Autumn Leaves

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!

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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

Time and space

It has always fascinated me how time goes so fast. It goes so fast that you may wonder where have your summer holidays gone? Is the summer already over? How come I´m back at work already? Who has stolen my coffee mug and where´s my favorite stapler?

Our working week is full of schedules, dead-lines and tasks that we need to operate. In an industry site, where I´m working, people are in a strong mist of work. Engineers are engineering, businessmen and women are looking sharp with their blazers, mobile phones are flashing everywhere and time is being spent by making machines, selling them and doing everything around them.

Time goes by and we generate a tunnel vision where we forget both time and space: people around us, buildings, light, nature, smells and noise. Don´t worry, it´s totally natural to forget these things. Humans are like that. We forget our surroundings and focus on the subject. We prioritize by not looking what´s around us and we ignore the small things and use our brains to do what´s important and what has to be done. Besides, is there any other way?

I have always been interested in the Lokomo industry site. It´s full of history, old buildings and tradition. There is always something going on and as I deliver goods at the site, I get to see small glimpses of time and moments that go by in a blink of an eye. I have tried to capture those small moments where time has paused and you can just observe how the nature is taking over, shadows are drawing figures and surrounding buildings are hypnotizing your senses. Next time when you pass that pile of pallets or that usual path to a meeting or use that familiar door, take your time and try to see what´s around you. Maybe you will find something new that you haven´t seen before.

Jaakko Vuorio

Summer Trainee and Day Dreamer

Metso Minerals, Tampere

Manchester of the North

I´m going to tell you a secret. Or maybe a cluster of secrets. I´m going to unveil something about Finland which is not commonly known from an international perspective. It has something to do with the small size of our nation and our ´outbackish´ Northern European location. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that sometimes people from all around the world are not that familiar with Finland. They sure know that the Finnish capital is Helsinki (right?). Now I´m coming to my little secret. Here it goes: there is another city in Finland which may just be as tempting as our capital and is surely claiming ´The Most Awesome City of Finland´ -title. It has the beat of a big city but the benefits of a small village. It´s in between two big lakes, people there talk with an epic dialect, it´s a hockey town like no other and the local delicatesse is a blood sausage covered with lingonberry jam. This city is called Tampere. (And if you ask me it just freakin´ rocks!)

Tampere was founded in 1775 and first it was just a market place in the poor rural area. Tampere began to develop in the 19th century when as a part of the industrial revolution the city began to play a major role as an industrial center of Finland. Tammerkoski channel, which crosses the city center, provided sufficient power for the factories which were built on the banks of the channel. And so it happened that in the mid 1800´s Tampere had almost the half of Finland´s industrial labour which has left a strong labour and industrial culture for the city. They even started to call Tampere as´Manchester of the North´ because of the similarities with the UK´s industrialised Manchester. In Tampere textile manufacturing was the state-of-the-art and main industry at the beginning but during the decades industries developed towards common metal industry and other. In these days Tampere is also known of its information technology and telecommunication industry.

Metso is a big part of the city and its colorful history. Metso Group has multiple posts in and outside the city but there is one undeniable and legendary site which is just a walking distance from the Tammerkoski channel (and all the other neat places). That place is called ´Lokomo´ and it´s an industry site for Metso Minerals at Hatanpää neighborhood. It is place where history and tradition meet the modern engineering skills. Back in the days Lokomo was actually a corporation, founded in 1915, and it manufactured trains (locomotives). Nowadays Metso Minerals is occupying the old Lokomo site but at the main gate you can still see an old train as a reminder of the old days.

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Did you know that Tampere has been continuously voted as ´The Best Place To Live in Finland´? And if we take a look at international news about Finland, such as the Best Country in the World for Mothers and the Best Country in the World, you could say that Tampere might just be one of the best places to live on earth! Is it because the city has somewhat 35 000 students of its 218 000 inhabitants which makes the city vibrant or is it because Tampere has the perfect location with nature and outdoor spots at your doorstep? Maybe it´s because of 80´s rock´n roll ages when there was a huge boom in Finnish rock culture, especially in Tampere where they created this strange and mystic ´ManseRock´ hype with mullets, leather jackets and white sneakers.

Näsijärvi sunset

Upper reaches at Tammerkoski channel and the sunset by the lake Näsijärvi

When visiting Finland, travelers, backpackers, tourists, businessmen and women are quite often spending their summer days in Helsinki, our beautiful capital. But take caution! You just might miss the Pearl of the Inland, imposing, loose and laid-back Tampere.

Jaakko Vuorio

Summer Trainee and ´Manse freak´.

Tampere, Finland

A love story

Well hello! This is my first but surely not last blog entry for this summer: the game is on! As a Metso trainee I am proud to be one of the bloggers here at We @ Metso -blog. I hope my posts will provide you something to think about, add some sparkle for the summer weeks and hopefully amuse you. But first, let me tell you something about myself and what I do at Metso as a trainee.

I´m a studying education and next semester I will start my Master´s at the University of Tampere, School of Education. To be specific I will actually graduate also to a class teacher´s profession (you know, to work with the kids at the elementary). I am also studying courses and studies which are related to multiculturalism, diversity and sustainability in development. Maybe that´s something I can write to you in the future. And what on earth am I doing here at Metso?

It was love at first sight. It all started five years back when I graduated from the military. After the service I ended up working at the Metso Minerals Tampere. Minerals Tampere post is located at Hatanpää area very next to the heart of the city. As I am a big fan of Tampere, you can be sure that you will hear more about the great city of Tampere also known as the Manchester of Finland. Anyways, funny thing was that I started my first summer at Metso with three other guys who, eventually, became my best friends. We still from time-to-time talk about our time at Minerals and how we had a blast back then.

After several months of hard work at the Minerals I had to say goodbye to Metso because of my upcoming studies. But little did I know that in the future I would see a lot more Metso, rock, spare parts, rock (again), forklifts and summers at Metso than I had in mind.

This is now my fourth summer in total here at Metso Minerals Tampere and I´m enjoying every bit of it! I still do. From the very beginning my love story with Metso started at the Distribution Center (DC) spare parts warehouse. At the warehouse I have done almost everything you can imagine to do at this size of warehouse: packing, collecting items, driving forklifts, receiving goods, loading and unloading trucks and so on. One thing which has kept my interest is the fact that I can improve and develop my own personal work every summer. That has kept my mind fresh and open for new challenges and ideas. I have also a great honor to work with the best of the best.

Every summer I am amazed about the warehouse team: how they always after a year apart welcome me back and treat me as a fulltimer. It´s always great to come back, shake hands, throw a joke and then start an interesting and rewarding summer at Metso Minerals Tampere.

It´s truly been a love story to remember.

Jaakko Vuorio

Summer trainee, Logistics

Tampere, Finland