Finland is much closer to Kazakhstan than you think

On the second year of studies I have got a great opportunity to complete my practical training outside Finland. The training took place on EXPO-2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. As widely known, EXPO-2017 is an international specialized exposition which lasted 3 months from June 10 to September 10. The expo’s theme was “Future Energy”, and aimed to create a global debate between countries, nongovernmental organizations, companies and the general public on the crucial question: “How do we ensure safe and sustainable access to energy for all while reducing CO2 emissions?”

More than 100 countries and 10 international organizations were expected to participate, and Finland was not an exception. I and other 14 students worked as guides in the Finnish pavilion for Finrpo. We had 14 Kazakhstani students and 2 students from Finland. The theme of our pavilion was ”Pure Energy”, and there Finland represented its innovations in the sphere of alternative and sustainable energy.

Below you can see the inner design of Finnish pavilion.


In brief, my job included:

  • making guided tours in 3 languages (Russian, Kazakh, English) for all kinds visitors: from local to international, children to elderly people, business representatives and even for presidents of different countries (Finland, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, etc.);
  • serving VIP-lounge (ISKU and Tikkurilla lounge, key partners) where most of business events took place;
  • advertising exhibits for sale and consulting visitors who were interested in our products;
  • planning and organizing our own events, so as to attract more visitors, and therefore customers.

I practiced my English language and communication skills through interacting with visitors, customers, and business faces. Moreover, I had an opportunity to learn the process of advertising and selling products. All these skills allowed me to become more confident as a worker, who is willing to communicate with different kinds of personalities. Besides, Expo was distinguished by high international level of organization and content, thus, all of us had to face the variety of nationalities and deal with possible cultural differences. It was increasingly important and challenging to stay an interculturally effective person, who is able to accept an individual’s needs and preferences, turn off personal prejudices, so as to communicate efficiently.

My management team and supervisors happened to be extremely nice and democratic people. They were willing to solve any kind of our problems, even the smallest ones (e.g. due to hot sunny days we had to stand straight under the sun rays, that is why our manager immediately bought a mini-ventilator and hats for everyone; and she approached the same way in cool weather). We have got a plenty of privileges such as a covered apartment with very decent conditions, meal money, free SPA tickets, presents and so on. My happiness was endless, and I am very grateful for such wonderful opportunity to JAMK university, especially to Heikki Pusa, our project manager from JAMK, my management team and, of course, my colleagues! Happily, our supervisors are planning to arrange a reunion of the great Finland’s team in this December; I can’t wait for it!