This Summer I have been working as a Finance & Accounting trainee in the EMEA Finance Finland team, which consists of controllers. This means that most of our day-to-day work focuses on Valmet’s accounting-related activities. We strive to make sure that the financial information of the organization is as accurate and useful as possible, so that management and other stakeholders would have all the information they require. This is achieved by doing tasks such as overseeing financial reporting, preparing budgets and estimates, and validating data between different sources. It is vital to gain an understanding of the business being examined, because it makes detecting variances in financial data and understanding its underlying causes a whole lot easier.
Just like many of our trainees, before Valmet I had only worked in positions such a s a factory worker or a salesclerk. So, in the beginning it came as a bit of a surprise how much freedom I was given on organizing my own work. In fact, it has been quite reminiscent of university studies: there are scheduled meetings, but I also have many tasks which I am responsible for that I schedule myself to make sure everything gets done in time. Naturally this requires a systematic way of working, but personally I have enjoyed this aspect of my work quite a lot. Besides the calendar, different means of communication are also very important tools for getting things done smoothly. We cooperate between different teams and countries, and nowadays making a quick video call to e.g. Germany isn’t that different from the calls we have inside our team. We are however returning to working mainly at the office, so I will also start having more face to face time with our team here in Rautpohja, Jyväskylä.
Overall, the experience of working as a Summer trainee at Valmet has been a very positive one. I feel like I have learned more during these months than I could ever learn in a year sitting in lecture halls and returning school assignments. I have been accepted as a part of the team from day 1, the working environment is very open, and my colleagues have been extremely helpful with all the questions I have had.
This leads me to two tips I have for future Valmet Summer trainees: Ask as many questions as possible and write down all the instructions you get. The best way to learn is by asking about all the things you do not know or understand, as you cannot expect anyone to read your mind about what you know already and what you don’t know yet. Writing instructions down on the other hand makes it so much easier to remember tasks that have been instructed to you when you start working on them independently a month later. I have found it useful to paste lots of screenshots into a Word file during training, and then writing down step by step instructions based on the screenshots as soon as possible, when everything is still fresh in memory. After that you can go through all the things that were still left unclear with the instructor.
Finance & Accounting Trainee, Jyväskylä