Practical Training and Reporting Instructions for Environmental Engineering students
As a start, to find a practical training placement is first and foremost your own task
Advice, hints and help can be asked from lecturers and other staff members and from visiting lecturers etc. Use also your own networks and contacts. TAMK also has own projects where practical training can be implemented.
For training placements abroad, please consult the report database: http://utils.tamk.fi/intra/cgi-bin/vaihtoraportti
1. BEFORE TRAINING
The guided practical training starts mainly in the beginning of the 4th period of your third study-year. Part of the training can be done also after your second-study year.
Total length of the training is 5-6 months (30 cr = 810 hours) and it is all guided, in other words, has to be relevant / linked to your studies. It is divided into two parts Practical Training 1 and 2. The scale for different tasks in training is rather wide, meaning e.g. environmentally linked work in public administration, research work, laboratory work, work in a consultant agency, and can also mean environmentally linked work in a factory, organisation or in a company etc. The most important thing is that it has to be in line or even with your degree, i.e. engineering work or work of an engineer.
1.1 Things to remember right from the start of the training:
a) Applying for training
There is no deadline for getting or applying for a training placement, except that the training period on 3rd year has to be taken into account, starting from 3rd period in spring.
Concerning international training placements that are carried out in one of ENVE's partner universities (lab or project works, etc.) you must apply in the TAMK internal student exchange application round at the beginning of the calendar year (main application round for the following academic year) or at the beginning of the autumn semester (supplementary round for the following spring semester). You must be accepted and nominated by TAMK first before contacting the host university.
When considering international training placement in a company one should start to plan and prepare it well in advance. Six months in advance is advisable and two months is somewhat a minimum. If you are not a Finnish citizen and want to carry out your training abroad in a third country (not your own country of origin), please pay attention that the visa and work permit application process may take months rather than weeks, so start the process early enough. This same applies for Finns planning to go to a country outside the EU and thus needing a student visa or a work permit.
In any case if you plan to carry out an international placement, please do contact TAMK International Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for guidance, more info and help.
b) Agreement and plan for practical training
Training agreements and procedures are separate for training in Finland and training abroad.
The Training Agreement with your employer in Finland is written on one of the forms found from Study Guide and must be accepted by the teacher in charge of the Practical Training Ms. Renja Yrjönen (or Mr. Mika Nieminen) before you can start your training.
Please pay attention to the fact that the international placement agreement is a different form for European Union (Erasmus) and outside EU placements. TAMK International Services handles all administrative matters and all matters concerning training exchange.
According to Study Guide this training agreement has to be written even if the employer makes a normal work contract with you. Remember that you have to write a Practical Training Journal during your training, including your daily tasks and especially including your learning experiences.
c) Training grant for practical training abroad
It is not required to carry out the training abroad, but it's highly recommended.
TAMK training grants can be issued to students who have a signed agreement with a company / acceptance letter from a partner university. Grants are only available for placements outside Finland (the company can be Finnish, but you must be stationed abroad for the whole duration). The minimum length for supported training placements abroad is 60 days.
2. DURING TRAINING
The guidance of the training from TAMK is arranged in many different ways; by email, phone, and especially if the work placement is not known from the former experience, by visiting it and meeting both the employer and the trainee if possible. It is your own responsibility to ask guidance and instructions from your employer once you've started your training. Moreover, after starting your work, if you have problems concerning your work itself, its contents, or other issues that are not as agreed in your contract, please contact first the employer and if needed after that TAMK's staff members to see whether they could be of help. Do not leave the giving of this kind of information to your written report, because there's nothing that could be done to try to improve things at that stage.
During the training you need to fill daily the practical training journal, where you indicate your working hours and duties during the day.
3. AFTER TRAINING
3.1 Practical training report – free form
When you write your report you should concentrate mostly to the learning experiences and outcomes. Please do not write too long about what you actually did. The total length of your report should be no longer than one or two A4 -pages. The reporting in total consists of the two parts, the written report and then later the oral presentation in the practical training seminar during the autumn term of your third or fourth year.
Include in your written report:
- where did you work (the name and full contact information of your employer(s))
- when did you work, the time(s) (make sure that the time(s) are the same than in your work certificates)
* NB, remember to ask for a work certificate stating the times and places of your training! This is not only for the reporting purposes, but you will need these documents in your future life when applying for work.
- what did you actually do, your real tasks
- own experiences and learning experiences (this is the most important part of your report)
* what kind of experiences did you get, good examples or poor examples or both, what was good and/or what was poor
* what did you actually learn, about working and working life, about yourself
* your experience of the work itself, what did you like, what didn't you like (remember that when learning what you don't like is an important learning outcome as well)
* your overall experience of the place, or can you recommend it to your fellow students
3.2 Reference from the work placement
You should ask from your employer or from the training placement for a reference (certificate) and present the original certificate to the supervising teacher along with other documents after the training. The original will be returned back to you after inspection and copying it for TAMK files.
Practical Training report and reference should be presented not later than August 15th if your training has ended at the end of July and by September 15th if the training ended at the end of August at latest in order to get the training credits for the autumn term.
3.3 Instructions for the Practical Training Seminar
A presentation seminar is held after the training period, normally in October-November, arranged by the teacher in charge of the Practical Training Ms. Renja Yrjönen. In this presentation seminar you report the contents and outcomes of your training, and, most of all, what you have learned professionally and of yourself. This seminar is a compulsory part of actual training and for the second-, third- and fourth-year students to listen to minimum 10 times during their studies.
Each student will have a maximum 15 minutes to present and share their training experiences with the seminar participants by answering the same questions that are already shown or given above, like where, when and doing what your practical training was carried out and what did you learn. This will be done with the aid of method(s) of their own choice using PowerPoint overhead slides, slides, videos, etc. As said, in seminar presentation, in addition to what I did, each student must tell something of the learning outcomes and learning experiences, and own good or poor experiences from the work. The participation to the seminar and the presentation is compulsory.
What to do to get the study points or credits approved
When your practical training is totally carried out you have deliver the documents of your training: Practical training report and the reference to the teacher in charge of the Practical Training Ms. Renja Yrjönen (or Mika Nieminen, Head of the Study Program). After your papers are checked you will get the mark to the Study Records system (Pakki) and the original work certificates will be returned to you. Please note the deadlines
- Training duration is 5-6 months altogether (810 hours = 30 cr)
- Find the training placement yourself. At least part of the training is recommended to do abroad.
- Documents needed by August or September 15th depending on the time of the training.
- Practical training agreement (before the training)
- Practical training journal/diary (including the working hours) (after the training)
- Practical training report (including the working hours) (after the training)
- Reference (after the training)
- Seminar presentation (after the training)
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