Markus Teir

Desk Officer, HR Planning

First Secretary Markus Teir works in the HR Planning Unit of the Administrative Services at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, where his job is to see to the placement of career diplomats in different positions in the Ministry and the diplomatic missions, and to handle recruitment for the training course for prospective career diplomats (Kavaku).

“My work is variable because, as a career diplomat, my tasks are changed regularly at two to five year intervals. I started at my current job in August. Before that I spent three years at the diplomatic mission in Dublin, where I was second in command. That job was preceded by a four-year stint in Ankara as the officer responsible for trade and economic affairs. So now, after a span of several years, I’m back on-site at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki.

I studied geography at the University of Helsinki and graduated with a Master of Arts degree. In addition, I studied for a year in France through the Erasmus exchange programme. Prior to joining the Ministry I had a variety of training positions for instance in Africa and at Migri, the Finnish Immigration Service at that time.

I came to work for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a project assistant at the Department for Africa and the Middle East in early 2005. The following year I applied for and received a place on the Kavaku training course, suitably just before Finland’s Presidency of the EU in 2006.

Anyone applying to be a career diplomat should be curious and interested in all sorts of things related to Finland and the surrounding world. The applicant should be interested in both issues and people. Also needed are communication skills, presentation skills as well as wide-ranging familiarity with Finland’s affairs in the fields of economy, politics, society, and culture. In addition, an understanding of international politics and a good ability to adapt facilitate settling into new positions in foreign countries.

In my opinion, the best thing about the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is the continuous variability of tasks made possible by job rotation, and also the fact that the sphere of activities encompasses the whole world. One never knows where one will be next.

Five years from now, I could be anywhere in the world. After all, Finland has more than 90 diplomatic missions, so I may find myself handling tasks linked with development cooperation in Mozambique, trade policy in Asia or defence policy in Brussels. Or perhaps I’ll have interesting tasks here at the Ministry or some other place with activities close to the Foreign Service, such as the European External Action Service.

Versatility ensures that work is never boring. The applicant should be interested in both issues and people."