Ever since I was little, writing has been close to my heart. As a child, my sister and I wrote short stories on A4 sheets stapled into notebooks; during elementary school, writing became a hobby; and in high school, I wrote articles for local newspapers. In addition to writing, being able to interact and work closely with other people has always been one of my top criteria for a dream job. Consequently, I decided to focus on themes related to human resource management in my studies.
The opportunity to combine two interesting career paths into one internship is unique. It’s provided me with an opportunity to learn something new and to assess the direction I want to steer my career. As I started my internship in early June, however, I was a bit worried about being able to combine smoothly two different themes into one internship. Now, a few months later, this concern has proved futile. I feel that the diversity of projects has been an asset; I don’t just work around one theme, but my days are filled with versatile tasks.
When I started my internship, I got a new BFF, or Business Finland Friend – the wonderful Sonja. She has been of great help both in practical matters and in getting to know my new work community. At the beginning of a new job, it’s always relieving to have supportive individuals around. In addition to sharing their own expertise, they introduce you to the operating models of the new workplace. No need to solve overwhelming things alone. In addition to the new BFF, I got to know the members of both the communications and the HR team one by one during brief Teams coffee breaks. Having met everyone at least once, working with them later on seemed natural. The picture that started to form in my mind was that of community: people at Business Finland work all together.
At the beginning of the traineeship, I felt like I was diving into the deep end, head first. I got involved in various interesting projects where the wheels were already turning at a fast pace and I had to jump in at full speed. The situation suited me well, however, as doing concrete work is the best teacher. I noticed that the work here is done here with passion – for common goals that are larger than the individual. We venture into new things with courage.
In my opinion, a successful internship is a trade-off between two parties, where both organizations and interns can learn something new.
One of the projects that will continue throughout my entire traineeship is the launch of a new HRD system, a platform to support the employees’ learning. I’m in the project group and have participated in planning the content to be published through the platform, various trainings, and the communication for the launch. It’s a large entity, and deeply fascinating: in addition to being a new kind of learning platform, it’s a breath of fresh air in terms of agility and self-leadership. Gradually, scattered mind maps have grown into clear plans and entities. It’s been instructive to get involved in such a project from the beginning, thinking big and being open-minded. In this project, only the sky’s the limit. Even the craziest ideas are not seen as frightening – on the contrary, they just might get implemented.
From the beginning, I’ve been asked what I want to achieve with my internship and what kind of things I want to learn. Before each project, we assess whether I can learn something that will be useful for me in my future. In my opinion, a successful internship is a trade-off between two parties, where both organizations and interns can learn something new. It’s a goal, which can be achieved by taking into account the things considered important by both parties. I’ve learned a lot about organizing events, writing news, and participating in induction planning, just to mention few subjects. Challenging oneself is essential for learning and new things must be encountered open-mindedly with sisu. The best thing about this internship has been that every night when I turn off my laptop, I feel that I’ve acquired new things.
At first, I thought my internship consisted of two separate paths, but I’ve found them blending seamlessly together. I’ve found that many HR issues are built from pieces of communication; on the other hand, communication issues need to take into account many HR-related themes. Indeed, in many of my projects, it seems that it’s a very fine line between communication and HR. I’ve learned different things from both topics, but on a practical level, the work I do every day feels cohesive. And while I had big shoes to fill at the beginning of the summer, I think I’ll grow into them by the end of this year.
My trainee colleague Johanna Lamberg mentioned in her blog post that it’s been inspiring to work with the most experienced experts in their fields. I agree. In my work, I’ve been able to follow experts in HR development, orientation, and stakeholder communication, just to mention a few. Business Finland is a large organization with expertise in several topics in an international environment. In other words, it provides quite the view into the Finnish business world!
What do all together, with passion, think big, and with sisu mean?