Insight from Germany

Summer trainee Mai-Lan Röllig

The secret of success is to understand the point of view of others. Come together is the beginning, stay together is a progress and work together is success.
Das Geheimnis des Erfolges ist, den Standpunkt des anderen zu verstehen.Zusammenkommen ist ein Beginn, zusammenbleiben ist ein Fortschritt, zusammenarbeiten ist ein Erfolg.
-Henry Ford-

Summer trainee Mai-Lan praises her work and colleagues at Pfungstadt

“Helpful colleagues, harmoniously atmosphere and challenging tasks,” sums up summer trainee Mai-Lan Röllig, 28, her experiences at Pfungstadt location in Germany.

Let Mai-Lan tell about her experiences:

“This summer I took the opportunity to complete my internship, a part of my study (Bachelor of Business Administration), at Metso Paper Pfungstadt in Germany. The goal of this course is to transfer the theory of studying, in the practice and of course to collect new practical experience in a company that is acting worldwide.

Particularly important for me in terms of my specialization in the study, are the areas of HR and Controlling.

…to put it in a nutshell, the value of a company depends on its employees and their performance.”

Collegial, friendly and helpful atmosphere

“My superiors at the workplace are Doris Fischer (HR) and Frank Merl (Controlling). I can learn and support them in their daily work.

Pfungstadt has round about 70 employees, which are employed for different areas of Metso Paper. My first impression in the service center was impressive – the very collegial, friendly and helpful atmosphere and the interaction among the employees conspicuous me directly positive.

“My reaction to the Metso philosophy, which includes an employee oriented engagement next to other principles, was very positive. Especially when I noticed that this principle of management would transfer into the practice. Here it is clear that through an extraordinary commitment from Metso, the employee satisfaction is a significant amount of success.

I learned that this employee satisfaction is supported by the different areas of Human Resources (development, care, management, planning) as well as a positive corporate culture.

Particularly in relation to me, I can work every day with friendly and helpful colleagues, who are also willing to share their knowledge with me. In addition my work contents are interesting, challenging and practice-oriented.

THANK YOU for this very useful experience that I could make at the internship.

Furthermore I would recommend each student which has to complete an internship, to choose Metso. The harmoniously atmosphere and the creation of a link with the theory of the study and practice of working life are only two reasons of my recommendation…the other advantages the new trainees have to find out by themselves.”

Mai-Lan Röllig

Internship at Metso Paper Pfungstadt (Germany) at the period of time 15.7.- 30.9.2013

Autumn Leaves

2013-09-02 19.20.12

Soundtrack: Chet Baker & Paul Desmond: Autumn Leaves (from the album Together)

Have you heard about Finnish midsummer when the sun won´t go down at all? Well it´s the opposite during the winter.

Yep. Autumn is coming fast. Here in Finland, at the Northern premises of Europe, days are turning out shorter than they were a month ago. The sun escapes from us earlier day by day and it doesn´t rise as early as it used to.  We are preparing ourselves for the windy autumn which eventually leads us to a long, frosty and snowy winter.  Get your D -vitamin cans ready!

“The Land of Extremes”, that´s what they say about the Finnish seasons. We have approximately three months of summer which (if lucky) can turn out to be warm and sunny time of the year. September is the turning point when we are forced to wear jackets, rubber boots and gloves. Those who adore warmth may even wear long johns.

First the trees are turning their leaves in colors of yellow, red, orange and rust before they drop them all to the ground leaving the trees pale and naked. Birds are abandoning us and they are flying to Gran Canaria for the winter. Some of our pensioners does the same. I don´t blame them: the winter really gets to your bones.

How do you survive such a cold weather, long dark days and chilly mornings knowing that the dawn is 9 am and the dusk 4 pm? I have created a list of things you can do in order to survive from the windy and rainy autumn and “arschkalt” winter:

  1. HOPE. The summer is coming every year. You have to hope that some day there will be warmth again, people are not wearing parka jackets and every freaking lake is not frozen. There will be light!
  2. HOBBY. Autumn is THE best time of the year to start something new. A new hobby keeps your mind fresh and out of the reality what is happening with our weather and nature. If you´re an enthusiastic runner, say hello to a running mat!
  3. GET ENTERTAINED. Stay close to your friends and family and do something entertaining with them. Go to a movie, visit an art exhibition, make food together or just chill out and concentrate on the people and things you love.
  4. TRAVEL. If you just can´t stand the weather in Finland, book a flight by your choosing and make yourself comfortable in somewhere else.

