As the summer starts turning to fall in Europe, it is the end of an era for the summer trainees, who are slowly starting to clean out their desks and return their supplies. For some of them, the route leads back to university, and for others, the fall might be a transition period to working life. Summer traineeships are a common way in Northern Europe for students to get their ducks in a row by gaining practical experience in their field of study before graduating – and it is also an excellent way to get their foot in the door on their path to working life.
To celebrate and thank the summer trainees of 2016 for the past months, Metso organized an activity day in their honor. The event brought together summer trainees from all around Finland, and gave them the opportunity to learn more about what Metso does, to meet each other and, of course, to have some fun. Heidi noted that most of the participants were from Tampere, some from Vantaa and a few from the Helsinki office. The summer trainees were pleasantly surprised to see Matti Kähkönen, CEO of Metso and a keynote speaker at the event, spending the whole morning with the trainees and sharing his advice with the young employees.
Heidi, Matilda and Elina, what was the most inspiring takeaway from the event?
Heidi: For me the career stories were the most inspiring part of the event. It was so interesting to hear about how these Metso employees have had amazing opportunities, for example, to work abroad. Our CEO also shared some unforgettable advice for working life.
Matilda: Matti Kähkönen reminded us about the importance of getting practical, hands-on experience or at least seeing how things are done when you are still young. The career stories shared at the event underlined the importance of studying and working abroad. After studying abroad as an exchange student, the thought of working abroad one day truly inspires me. I would like to observe cultural differences to better understand what people with different backgrounds think about safety and sustainability.
Elina: I feel like all the speakers were great with their unique experience and different backgrounds when it comes to education and previous jobs. What all the speeches had in common was that they encouraged us to grasp the opportunities given to us with confidence. If we feel insecure about our lack of knowledge, we can always learn and find things out. No experience or knowledge is ever ineffectual.
If you could summarize your summer at Metso in three words, what would they be?
Heidi: Learning, organizing, befriending.
Matilda: instructions, management, sensemaking.
Elina: Let’s go with: fantastic learning experience!
What is the best advice you could give to students aspiring to a summer trainee position here at Metso?
Heidi: Be ready to learn and take on new challenges. I would recommend working at Metso when you find a position that you would be interested in. You definitely get to do what you are promised and will most probably learn a lot.
Matilda: Based on my own summer job experiences, there are two really important skills to which you have to pay attention when studying: English and Excel. Firstly, study the English language as well as you can. Secondly, learn how to use Microsoft Office, and especially Excel. Almost everything else you can learn at the workplace as a trainee (but do take notes at work, too). However, when you are not a summer trainee anymore, you also have to have some kind of specific knowledge that is useful to the company.
Elina: Be confident and don’t be afraid to bring out your knowledge and strengths. We Finns have a terrible habit of underestimating ourselves. There is a lot of competition for summer positions these days, so people have to believe in themselves and be active in order to stand out. I have had a great experience at Metso, I can definitely recommend it.
Last but not least – what does the future hold for you, and do you think your experience at Metso this summer has helped you to get further in your aspirations?
Heidi: In a few weeks I will go back to school to write my master’s thesis. During my time at Metso I have learned so much about what sustainability actually is at a corporate level. I am so glad I had this opportunity and now I am open to the possibility of working in the area of sustainability also in the future.
Matilda: Good news: I will continue working here at Metso Minerals as a Master’s Thesis Worker. It has been helpful to get to know the workplace before starting my own project. I am grateful for getting the opportunity to learn something valuable every day and seeing ‘how and where things happen’.
Elina: It’s back to university for me. I will work on getting my bachelor’s degree this year and then continue a couple more years in school to get my master’s degree. I have a couple of little trips to the US and Estonia planned out already for the fall – all work and no play would be a terrible way to go. I feel the summer here has not just given me a great deal of new knowledge about technology, it has also helped define my goals for after graduation.