We need more success in Finland – international students will help Finland succeed

During the last year numerous discussions in Finland focused on education- and work-based migration without demonstrating a winning narrative for an ambitious Finnish future.


In the 2019 OECD report Finland ranked 4th in attracting university students. We should make good use of this talent availability. The effort should be on how to help open doors for international students from policy-making to quality services and retention of graduates. 

Currently around 5 000 international degree students graduate annually in Finnish universities. This amount should rise quickly to at least quadruple. Many major labour market and educational organisations have promoted raising the amount significantly.

Why does this matter? 

By increasing the amount of international degree students and better integrating them to the labour market, we enable success. By having a big enough, diverse and skilled talent pool, we can upkeep welfare, increase human capital and promote more jobs and investment in Finland. 

”International students will help Finnish organisations compete in the increasingly global war for talent. The winning narrative includes the Finnish DNA of offering everyone an equal chance for common good which in the long run retains Finland its position as a champion of innovation, prosperity and equality”, career development and employer relations project manager Kamilla Sultanova states.  

Demographic ageing trends in the OECD countries leads to an increased global race of attracting young international talent. In contrast, in 2030 Africa will be the only continent where the amount of young adults will continue to increase.

A more comprehensive approach is needed 

“Finland needs ambitious national goals for education- and work-based migration. A shared and deeper commitment enables building up a vigilant will to mobilise stakeholders and to make change happen”, special advisor Ted Apteremphasises.

Companies, unions, NGOs, universities and public sector enablers can help to sustainably increase the total amount of international students. The key to drive successful attraction and retention is to secure ethnically diverse professionals in all planning and implementation. With increased resources, a common goal and a diverse team of change-makers, we can deliver on an ambitious national goal and reap benefits for everyone.  

Ted Apter
Special Advisor
the Finnish Business School Graduates 
Tel. 0400 602 439, ted.apter@ekonomit.fi

Kamilla Sultanova 
Project Manager, Career development and employer relations
Tel. 040 451 7080, sultanova@gmail.com

Additional information:

The Finnish Business School Graduates – Growth company policies

Kamilla Sultanova, 

Employing international students in Finland through university talent management programs 


International student helping Finnish companies succeed during COVID 


What should you pay a summer employee? Read our new pay recommendations and what students earned last summer

Our recommendations on the summer job pay of business students have once again been published. They also include a recommendation on the starting salary of recent graduates as well as thesis pay or remuneration.

Despite the summer job situation being worse than before during the past summer, the average monthly earnings of business school students increased from last year. However, annual income dropped at the same time.  

The earnings of female and male students matched on an annual level: the median annual income for both was €10,000. In 2019, the figure stood at €11,000.  

The median annual income for both was €10,000. In 2019, the figure stood at €11,000.  

As regards the comparison of salaries paid to men and women, there was an interesting swing: In 2019, female students earned more from their summer jobs on average than their male counterparts. The median salaries for men and women stood at €2,100 and €2,149, respectively. This year, men had a clear lead over women. The median salary for men was €2,200, while the women’s median stood at €2,100.  

The factor that can help explain the substantially wider gap is that the majority of the women who participated in the students’ summer job survey worked in customer service and sales tasks, which do not pay very well.  

These factors increased summer earnings  

Summer workers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area earned significantly more on average than students who worked anywhere else in Finland. In the Metropolitan Area, the median pay was €2,205 while elsewhere in Finland it was €2,060.  

The number of credits the students had accumulated increased the pay level. The median salary was €2,046 for those who had fewer than 120 credits and €2,359 for those who had more than 220 credits.  

The amount of pay was also affected by whether or not the summer job was in the student’s own field of study. For business students, most of whom worked in their own fields, the median pay was €2,200. If the summer job did not match the student’s field at all, the median pay stood at €1,950. The difference increased significantly from the previous year.  

Pay recommendations for 2021 

The annual recommendations on students’ summer job pay are issued by the Finnish Business School Graduates’ working life committee. The new recommendations are listed in the table below. The recommendations are based on the business students’ summer job survey and the forecasts released by Akava Works.  

Visit our pay recommendations page for the recommendations on thesis pay or remuneration and the starting salary of recent business school graduates.

Text: Ida Levänen

Business needs healthy professionals – student associations provide grass-roots education on mental health

Finnish Business School Graduates works to support student associations and will be participating in the Mental Health Week activities between 15 and 22 November.

The mental health first aid courses include information and discussions about mental health issues. The intention is to reduce the stigma of mental health issues and make it easier for business students to seek help.

Over the course of the Mental Health Week, Finnish Business School Graduates will be providing students with a variety of information and content in cooperation with mental health specialists. The aim is to demonstrate that factors such as education, title or personal characteristics do not define who can fall prey to mental health issues and burnout.

 Burnout is becoming more commonplace among students

An increasing number of students suffer from fatigue and even burnout. Many find themselves overstressed and unhappy.

Yet very few seek help because mental health issues remain stigmatised. This is alarming.