There´s also another way to survive: get used to it and enjoy! Autumn is the time of mushrooms which we have a lot in our beautiful forests. For instance funnel chanterelle is the perfect choice for risotto. And if you´re like me and like running, the Autumn is my favorite time for a long run because the weather is not too hot and not too cold. Occasional rains may occur but hey, it´s just water! When the winter comes it´s time for cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and ice swimming! It´s just the way how you look at it.

For me the autumn and winter brings tons of cool new experiences and old classics (such as ice swimming). It´s really the time of the year when you can feel how the nature is transforming it´s camouflage and preparing itself to something new. Maybe we should just follow mother nature´s example, update our wardrobe and take a fresh start with something new and exciting.

Jaakko Vuorio

Summer Trainee
Tampere, Finland

PS. This was my last post for the Metso Trainee Blog this summer. I´m continuing my studies at the University of Tampere and starting my Master´s studies in education and social research. Thank you all for reading and have a great autumn!

Out there and elsewhere : Brasil

Last week we read about Ireland, China and Qatar and now it is time to change the direction and go over the Atlantic to Brasil. Juha Yli-Petäys is just coming back from Brasil after working there for 2 years. So next, lets let him tell how he ended up there and how was it…

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I have been working in Metso now over 14 years. My work has included different positions in R&D as well as marketing and now I’m closing 2 years work period carried out in Brasil and moving back to Finland. In Brasil I was part of our local Flow Control sales team. I was still officially part of product line here in Finland but when working in Brasil we created better connection with local sales as well as end users. Target was to increase business with such operational model and I believe we were successful with this. I enjoyed to be there and working environment in Brasil is quite tight but very pleasant. People are very committed and hard working but environment in office is really excellent. We are like one big family and everybody goes to the same direction.

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Picture from the sales meeting where our team was brainstorming the next year activities (me, Samuel, Zoel & Mauricio).

Most of the culture shock was caused by the language. Customers don’t talk that much English which means you should learn Portuguese fast. Also traffic was something that took little while to get used to it. People drive bit aggressive way but when you release your internal ‘Kimi Raikkonen’ free it goes great. Of course weather was more hot than in Finland, but that’s ok. Mainly I was missing from Finland long summer days as well as snow. When now looking back it feel amazing to think how fast two years really realised. Lot of things happen during this period but still it felt like going there yesterday.

Juha

This was the last chapter of Out there and elsewhere trilogy. I am so happy that Anniina and both of Juha’s found time to write here and give us a brief description what is like to work in other part of the world where you are from. At least now I really hope that one day I can find a work which would allow me to travel once in awhile and stay abroad for longer periods of time. I think that is a good way to get known of the local culture and really see something else than only the tourism attaractions.

This will also be my last blog post to Metso summertrainees 2013 blog. Summer went super fast and it is time to pack up my bags and go after the next adventure. I had a great summer at Metso, I learned a lot, I met loads of great people and I really felt I was part of the team. Therefore I hope I will find myself at Metso again someday in the future – has to say it is pretty nice place to work!

Great autumn for everybody and thank you for reading!

Jenni Falck
Summer trainee,
Automation marketing

Out there and elsewhere: Qatar

Yesterday Anniina wrote us about her experiences from Ireland and China. I know working abroad is not probably as glamorous as I think it is, but I wouldn’t mind change my working location once in a while as Anniina have done. Based on her story, I think she doesn’t mind it either :)

Next in the line is Juha Kivelä who have been working in Qatar since the beginning of the summer. Qatar is located in a small Qatar peninsula in Persian Gulf sharing a border with Saudi Arabia. It has been said to be one of the richest countries in the world despite of it’s small size. So how Juha ended up there and why? Well, I will let him tell us more about it…

wold map qatar

Juha 

I started with Metso in March 2007, when I joined the Flow Control business line of Automation segment to do my Master’s Thesis for the Neles Smart Products department on Value Based Marketing. After the thesis, later in 2007, I first signed a temporary contract as a trainee and then after couple of months I was offered a position as a Business Analyst at the same department I had done my thesis for. In December 2008 I got then promoted to a Product Manager position in which I stayed until I moved here to Qatar at the end of May this year. I’m currently working as a Business Development Manager focusing on our Smart Products and I’m based in Doha, but still looking after the whole region. Here in Doha we are currently working together with a small 8 person team, our Middle Eastern ‘head office’ with more colleagues being located in Dubai. Besides Dubai and Doha, we have also an own office in Bahrain.

