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Blog 18.10.2021

Missions guide the way to the future: Traineeship at Business Finland’s strategy unit

What is it like to work at Business Finland’s strategy unit? What are missions and how do they shape Finland’s future? Business Finland’s Strategy Support Trainee Emmi Kuusisto explains what it is like to work on big global challenges, and how she supports Business Finland’s strategic goal of becoming an even more influential social actor. The blog is part of a series of trainee blogs to be published during the fall.
Emmi Kuusisto

Strategy Support Trainee
Business Finland

A vantage point to the future

My own story with Business Finland started back in summer 2020, when I started working in disruption funding. The leap from the lecture halls to my remote office was a big challenge as well as an opportunity. Shared campus lunches turned into remote coffee breaks with co-workers, and the uncertainty of the coronavirus spring turned into an employment contract, which, this year, finally led me to my first contact with my own field, strategy. My traineeship at the Strategy Unit and with Business Finland's missions has opened up a whole new world for me. Even now, looking back, it's great to see how my skills have developed and how my vision has broadened as a result of my work assignments. Both my previous job in disruption funding and my current role as a trainee can be described as a true vantage point to Finland's business scene and future foresight work.

It's time to think big

Missions are big and ambitious sets of goals that seek not only to create economic value, but also to bring about a greater systematic change in society. Mission work is linked to Business Finland's strategy, which was renewed last year with the aim of strengthening Business Finland's role as a strong societal actor. Missions and mission-driven thinking are new to Business Finland, and the concept is currently being piloted.

We are not working alone. We are doing our part to ensure that Finnish actors are actively involved in solving global challenges, not just adapting to changing markets.

The selected pilot missions of low-carbon and digital economy are examples of major current challenges that require mission-driven and broad-based cooperation with various national and international actors. In other words, we are not working alone. We are doing our part to ensure that Finnish actors are actively involved in solving global challenges, not just adapting to changing markets. In practice, missions combine long-term strategic foresight with helping companies here and now.

For me, mission work has involved a wide range of tasks, from facilitating workshops to identifying leading international innovation strategies. The work has been more varied than I had expected. I've been able to do concrete things that can't be accessed while studying. In addition to conventional strategy-related tasks, I've been involved in the preparation of a national competitive tendering process and in the development of communication, for example. Together with experts, I've also had the opportunity to contemplate the situation of the health and well-being sector in 2040.

Motivation from meaningful work

It's important for me that I find my work meaningful. Even though my work deals with huge challenges for which there are no concrete solutions in the here and now, I still feel that I can make a difference through my work. I've also realized, as I've stepped out of the "coronavirus bubble" to the strategy unit, which represents a very different section of the organization, how multi-dimensional Business Finland really is. For example, it has been great to see how our international network pulls together to implement Business Finland's strategy worldwide.

Transitioning into projects has also been easy, even when working from home. We work together a lot, and it often seems that working through Teams can be even easier than working at the office might have been. Especially when we do brainwork as a team, it doesn't feel like lonely work. I've been happy to represent youth in general and the younger generation of Business Finland. Business Finland's strategy strongly promotes the values of sustainable development, which many young people can easily relate to. In fact, meaningful work provides motivation. It's great to see that the work we do has a tangible impact!

Read more about work opportunities at Business Finland