In summer 2014, Vaisala's Helsinki office took part in a Finnish summertime work experience program for young people called Tutustu työelämään ja tienaa ("Discover the world of work and get paid for it"). Although participating in this program for the first time, Vaisala has a long history with summer interns, who are a very welcome sight at the company during the time when many regular employees take their holidays.
Numerous companies all over Finland participate in the Tutustu työelämään ja tienaa program, which has been going since 1992. The program is organized by the Finnish trade union confederations.
The participating companies have a shared goal each year: to offer more summer jobs for youngsters, because getting a job at a young age is becoming increasingly difficult. To be eligible for a summer job through the program, the applicant must be aged 14–17 and attending comprehensive school, or in the 10th grade or at upper secondary school. During the summer, the youngsters work for two weeks doing six-hour work days, including lunch.
Hands-on Experience of Working Life
Two of the Vaisala Juniors, Liisi Hänninen and Millina Lehikoinen, tell us more about their time at Vaisala:
There were 27 of us altogether, all teenagers, and we were given the name Vaisala Juniors. We all worked for the same period at the beginning of June. It was nice because between all the work we also got to know each other on the occasions when we came together to play games or do fun quizzes.
We all worked in different teams at Vaisala. There were Vaisala Juniors in, for example, marketing, communications, human resources, the legal department, and the manufacturing teams. The assignments given to the two of us were to take pictures and write short articles. Other Juniors did jobs such as scanning documents, IT-related stuff, and photographing Vaisala's products. As we were given varied tasks, we got to know a lot about Vaisala. Sharing our experiences was probably one of the most exciting parts of the job.
"Every teenager should get a chance like this," said Liisi before leaving Vaisala. "When the summer is so long, you have time to work and do new things. This has been the best summer job I've ever had. I am going to miss this place."
HR Manager Tiina Baniba-Atoko summed up her feelings about the program: "I'm proud that Vaisala is part of this program. It's nice to have an energetic group of young people working with us."
Text and picture by
Liisi Hänninen and Millina Lehikoinen
Vaisala Juniors on 10 June 2014.