Sep 22, 2023
Working in large industrial projects are not for everyone and meeting ambitious targets and schedules can be challenging and stressful. Due to these reasons, it’s vitally important for Valmet to find the right people to lead, manage and execute our customer projects. To help us find the right people, Valmet started a unique Project Professional Trainee Program in April 2023, in which we gave a chance for 15 trainees to learn how we work in complex international projects.
Project Professional trainees were working in our locations in Finland in all our businesses. Many of our trainees also spent time on our customer sites in Finland, Poland and China. Our common journey came to an end on 24 August when we got together with the trainees for one last time (for now) in Valmet’s headquarters in Espoo to close the program.
Now that the Project Professional Trainee Program has been officially closed, we decided to ask from Juha Järvelä (VP, Project Operations in Board & Paper Mills) and Peter Anson (VP, Project Excellence in Pulp & Energy) who had trainees in their teams and who did group coaching with the trainees, how they feel about the program.
"We haven’t done anything quite like PRO trainee program before and I am happy that we decided to take part in the program. We have learned a lot and we were able to give our trainees an opportunity to see what it means to work for a global market leader in large industrial projects. Highlight of the program for me was the two trainees we had in our department, Aapo Länsimies and Jonne Korhonen. They did a great job in office and on one of our customer sites in China and their journey at Valmet won't stop here: Aapo will be doing his thesis work for Valmet and Jonne continues to work for us as hourly based worker when his studies allow. Would I like Valmet to continue Project Professional trainee program in 2024? 100% I would", says Juha Järvelä.
“My expectations for the Project Professional program were very high. I think that this program is a great way to share how we work at Valmet in a boarder view than a trainee would get in normal summer trainee position. This program is also a great starting point for a career in Valmet for young persons. I was hoping that we would be able to attract high caliber trainees and I wasn’t disappointed as we found a real diamond in Jonathan Winqvist for my team. Highlight of the program for me was when my coaching team visited our very large customer project site in Kemi, Finland. It was great to see how Jonathan was hosting our group like a professional at the site and explaining how things work. Managing large industrial projects isn’t an entry level role, but working with engineering and especially at customer project sites are great ways to accelerate learning of the skills and competencies needed to lead even the biggest projects. Would I like Valmet to continue Project Professional trainee program in 2024? Absolutely!", Peter Anson comments.
You might be thinking that Juha and Peter as Valmeteers are expected to give very favorable comments on Valmet’s own trainee program. Well, you are right about that, but you don’t only have to take Juha’s and Peter’s word on it. In our closing meeting we did a trainee satisfaction survey. In this survey Project Professional trainee program received 4,75 out of the maximum 5 points from the trainees to a question “Did the program fulfill your expectations?”. This is a great result for first time running this program at Valmet. Did we do a perfect job? No, but we have received excellent feedback from the trainees and Valmet supervisors on how we can improve. The best news is that we will have opportunity to improve, as Valmet will be running PRO trainee program again in 2024. If you are a university student with minimum 4 years of studies behind you, our program in 2024 is the career opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Stay tuned - more info about the next program coming early January!
If you are interested in learning more about Valmet’s Project Professional trainee program, make sure to check out the articles that you might have missed about our program!
Variety of development: Inspiring site experiences
Did you know that we had three PRO trainees who worked at Valmet sites even abroad? Get to know Jonne, Aapo, Jonathan and Miikka who shared their experiences of working in Kemi, Poland and China. From these stories, you can sense the pursuing thirst for learning and the professional growth brought by experience and knowledge gained during on-the-job learning.
Learning curves and life as a PRO trainee
The world of project management offers multiple different learning opportunities, especially for students. We had a chance to interview Jenni Sammaljoki, who joined Valmet’s Project Professional Trainee Program in the spring 2023. What has surprised Jenni the most and what are her biggest learnings as a trainee? Let’s plunge into Jenni’s trainee adventure!
From theory into practice – Embracing growth
Janita Rantala is one of the trainees who joined Valmet's Project Professional Trainee Program in the spring of 2023. In this article Janita shares her experiences and tells what she values the most about this program from a business administration student's perspective.