Wapice Talents – a path to cultivate future top IT experts

At Wapice we have always believed in talent. People are the core of our company and highlighted in our values. Everyone has to start their career journey from somewhere, and professional learning and development is a lifelong process throughout one’s career. Wapice’s history is strongly rooted in universities as well as universities of applied sciences, and since the founding of Wapice in 1999 we have recruited talents from schools all around Finland.

Many of these talents still work at Wapice and have continued in various key roles up to this day. For this reason, it was only natural for us to conceptualize a completely new concept called Wapice Talents, so that we can cultivate more future top experts in the IT Industry. In our blog we interviewed our Wapice Talent program manager Anna-Kaisa Saari, as well as a couple of Talents that completed the program previously.

What is Wapice Talents?

Wapice Talents is a new and very interesting program for students to become part of Wapice and to learn and familiarize themselves in real-world projects. You will be part of a Wapice Talents -team and you will get your own mentor, excellent colleagues, and the opportunity to network. As a team, you shall have regular workshops to get familiar with different projects. Each talent is paid with a competitive salary based on experience and studies. In addition, they will receive the same work benefits as all other Wapice employees.

What does the Wapice Talents program offer?

  • A personal mentor who is a senior expert in your field.
  • A personally tailored study plan to support learning.
  • Real-world projects with customers and software products.
  • The possibility to do your thesis at Wapice.
  • Networking with other talents and our experts.
  • A fair salary and all the same benefits as regular Wapiceans.
  • The possibility for long-term employment at Wapice after the program.

The program usually consists of the following five tracks: Web & Mobile Development, Embedded Systems & Electronics Design, DevOps & Testing, Data & AI and IoT. Currently we welcome 10 Talents to the program two times per year. The job can be done from any of our offices: Tampere, Vaasa, Helsinki, Turku, Jyväskylä, Seinäjoki, Oulu or Hyvinkää and flexible remote work is part of our culture. Our goal is to offer part-time work after the Talents-program for those who continue their studies after the program and would prefer to work fewer hours. We offer permanent full-time permanent employment once the person graduates at the end of the program.

Why should a future talent apply to this program?

“With Wapice Talents you get the possibility to learn in an interesting and friendly environment, bring everything you've learned at school into action and learn much, much more. If I was still a student in the IT-sector, I would not doubt applying!” states the program manager, Anna-Kaisa Saari.

–  Wapice employs lots of students, offering them the great chance to gather valuable experience already during their studies. The combination of working and studying during the study year is made possible with a flexible part-time employment contract and an hourly paid working time plan. This plan is agreed with each student employee individually based on their total load and availability. During summers many of Wapice’s student employees work full-time. Students are offered the same employee benefits, just as for permanent full-time employed employees. Wapice wants to encourage students to finish their studies and graduate. If wished for, thesis topics are often found within the company’s various projects with the help of team leaders, project managers and segment managers. “We also always celebrate graduations together with cake and coffee”, adds Anna-Kaisa.

Why would you recommend Wapice as a company?

“Wapice is a stable company and offers long-term employment contracts de facto. We have very interesting projects and products; we use the latest technologies, and we support employees’ career development in several ways. I've enjoyed the company for over 22 years already - and still do, every day!” Anna-Kaisa tells.

Tell a bit more about your own background here at Wapice?

“I started at Wapice in my third year when studying at Vaasa Polytechnic (nowadays University of Applied Sciences). Wapice was just established, so I've had the honor to follow its journey and it has been exciting! It was less than 10 employees back then, nowadays way over 350! I started as a Java developer. I tend to refer tol myself as the “mother” of our Summium product, as I was involved in developing its first versions.

–  Wapice has always supported me in my ideas and in my career development. I've been working in various roles at Wapice, from developer to project manager, from Summium consultant to product modelling, from team manager to key account manager. Nowadays I'm in response of our Vaasa Futura office and work daily in Summium projects hands on. I'm also a full-time teacher (with around 50% capacity) at VAMK, and now also by leading this new talent program, I get to combine these two worlds together, summarizes Anna-Kaisa.

Wapiceans at coffee break

We also asked a couple of our talents who have completed the Wapice Talent program previously to share their own stories:

”I specialize in Embedded Systems Engineering and wanted to gain practical experience, professional training, and extra money. The Wapice Talent program offered me the chance to join the IoT and Communication Solutions Segment, where I have learned a lot and feel like I belong to an awesome team. I've worked with essential IT technologies, including C++, CMAKE, dbus, git, C#, .NET, Azure Functions, Bluetooth Low Energy, iBeacon, eddystone, IoT-TICKET, and robot frameworks. My Wapice colleagues and leaders have been incredibly competent and supportive, always ready to help me when I needed it. I feel comfortable asking them any questions I have, and they have never made me feel foolish. Overall, my experience with Wapice has been fantastic, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this community.”

Siyuan Xu, Wapice Talent

”I started my job at Wapice through the Talents program in the spring of 2022 in the Enterprise and Cloud segment. The Talents program provided an opportunity to be a part of various customer projects while developing my skills in software development. The pleasant and challenging tasks ensured that there was no shortage of job satisfaction, and colleagues provided support and help when needed. The Wapice work environment supports learning, and it was fun to follow the development of other Talents during the program. I am studying at Tampere University and continued part-time work after the Talents program, intending to carry out my thesis work at Wapice. Especially through the Talents program, I met great people and was able to do meaningful work that I enjoyed.”

Kasper Tolvanen, Wapice Talent

”I was selected for the Talents program in the summer of 2022 for Web Development -segment. I was able to work on tasks that I had hoped for, using technologies that I enjoyed working with, and gained valuable experience working on a large project. It was amazing to see how much I learned in just one summer! The Talents program provided me with a lot of experience and expertise. After the program, I was able to continue as a part-time while studying, and now on the verge of graduation, I was offered the opportunity to continue my career as a full-time Software Designer.”

Valtteri Kerttula, Wapice Talent

Next application period is in October 2023 – stay tuned!