Tag Archives: interview

Centre for International Mobility (CIMO)

Jaana Mutanen enjoying the spring sun in front of the CIMO office, with the UH campus in the background

I sat down for a chat with Jaana Mutanen from CIMO, the Centre for International Mobility. She works with projects concerning international traineeships outside of the European Union: in Latin America, Russia, Asia etc., as well as with Spanish and German-speaking countries in general, sending students and recent graduates for traineeships abroad.

Before coming to CIMO Mutanen worked at the international relations office of the Ministry of Education and while she was there CIMO was founded. Working at CIMO became a dream for her, but she needed more experience to make it happen – which she eventually did. Mutanen’s academic background is in languages, international politics, educational sciences and Latin American studies. She says that the most important thing she learned at university and that has stayed with her after graduation is the all-round education these so-called ‘soft’ sciences have provided her with: knowing about and being interested in the surrounding world are important. They are also important for networking, as connecting with new people is easier through stimulating conversation.

Promoting mobility and internationalisation are important for Mutanen, be it through studying and working abroad or just travelling: seeing and understanding the world beyond the borders of Finland is vital for the construction of a more tolerant society. When Mutanen was a student there were fewer opportunities for students to go abroad than there are nowadays, but as a part of her studies she got to go to Germany for a semester, plus she travelled a lot around Europe in her youth.

Mutanen is very motivated in her job: it allows her to be creative (albeit within the framework of their budget) and to work with issues that interest her. She also gets to travel for work every now and then – not too much nor too little – which keeps the mind buoyant and provides her with the opportunity to meet new people. Indeed, networking is what she likes most about her job, a skill she thinks anyone can learn by doing. In an internationally oriented job such as hers the right attitude, courage and language skills are of great importance.

CIMO is an agency of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, founded in 1991 and dedicated to promoting internationalisation in and outside of Finland. More information on their website

Management Events

What are the challenges to work in an international work environment? Additionally, what are the benefits to work with people from all over the world? What is it like to work in a professional field, such as international business? Those were the questions that I asked myself, since I will start my internship in an international company called Management Events in Helsinki. Thus, to get answers to my questions and learn more about this field and the working environment, I decided to interview my future employer Wouter Goedkoop.

Wouter Goedkoop is currently a Dutch team leader delegate operations service center and project manager for Management Events. At first, Wouter studied Hospitality Management in the Netherlands and later came to Helsinki 4 years ago for private as well as educational reasons. Currently, he works for Management Events, where he started off as an intern and continued after his internship, which he described as a fun learning experience, hard-work but also rewarding. During the internship as a research intern for the Dutch market Wouter learned a lot about customer services, events management, communication and gained cultural knowledge. Wouter did not only want to develop himself as a person, but by working in a highly international work environment he also gained a lot of cultural knowledge and people’s skills. For the future, he wishes to continue to develop himself as a person rather than develop his career. Also, he wishes to return to his initial field hospitality and dreams of having a small restaurant somewhere warmer like Australia.

Wouter described the work life in Management Events as “Americanized”, it is very social, where everybody talks to each other. However, it is also very target driven and fast paced. Working with diverse people is fun, he developed a lot of cultural knowledge and he joked that German and Finns are similar in a way. However, he also faced some cultural difficulties by working with Philippines, where the work ethics are different compared to the Western ethics.

Management Events started around 25 years ago as a convention service office with the former CEO Olli Muurainen. Later, the events started to be more invitations based only. Through the growth of the company more tasks and division have developed, and also the company expended in Finland, then Nordic countries, Europe and then also Singapore. It still plans on expending globally such as Japan and Dubai.

The interview with Wouter was definitely fun and engaging, and I am really looking forward to the coming internship! 🙂