“The business sector needs motivated, healthy and capable professionals who tackle their tasks with the appropriate enthusiasm. This means that employers and employees alike must ensure that any possible challenges are spotted and addressed as early on as possible,” says Jari Elo, operations manager at Finnish Business School Graduates.

Jobseeking is equally stressful as studies

The worries of finding employment and accumulating work experience add to the study-related pressures of students.

“At the same time, students need friends, stimulating recreational activities and other fun things to do alongside their studies and possible work tasks. That is a lot for one person to handle,” says Kalle Kahanpää of the Turku School of Economics. As the chairman of the student association, Kahanpää is one of the campaign’s originators.

Dubbed Healthy mind, happy student, the campaign is an important indication that students want to have their say and spark discussion about this vital issue.

The courses on mental health first aid are an excellent way to ensure that business school graduates begin to discuss the promotion of mental health alongside physical health more openly.

Additional information

Kalle Kahanpää
Puheenjohtaja, Kylteripuheenjohtajien verkosto
040 5252330

Veera Hellman
Asiantuntija, työmarkkina- ja yhteiskuntapolitiikka
050 3858229

‘Kylli’ student contact person at your service

‘Kyllis’ are employees of the Finnish Business School Graduates organization working on business school campuses. Their mission is to help all student members tap into the best benefits of their Finnish Business School Graduates membership.

Kylli on Suomen Ekonomien kylteriyhdyshenkilö

Your place of study has its own kylli to whom you can turn for help in various questions. He or she serves as an expert and mentor for both individual students and the economics student community as a whole.

Kyllis give advice, arrange events and spread information. To stay best updated, follow your local kylli on social media.

Kyllis have been trained to provide career advice and work on education policy and labour market affairs. Kyllis can help with a variety of working life issues, such as job search and salary negotiations. Kyllis can also lend support when it comes to writing job applications and CVs or getting prepared for a job interview. Therefore, do not hesitate to turn to your local kylli whenever a need arises.

Kyllis also make sure to swiftly inform the students when something significant happens on the labour market or society as a whole. During the corona spring, for example, kyllis spread information about employment contracts and lay-offs related to summer employment.

Kyllis also arrange and help arrange events, from small-scale get-togethers to larger spectator events. They organise CV workshops, training events, theme weeks and competitions, for example.

Kyllis receive support from the Finnish Business School Graduates office and its experts, who also happily visit various events and provide training. Kyllis can also be requested to come and speak at events and training sessions.

Kyllis happily answer any questions about Finnish Business School Graduates membership and related services. Whether you are a fresher or nearly graduated, we are always there for you.

How do I know if I am a student member of the Finnish Business School Graduates?

  • Students of economics sciences are members of the Finnish Business School Graduates organization through their own student communities.
  • If you study economic sciences in a multisectoral university, your membership is activated as you join the economics student association of your own university.
  • If you study at the Hanken School of Economics, you become our student member automatically.

Follow your local kylli on social media

Helsinki: Hanken SHS Facebook / Instagram

Helsinki: KY Facebook / Instagram

Joensuu: Optimi Facebook / Instagram

Jyväskylä: Pörssi Facebook / Instagram

Kuopio: Preemio Facebook / Instagram

Lappeenranta: Enklaavi Facebook / Instagram

Oulu: Finanssi Facebook / Instagram

Pori: PorKy Facebook / Instagram

Tampere: Boomi Facebook / Instagram

Turku: Turun KY Facebook / Instagram

Turku: Merkantila Klubben Facebook / Instagram

Vaasa: SSHV Facebook / Instagram

Vaasa: Warrantti Facebook / Instagram

Team Boomi is the winner of Biz Potential Finland 2019

Team Boomi won the Biz Potential Finland 2019 business & economics competition for business school students, organized in Tampere.

Boomi ry:n joukkue

Biz Potential Finland 2019 was the first business case competition aimed at business school students, organized by The Finnish Business School Graduates and Danske Bank. The competition tested the business & economics knowledge of the students, both in terms of academic theory and practical business case skills.

The winning team was rewarded by Danske Bank prizes. The top three teams will also participate in the Nordic Championships in Business and Economics, a competition organized for Nordic business school students in Denmark in autumn 2020. In addition to team Boomi, the other two top teams are Optimi and Enklaavi.

Biz Potential Finland 2019 competition was open to all student members of The Finnish Business School Graduates. Nine teams of three students each participated in the final organized at Tampere University.

The finalists represented business student associations from different Finnish universities: business students of Aalto University from Helsinki, Boomi from Tampere, Enklaavi from Lappeenranta, Finanssi from Oulu, Hanken from Helsinki, Hanken from Vaasa, Optimi from Joensuu, Pörssi from Jyväskylä and Warrantti from Vaasa. 

From now on, Biz Potential Finland competition will function as the annual pre-selection for the Nordic Championships in Business and Economics.

More information:
Assisting Expert Veera Hellman
The Finnish Business School Graduates
+358 50 385 8229

The captain of the winning team Sebastian Yli-Suomu
+358 50 4961645