A summer job or traineeship can have a significant impact on your career – sometimes even so significant that you get a permanent job right away.
Jesse Hakala, a Nuclear Safety Specialist, and Tommi Kujala, a Project Engineer, both of whom work for Fennovoima, are excellent examples of this. Both of them signed a permanent employment contract with Fennovoima after having gained experience from summertime jobs and having completed their theses in the Hanhikivi 1 project.
Hakala and Kujala, who studied technology, say that the company is an interesting employer and the project is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Even though they both already had previous experience from working in a large company, the scope and scale of the Hanhikivi 1 project were a surprise.
“It was exciting to be a part of it all,” Hakala says when reminiscing about his first summer with Fennovoima during his fifth year of studies.
Energy industry was attractive
Jesse Hakala came to Oulu from Kaukonen in Kittilä, first to study mathematics and then environmental engineering at the University of Oulu. Before Fennovoima, the young expert had summer jobs at a steel mill in Outokumpu and Kittilä mine.
Hakala was attracted by the energy industry from the very beginning of his studies. The summer job in the Hanhikivi 1 project only heightened his interest towards the nuclear industry and nuclear safety, in particular.
“I proposed a thesis about nuclear safety or specifically the nuclear safety culture in an international nuclear power plant construction project. Fennovoima immediately accepted the idea,” Hakala says.
“At the construction site, I was at the very heart of the project.”
Now he’s working for the company as a nuclear safety specialist, supervising and developing the nuclear safety culture.
Meanwhile, Tommi Kujala – who studied process engineering at the University of Oulu – has always been interested in design and project management. At first, Kujala accumulated experience through summer jobs in the cobalt and paper industries.
Kujala’s thesis was about the construction of a fire-tube boiler simulation model with Apros software.
“At the construction site, I was at the very heart of the project. I was able to apply everything I had learned in practice and see how a large project and a large construction site work. It felt awesome,” Kujala says.
Possibly a job until retirement
Experiences of the young experts on working with Fennovoima have been extremely positive.
“The atmosphere at work is challenging in a good way, encouraging, and international. You always get help when you need it,” Hakala relates.
“The atmosphere at work is challenging in a good way, encouraging, and international.”
The work community is also known to support people’s career development. Hakala and Kujala believe that Fennovoima could, at best, be their employer until retirement.
“My future career with Fennovoima seems promising. I believe that there will be new challenges and interesting positions as the project proceeds,” Kujala says.
Work opportunities now and in the future
Fennovoima employs hundreds of experts in different fields, and new recruitment projects are continuously being launched. Students and those who are starting their careers have the opportunity to prove their skills all year round: every year, Fennovoima offers summer jobs and traineeships for approximately 15–20 people in different parts of the organization, both in Pyhäjoki and in Helsinki.
Aino Mannio, Fennovoima’s Development Manager, says that the Hanhikivi 1 project is primarily searching for students and experts in different fields of technology, such as electrical engineering, energy technology, automation technology, process engineering, construction engineering, and mechanical engineering. There are varied job opportunities also for students and experts in commerce and social sciences in project management and support functions, such as finances, communication, legal matters, and information management.
Employer benefits from a good thesis
In addition to a summer job application, you can submit an open application to do a thesis with Fennovoima. Mannio encourages people to succinctly present their thesis idea in their application. A mentor who is intimately familiar with the subject matter of the thesis will be named for each thesis writer.
“The thesis benefiting us in some way and the student being motivated and willing to develop themselves as a future expert in the nuclear industry are important aspects for us.”
In the future as the Hanhikivi 1 project proceeds, new job opportunities in the maintenance of a nuclear power plant will also become available. Operating personnel and operators with technical college level education in process, electrical, or HVAC engineering will be required, for example.
“The plant operators will go through a training program of several years where they will receive the know-how they need to safely operate a nuclear power plant,” Mannio explains.
Five job-hunting tips
1. Read through your application with care.
Make sure that you clearly introduce yourself, your educational background, your interests, and your areas of expertise. If you are proposing a thesis, explain why it would be useful and important for the company.
2. Be active and energetic.
Try to stand out from the crowd: allow your personality to shine through in your application. Fennovoima attends several student and recruitment events each year. Boldly come and introduce yourself there!
3. Explain what motivates you.
The most important thing is telling why you’re interested in the nuclear industry, what you see yourself doing in the future, and how you expect your career development in the organization to go.
4. Describe all of your previous work experience.
Keep in mind that nobody has experience from a new industry in advance. There’s no reason for fear: the work will teach you.
5. Keep up with the project.
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