I-Me-Pro: Mentoring Programme for International Talents – Building a career in an Expert Organization

I-Me-Pro mentoring programme for international staff and grant researchers of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University aiming at non-academic career was organised as a separate programme in 2021 and 2022. The goal of the I-Me-Pro programme is integrating and networking international talents to the Finnish working life and innovation ecosystem as well as to support participants in their career development and in recognizing one's professional skills and expertise. In 2023 the programme will be part of the early career researchers' mentoring programme.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a guidance process during which a competent and experienced expert (mentor) provides support to a person (mentee) motivated to develop their skills. Mentoring can be useful, for example, for planning or redirecting one's career, expanding networks and recognizing one's expertise. Mentoring is based on openness, confidentiality and commitment.

The special goals of the I-Me-Pro programme are:

  • integrating international talents to the Finnish working life
  • networking
  • getting know the business culture and innovation structure
  • creating links to companies and other organisations
  • finding job possibilities.

For whom?

Eligible applicants are international staff members and grant researchers working at the University of Turku or Åbo Akademi University, who aim at career outside of academia. If you are aiming at career at a university, please see the other mentoring programmes of UTU. A restricted number of participants will be accepted to the programme.

Structure of the programme

Opening seminar January 2022
Mid-programme seminar May 2022
Closing seminar October 2022
(the seminars will take place on late afternoon)

During the programme, the participants and their mentor will meet 5–6 times.

How to apply for the I-Me-Pro mentoring programme?

Call for applications 10 September - 10 October 2021

Application includes:

  • electronic form
  • a motivation letter and a CV as one document.

In the application form you should describe and characterize the type of person whom you wish to be your mentor. In addition, you may, with brief explanations, name 1–3 persons one of whom you wish to be your mentor. The mentor can work at a company or an expert organisation. Please note that you are more likely to be accepted to the programme if you have a proposal for your mentor. Therefore, before filling in the form, think over your expectations for a mentor. Based on the application, we and your mentor will get an image of you, your interests, and what your expectations for the programme are.

Please note that applying is binding, i.e. presence in the opening and closing seminars and active participation throughout the mentoring programme are required.

>> Link to the application form

Guidelines and tips for the contents of the motivation letter

The working group will use your motivation letter to find a mentor. The motivation letter will also be sent to your mentor in order for them to be able to get to know you and your aims. Thus, address the letter to your future mentor

In the motivation letter, tell about yourself, your professional goals, and expectations for the mentoring programme. The clearer you are able to communicate your expectations, the more likely it is for the task group to find you a mentor and for you to be accepted to the programme.

You may apply the same principles to the motivation letter as you would to a job application, for instance. The letter is ca. 1 page long organized text in which you market yourself and tell why you are interested in participating in the mentoring programme. Write about why you would be a good and motivated participant and what aims you wish to achieve during the mentoring programme.

While drafting the motivation letter, feel free to use the following questions as an aid:

  • Tell about yourself, your studies, and your professional career briefly and succinctly.
  • Tell about your strengths and what type of things you are especially interested in.
  • How do you see in your future as a researcher and/or an employee like?
  • What type of tasks in your own field interest you?
  • Why do you wish to participate in the mentoring programme and what do you expect to gain from it?
  • What type of a professional in your own field would you like to get to know?
  • What themes would you like to go over with your mentor?
  • What tasks do you find challenging and what areas of expertise would you like to develop?
  • The letter can reflect your personality!