Valmet SEMEA training program creates cooperation opportunities, develops competence and attracts talent

Feb 23, 2024

We interviewed Vítor Nunes, former SEMEA Trainee, Tiago Becker, Product Sales Manager - Fiber Technologies, who tutored Vítor during his journey and Carlos Marques, Country Manager, Flow Control Business Line - Portugal who is Vítor’s current manager, about their experiences and perceptions of the trainee program and career transition.

For the ones who are not familiar with the SEMEA Trainee Program, its purpose is to create cooperation opportunities, competence development and talent attraction for both the trainee and Valmet. 

Valmet’s SEMEA Trainee Program was first launched in January 2023. It’s been almost a year now. Let’s find out what our former trainee and tutor, and current manager have to say about the Trainee Program and Vítor’s career transition to Sales Engineer in Flow Control Business Line.

Valmet HR: Vítor, you’re the first! Let’s get to know you! Tell us your story: who you are, what is your background, what are your hobbies and/or interests.

Vítor: My name’s Vítor, I am the new Sales Engineer at Valmet Flow Control Business Line, former trainee. I have a Materials Engineering academic background and I’m a very active person. I play sports and I like outdoor activities, mainly activities involving the sea.

Valmet HR: Your commitment to the Trainee Program has paid off! What is your feedback regarding your career transition from P&P Sales trainee to Flow Control Sales Engineer?

Vítor: It was a smooth transition because I had already met the Flow Control team when I was a trainee and had established a relationship with them, so this career transition flowed well; of course, responsibility level has increased however I have been getting a lot of support in my onboarding phase. Sometimes it can be challenging, but I feel very much supported in overcoming challenges and dealing with stress. This 9-month traineeship was very rewarding, and I really wanted to continue working for Valmet.

Valmet HR: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a career at Valmet?

Vítor: If you are an adaptable team player, looking for continuous improvement, Valmet is the place. This is what happens here daily. I’m sharing the office with other business lines, and we cooperate. I can give you an example: Flow Control BL has been a recent acquisition and sometimes customers might be confused about whom they should get in touch with. We always find a way to coordinate this and organize ourselves.

Valmet HR: Thank you very much Vítor! We wish you the best of luck in your new role!

Now let’s talk to Tiago Becker. 

Hello Tiago! We’re very much curious to understand your tutoring experience, but first tell us who you are.

Tiago: I am a chemical engineer; I started my career in the cellulose industry in Brazil working as a process engineer in fiber. After 5 years in this role, I decided to join Valmet and have now been working for the company for 9 years. I’ve had several roles and since 2020 I’ve been working as a Product Manager, fiber line for Portugal and Spain. 
Just like Vítor, I enjoy playing and watching sports. I like to be around my friends and family, and to travel.

Valmet HR: What was Vítor’s greatest contribution? 

Tiago: We challenged Vítor to create tools and procedures that would improve our ways of working while supporting the customer during the annual shutdowns. I believe Vitor’s legacy is that he succeeded in this assignment. He developed these materials, and it’s being used by the team in Iberia to promote services and business with customers during annual shutdowns.

Valmet HR: What advice would you give to soon-to-be tutors?  

Tiago: Before the arrival of a new trainee, it is important to prepare a work plan. These people are young, full of energy and highly motivated to work. It is important to give them a challenge that makes them feel motivated and important, that allows them to have the freedom to express their talent.

Valmet HR: What advice would you give to business lines and areas which are planning (or did not plan yet) to onboard a trainee in their teams?  

Tiago: I believe it is highly positive to onboard trainees on the team, as it is one of the best ways to bring qualified professionals to Valmet. Valmet’s SEMEA Trainee Program makes it possible to have the right time to train these young folks, to integrate them in the team and to make them promising professionals. We are facing a global technological and industrial transformation with AI and I believe trainees are the most well prepared and informed about these new changes. They can bring their knowledge and skills to their jobs and teams. Not only are they better informed than us, but they can also make better use of new technology.

Valmet HR: Thank you Tiago! For sure this was an enriching experience for you.

Valmet HR: Carlos! Vítor has recently joined your team under the role of Sales Engineer. We want to get your insights! Please, let us know who you are.

Carlos: My name’s Carlos Marques and I am an Electrical Engineer. After finishing my degree, I started working at a petrochemical company and, at the same time, I was a high school Math teacher. Sometime later, in 1990, I joined this company – Neles at that time – and started working as a sales engineer for pulp and paper. In 1996 I became Portugal’s Flow Control Country Manager and have been in this role ever since. I love to travel, listen to music and watch football.

Valmet HR: What are the benefits of having a former trainee in the team?

Carlos: Vítor has had the opportunity, through SEMEA Trainee Program, to get familiar with Valmet’s guidelines and to meet some customers and colleagues from other business lines. P&P customers are the same as FC’s, so it was for sure beneficial for both. Additionally, Vítor had the chance to learn a bit about pulp processes, which is important to understand FC applications. Example, he learned about 
causticization, which is fundamental to understand the type of valves needed.

Valmet HR:  ... And what are the challenges?

Carlos: Well, Vítor is not a trainee anymore so his responsibility level has increased. Of course, he continues receiving support from the team and continuously learning – just like any of us.

Valmet HR: What advice would you give to other managers, in order to encourage their decision of hiring for potential?

Carlos: I’m totally favorable and would advise hiring managers to hire for potential because these young graduates bring new ideas, they are quick learners, and have good IT skills. These competencies are very valuable and help them overcome challenges easily in a short period.