Yesmith Sánchez moved to Finland from Mexico in pursuit of a job, she ended up studying and in various internships and is now working as a DEI consultant to support organizations in their work to transform DEI into action.
I moved from Mexico where I had a career optimizing supply chain management and when I moved to Finland my initial intention was to continue my career by finding a job. At the same time, I joined the open university at Hanken School of Economics and since I had spare time I also prepared myself for the GMAT that was a requirement to join a Master’s at the same university.
I chose my master’s program because it corresponded both with my qualifications and future interest in career prospects. I now hold a Master of Science degree in International Management and Strategy from Hanken School of Economics. Hanken was my first contact with Finland and it has helped me greatly with my career as well. I got my first internship through Hanken’s network and I have actively participated in various initiatives as a volunteer to create my professional network. None of these required me to speak Finnish. Most of the initiatives I worked with were related to my thesis topic which talked about the professional integration of highly qualified immigrants in Finland. I work now as a consultant in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
What are your career plans?
The work I do now is the perfect match for combining my passion and knowledge around DEI topics with my formal education and experience in business strategy and for the moment I reckon this is the field of work where I intend to stay and continue to learn and grow. I am interested in contributing to tangible change and impact within organizations.
What have been some of your greatest lessons working in Finland that you could share with international talents here?
In my opinion, there are no magic formulas for landing a job and networking plays a huge role in landing some opportunities. I also think that there are a lot of events where this importance is highlighted and people are encouraged to be active, patient and resilient.
While this is true, I also think that organizations can do a better job creating environments that pose fair opportunities for all, whether local or new to society.
In my eyes, what is important is to understand what are our strengths and one can do so by asking people who know us both on a personal and professional level. Sometimes we do have skills that are very relevant for organizations but we take them for granted because they are things that we strive for naturally. When you have identified those strengths and interests, be outspoken about them. Rely on the power of communities if you alone don’t have all the answers.
Why is diversity important to organisations in Finland?
There are several advantages of having diverse teams related to meeting and exceeding financial goals, understanding and expanding to new markets, innovation, problem-solving and remain an attractive workplace. But to me, the biggest importance of having diverse and inclusive teams is that it allows individuals to reach their best potential by having their unique points of view heard and taken into consideration.
In the current times, there are many conversations about attracting talent and finding suitable candidates. To attract the best possible talent, having a diverse team and knowing how to manage it is imperative.
If you are an international professional living in Finland, you can register your CV with Pointer Potential here.
More than 400 000 people with an international background live in Finland. In Helsinki alone, every sixth person has a background other than Finnish. The We Work series shares glimpses of the real-life stories of international professionals living and working in Finland.
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