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One of the reasons I wanted to join Metso at first place were the international possibilities Metso offers for its employees as a global company. Since I joined the company I have actively shown my willingness to move abroad if a suitable opportunity comes across and now this spring the company’s needs and my own expectations then met and I got the opportunity to join our Middle Eastern sales and service team in a role where I can take advantage of what I have learned in my earlier positions working for the Product Line side of the business.

In my previous Product Manager role I had a global responsibility for the products I looked after for, so even if I have been based in Finland I have had the privilege to work together with our talented colleagues across the globe in a truly international working environment. Besides the Metso colleagues, I have also had chance to meet many of our customers in several different countries and continents. I had also made a few business trips to Middle East in the past, which made it easier to make the decision to move here since I was already somewhat familiar with the local working environment and culture and in addition knew many of the colleagues I was going to work with in advance… and what is maybe even bit more important, I was familiar with the local weather that can get quite hot during the summer months (when writing this, it is +42C outside and the humidity is expected to peak at 95% today).
So no culture shock’s so far in sight ;)

Qatar itself is an interesting country to work and live in, being a kind of a mixture of Western and Arabic worlds. It has rich natural resources that bring the country wealth that then again enables significant investments on developing the country. The population of the country is growing rapidly and especially the capital city of Doha is developing on a breathtaking pace. The current population of Qatar is about 2 million and it is expected to rise to 3 million by 2020. Endless amount of massive infrastructural projects are on-going or to be started, all aiming to have the city ‘ready’ for the 2022 Football World Cup that will be hosted by Qatar.

Qatar and the whole of Middle East is a market having a lot of growth potential also for us as a company, so I’m sure the challenging targets for the future will also bring along plenty of opportunities for the current and future employees of Metso. I’m myself currently here in Qatar on a 2+1 year contract, but the future will then tell how long I’m going to stay.

Juha

Out there and elsewhere: Ireland and China

Last week I started preparing today’s blog post. I contacted few people within Metso and luckily 3 of them got back to me and wrote a little summary regarding their experiences of working abroad. Actually we have a pretty cool group together here; Anniina Leppänen has been working with Metso in Ireland and China, Juha Kivelä is writing from Qatar and Juha Yli-Petäys tells about his 2 years working period in Brazil. It’s a nice coincident they have experiences from such different countries, which makes you realize how international company Metso really is and what kind of opportunities it can offer for its employees.

Because I love to read “real life” stories and it is great that these people arrange time to write their stories down, I decided to publish them one by one during the end of the week so all of them have their time in the limelight. So lets give the stage for the first one of the week and of course, ladies first!

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Anniina

I have been working in Metso for almost 8 years now. I started in Metso Mining and Constructions as an intern in 2005 and I moved to Metso Automation in 2008. I have always been interested in working abroad and travelling, in fact before I even joined Metso I had already lived abroad a few years. My managers always knew I was interested in opportunities of going abroad, learning more and having new challenges and in 2007 that opportunity arose when Metso Mining and Construction hired me to work as a Customer and service administrator for the Irish market in Dublin, Ireland. The country and the city was already very familiar place to me as I had been living there before for a couple of years.

I enjoyed my job in Ireland. I gained good insight of working at the customer end dealing with quarry and mining customers and learned a lot about the business and the products. While working in Metso in Ireland I guess the biggest culture shock for me was that my manager and service engineers were always on the road so I pretty much worked alone in the office. Another challenge was to learn the wear and spare parts and the related drawings as an order handler in a sales unit has to have good knowledge of supplied parts.

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Anniina in Shanghai

The second time I had an opportunity to move abroad came while working in Metso Automation GBI (Global Business Information) Project. We had just started a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation in Shanghai when we were informed that we’d have an opportunity to move there for the duration of the project. I must say at first I had to think about it as I had never traveled to China before but once we started the implementation and had visited Shanghai couple of times it was clear I would move to Shanghai.

