Jul 6, 2021
My summer job this year is to work as a proofreading trainee in Valmet’s AIR technology unit in Raisio. To be completely honest, if you had told me a year ago that I would be working at Valmet during the summer of 2021, I would have assumed you were joking. As a linguist and therefore a student of the humanities and social sciences, I did not see myself as the most likely choice for a summer job at Valmet. However, the application process was straightforward. I filled in an open application after Christmas, knowing I had nothing to lose, and felt elated when I was offered the position of a proofreader of the AIR technology unit’s English documentation.
What stands out to me as the most enjoyable aspect of this summer job is that I get to make use of my education in linguistics and English specifically while tackling challenging technical texts. Despite the fact that I have no background in engineering, I am steadily learning the ins and outs of paper machines and runnability equipment. This is exciting since it means that at the end of the summer, I will be leaving with tangible technical knowledge I can use to demonstrate that my skills and work experience are multidisciplinary. I have also been enjoying the flexibility that this position offers; the fact that I get to decide what time I come in and what time since I leave (in Valmet we have flexible working hours system) means I can maximize my productivity while taking on more responsibility than has been possible in my previous summer jobs.
Due to my humanities background, I must admit I initially wondered whether I would feel confident in my abilities when working on exclusively engineering-based materials. The surprising part was that I quickly realized this was a complete non-issue and that I was fascinated rather than intimidated by the specifics of the equipment my work centers around. I was also positively surprised by what a great work environment Valmet has created. In my experience, people are approachable, and the office atmosphere is welcoming — even though many of us are working remotely for now!
Being a summer trainee at Valmet has influenced my career plans mainly in the sense that I am now much more aware of the range of my professional skills. In linguistics, I am most interested in phonetics and speech technology, and I plan on starting my master’s studies in September. The work I have been doing at Valmet has reaffirmed my interest in the more technical and practically oriented side of language research which is hugely exciting.