Developing professional influencing skills of young academic engineers - case: Young Professionals' Forum (YPF)

Jari Ylitalo*, Tuukka Kostamo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

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Professional working life skills have become an essential part of the engineering skillset in recent years. However, it seems that basic engineering education does not sufficiently provide the students with these skills. The Finnish Association of Academic Engineers and Architects (TEK) established a new kind of peer forum to develop these skills of its younger members. The forum consists of workshops, assignments, and peer dialogues over a four-month time period The forum’s approach leans on a dialogic, experiential and reflective way of learning enabling the participants to further build their personal influencing practices; investigate their professional relationships; experiment changes in their self-management practices; and share their experiences in peer groups. Since 2017, over 900 young TEK members have participated. The aim of this study in progress is to make an overview to the experienced impacts of the forum and scrutinize the forum’s influence mechanisms in a more detailed way. The data was collected through an inquiry to all participants. The study indicates that the forum has been most influential in supporting the participants to become more aware of their professional influence, to build capabilities to change their personal and social practices, and to enhance their professional networks. The most significant impact element has been various peer discussions and dialogues. As a conclusion the study highlights the needs and interests of young professionals to develop the essential working life skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 50th SEFI Conference (European Society for Engineering Education) 2022
EditorsHannu-Matti Jarvinen, Santiago Silvestre, Ariadna Llorens, Balazs Vince Nagy
PublisherUniversitat Politecnica de Catalunya
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-123222-6-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 19 Sept 202222 Sept 2022


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education
Abbreviated titleSEFI
Internet address


  • professional influencing skills
  • leadership skills
  • self-management practices
  • peer networking
  • continuous learning


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