Birgit Griese-Saarinen

Birgit Griese-Saarinen

"The people whose faces are most like yours may conceal the greatest cultural differences." (B.Tomalin)

Would you like to understand better how the Finns tick? You might be surprised how much Finnish customs and manners differ from your own cultural background. It´s worth getting familiar with some “hidden” and communication rules which help to avoid misunderstandings and miscomprehension. As a German living in Finland for three decades already, I´m confident with all sorts of pitfalls and challenging situations in this Northern country. My professional expertise as an intercultural trainer in numerous international mergers and cooperations enables me to be your local companion who supports you in the process of private or professional orientation and integration. No matter if you are a front-line employee, an executive or an expat´s spouse – my coaching sessions will offer you important insights into Finnish (business-) life.




English, German, Finnish
Book a session with Birgit Griese-Saarinen

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Professional background

  • 2006-2007: Training “International entrepreneurship”, TUAS, Turku
  • 2009: Intercultural Business Trainer-Certificate (BCTC), International House, Prague
  • 2018-19: Apprenticeship training for entrepreneurs: “Specialist in service sales, productization and digital marketing”
  • Expatriate Trainings in German, English and Finnish for employees of Finnish, German and Austrian companies
  • Cross-cultural trainings and Teambuilding for bi- and multinational groups
  • Focussing on the shipbuilding industry and its suppliers and on the Finnish-German maritime cluster from 2017 on: Teambuilding, cross-cultural training for HRs, workshops
  • Presentations for a Management Board of the crane-industry, trainings and conflict-solving
  • Expatriate-trainings for executives leaving to Finland or Germany
  • Moderation and facilitation of workshops like “100% commitment” in the It-industry
  • Intercultural Sensitization for students and company-teams
  • Intercultural mediation and conflict management between German subsidiaries and Finnish parent companies, Change Management
  • Furthermore experience e.g. in the following fields: Automobile industry and its suppliers, Financial Services Industry, Printing industry (3D), Start Ups and NGOs

Experience as coach or trainer

  • 12 years experience as an intercultural trainer and coach
  • Mainly trainings in the German speaking countries and in Finland
  • Training languages English, German, Finnish, Swedish on demand
  • Living already 30 years in Finland, deep expertise on Finnish culture and values
  • Workshops and trainings for executives and the management board of a huge company in the crane-industry in autumn 2018 and 2019
  • Workshops e.g. for the senior management, expat trainings, teambuilding etc. in the shipbuilding-industry in Turku and Northern Germany, 2017-

Additional work experience

  • 1989 – 2017: German Language and culture teacher and consultant at the Swedish-and Finnish-speaking universities in Turku, at the University of Applied Science in Turku and in many different companies (Valmet, Bayer etc.)
  • 1992 – 2002: Working in a family company in Southwest- Finland, mainly in the fields of HR
  • 2005 – : Authorized tour guide in Turku, on the Meyer Turku shipyard and in Naantali, freelance-PR-assistant for the Southwest Finland Tourist & Congress Bureau Visit Turku, guided tours and presentations for journalists and international guests of the city of Turku
  • 2007- 2017: Import-consultant for a Finnish logistic-company
  • 2011: Leading of a Finnish-German tourism project financed by the Regional Council of Southwest Finland
  • 2011 – 2014: Planning and leading Fact Finding-trips to Germany for Finnish companies and universities

What people say about me

“I´m now much more confident to move to Finland. Perfect.”
An expat- manager´s spouse from Bulgaria, Nordex 3/2017

“A lot of input but not boring at all – effective but also entertaining.”
Manager of the crane-industry, 9/2018

“I especially liked Birgit´s vivid style, her empathetic attitude and all the lively examples of challenges in Finnish-German business-life.”
Employee of a German shipyard, 6/2019

Special Offers

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Book a session with Birgit Griese-Saarinen

Are there any details you would like to share with the coach for this booking? You are not required, however, doing so enables the coach to more efficiently prepare for your session.