Sara Kettunen was completing her studies in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Helsinki in 2018 when she applied for an internship at the Contact Point. Sara studied public health medicine and communications as secondary subjects, and became interested in an internship where she could combine communications with social welfare and healthcare.
“I had carried out online communications and writing in volunteer work before. During my internship, I was able to develop my communication skills and learn a lot about international health care,” Sara sums up her experiences.
Katja Lehtinen interned at the Contact Point in autumn 2021 when she studied in the Master’s programme of municipal and regional administration at Tampere University. Katja was a former nurse and became interested in the internship, as it involved health care, internationality and communications.
“My studies examined communications, especially from the perspective of a public organisation, and I have always been interested in communications. When I saw an advertisement for this internship, I noticed that it was actually a combination of a lot of things that I am interested in,” Katja says.
Interest in developing communication skills also led Sanna Halunen to apply for an internship at the Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare in autumn 2022. At that time, she studied politics and organisation research at the University of Helsinki in the field of politics and communication.
“I had performed social media tasks and marketing communications for different organisations, and I wanted to develop my writing and online communication skills in particular. I had also heard a lot of good things about Kela as an employer, and, of course, the international aspect was also interesting. I would like to build myself an international career,” Sanna says.
She considers the lessons learnt on official communications and accessibility of communications important.
Internship can open new career paths
Sanna’s internship clarified her idea of what she wants to do in the future.
“Although communications may not be the primary thing I will be doing in the future, I learned during my internship that I like writing and could do it in the future as well. The internship also showed me how versatile state administration and internationality can be,” she says.
In the spring, Sanna will be going to New York for an internship at the Finnish mission to the UN. In autumn 2023, she also interned at Crisis Management Centre Finland.
“After my internship at the Contact Point, applying for jobs has been a lot easier. When I was accepted to the Contact Point, I applied for about thirty jobs. Last time, I only applied for two places.”
The internship left Katja with a clear understanding of where her career was headed. During her internship, she learned about things such as online communications, social media and accessibility. Immediately after her internship, Katja was hired at the Tampere University Hospital as a communications expert, and she currently works at the Wellbeing Services County of Pirkanmaa as a communications expert.
“I believe that if I had not interned at the Contact Point, I would not have ended up in my current workplace either. In addition to being a valuable experience, the internship is a way to show that I have been involved in communication activities: publishing updates on websites, content on social media and other things as well.”
Sara, too, works in the public sector. She is a communications expert at Kela’s Kanta services.
“The internship at the Contact Point was definitely an advantage when I applied for a job at Kela’s communications department,” Sara says.
Support and security from colleagues
Internships at the Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare are suitable for a wide range of applicants, and there is no need to be nervous about applying even if you have less experience in a certain area.
“I was supported in everything and my onboarding was thorough,” Sara says about her internship.
Katja also praises the onboarding and the sense of security, as well as her good connection with her colleagues. During the internship, she was able to utilise her experience in healthcare and expand her work duties according to her competence – and learn more about communications, which was something she did not have prior work experience in.
Each interviewee praises the support they received during their training. Interns’ self-confidence increases as they get feedback.
“I heartily recommend interning at the Contact Point! I received support and help in all my work tasks, and I was able to challenge myself in a safe environment,” Sanna says as encouragement for future applicants.
The Contact Point is loooking for an intern
The Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare is looking for an university intern for three months this spring, starting from 15th march 2024. Apply by 29th of february! Read the internship advertisement on our website (in Finnish).
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