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Cross-Cultural Career Catalyst – CCCC

A mentoring program to meet the labor challenges in Ostrobothnia, specifically in the Jakobstad region.

Branch: Entrepreneurship and business

Duration: 1.1.2024-31.12.2025

Region: Ostrobothnia

Financed by: Pohjanmaan liitto (AKKE)

Project Manager: Emilia Nygård

A mentoring program to meet the labor challenges in Ostrobothnia, specifically in the Jakobstad region. The project is financed by the council of Ostrobothnia (AKKE).

Cross-Cultural Career Catalyst aims to build bridges between local companies and international students. Companies often find it difficult to recruit students, while the students themselves face challenges in making their first contact with working life. 

The project, which is inspired by Åbo Akademi University’s successful mentorship program CareerContact, intends to benchmark and develop this concept with Åbo Akademi University’s support.  

In the first part of the project, the focus is on developing the mentorship program. This includes the creation of a mentor training, the recruitment of mentors, and the implementation of the mentor training. The second part involves matching mentors with students who are at the end of their education and organizing mentor and mentee meetings.  

By participating in a mentorship programme, students learn about Finnish working life and work culture, expand their networks and gain valuable self-awareness of their own strengths. As a mentor, you develop personally by forming new relationships, enhancing your leadership skills, gaining fresh perspectives, and contributing to a more inclusive society. 

The goal of the project is to create 30 successful mentor-student pairs. We aim to provide students with a broader network and contacts in working life and to reduce the threshold for them to stay and work in Finland. The long-term goal is to integrate the mentorship program into Centria’s permanent operations and expand it to the other regions where we are active.  

The project supports the regional strategy and the strategy for innovation and growth in Ostrobothnia 2022-2025 by “Supporting the development of new and flexible forms of cooperation between companies and higher education institutions in the education of students and further training of companies’ personnel.” 

This mentoring programme, being the first of its kind in the area, will train professionals in mentorship roles while creating new connections between the workforce and the university’s core activities. The project will help solve the challenge of finding skilled labour in the region and strengthen the link between working life and the education sector, thus supporting the Regional Strategy’s Focus Area 3: Sufficient Supply of Workforce. 


Emilia Nygård