics / marketing sector
  • Jan Kraufvelin: from Career Service at ÅAU talks about the activities and services they provide to our students

ÅAU Alumni students sharing their experience, knowledge about studying at ÅAU and finding jobs in Finland

  • Farhan Ahmad: from Turku School of Economics
  • Fuad Khan: from Analyst/Consultant at PBI Research Institute
  • Petros Bekhet: from City of Helsinki
  • Jolene Hoang: from Konecranes, specialised Global HR, Learning and Development