Working in China was enticing. The culture is so different but I did not have much culture shocks as I am used to travelling and living abroad and also because we were well informed of the cultural aspects as we took a Chinese culture course before visiting Shanghai the first time. Shanghai is a modern city and they call it the Paris of the east. Although it is very Western it certainly has a different atmosphere that I had been used to. Already the language aspect can cause some confusion as locals do not really speak English widely so the best way is to learn to communicate with basic Mandarin. As I didn’t speak Mandarin and had never studied I quickly learned words to get by with. Especially with taxis, you either need to know the very basics or you must have your address you are going to written in Chinese. Well as I didn’t always have an opportunity to present the written address I was eager to communicate with the very basics of getting by with taxis.

on Shanghai's street, 03/2013

The lights of Shanghai

As Metso is an international company, working in Shanghai office does not differ that much of working in Finland or anywhere else. Of course there are the cultural aspects but you get used to the customs and habits quickly like the work hours are from 9 am to 5.30 am and that most of your colleagues get a company bus to work. Lunch is served in the canteen and there are no forks or knives available! When it is not too cold and too warm, my colleagues like to have a walk around the factory after lunch. In fact I think this has something to do with the Chinese custom of taking at least 90 steps every day to stay healthy.

To be honest I loved Shanghai and still do. It is extremely interesting place and there is always something going on at work or in the spare time. People are very friendly and interested in foreigners and many people wish to speak to you as they want to learn more English. I highly recommend!

Anniina

Recap of the summer

My summer at Metso is almost over, and it’s time for me to leave Helsinki behind again. I was asked by someone the other day whether one of my tasks at Metso is to make coffee! Sure, traineeships often involve more mundane, administrative tasks, but there’s no doubt that at Metso, summer trainees are given as much responsibility as they can handle. This means that your tasks are varied, interesting, and challenging – and you always learn from them.

Something that is quite noticeable is that Metso hires true individuals – you can find some real personalities here. An open door policy is very much embraced, and there’s no stuffy culture whatsoever. You can often hear people laughing and joking around in the corridors, or popping their head in your office to see how it’s going. I actually think I can hear someone whistling in the corridor right now! You really can approach anyone here, and they are always willing to help. On the flipside, everyone gives you the privacy to work and respects that you can’t always make it to lunch meetings.

Working here this summer has really been a good experience. Applying your studies to work life isn’t always straightforward, but it helps when you’re in a supportive environment. The experience has also helped me realise which law practice area I am most interested in, and what I want to specialise in during my Masters degree.

The only small complaint I have is that the offices are freezing! I think the cakes and sweets in the kitchens have a purpose: to make us build an extra layer of fat to survive inside. Thankfully it’s been a warm summer in Helsinki, and I use my lunch breaks to go get warm outside.

One of the many cakes from our kitchens

One of the many cakes from our kitchens

Other than that, I can easily recommend applying to work here – I’m sure the experience will positively surprise you!

Iina Pakkala
Summer Legal Trainee
Helsinki, Finland

Coming soon…

The summer is almost over… Or at least I feel like that, as there is less than 2 weeks left of my summer trainee ship. After that it’s time to pack my bags and head to Mexico (Caramba!). Nevertheless, I wanted to write one more blog post before packing my stuff and flying away. So here is the pre-info about it…

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This is the place where I gonna go next… Mexico and the beach!

I might have mentioned before that I’ll graduate this autumn and therefore have been thinking a lot what I would like to do in the future. I love travelling and living in new places, so it is pretty obvious that I would love to find a job which would allow me to travel or live and work somewhere else than in Finland at least part of the time. I already know how you do it and what it’s like when you are student or even before that, but what is it like when you have your degree and maybe even bunch of work experience and you want to find a “real job” outside your home country?

Inspired by this dilemma and Jonathan’s blog last week, I chose to do my next blog post related to the subject. What is it like to work abroad when you actually already are in the “work life”? I sent off few inquiries to people within Metso who have gone to work in another country as an expat or for longer period of time. Now I’m waiting to get few answers and I’m sure they’ll have some interesting and maybe even helpful stories to tell us.

So I will get back to you next week, with some great stories, I hope! In the mean while, have a great end of the week!

Jenni