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Sustainability? What do you actually do?

Sustainability? Sounds interesting, but what do you actually do in your day-to-day work? This is the exact question almost everybody asks when I tell about my internship at Valmet. To be honest, from the start that was not clear to me. 

I am studying Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility in Hanken School of Economics. Here I am on my second month at Valmet as a Sustainability summer trainee. The moment I received a call confirming the place blew me away. Joining a global company and getting a job that matches my study field – this summer cannot be any better. From time to time, I feel grateful that more and more companies are opening their doors to students and young people with little to no work experience.

Tram Nguyen

Like many people, I thought the word “sustainable” was mostly about “environment friendly”. Sustainability certainly has a lot to do with the environment, but it’s not the only thing. From my studies, I learned a little more about what sustainability means for businesses. A few weeks at Valmet have given me much more of the field. I’ve got to see how sustainability plays such an integral part of Valmet. From supply chain, product and operation efficiency, people, safety, environmental management to customer management. And the list goes on. 

My main project this summer is to implement actions in Valmet’s sustainability action plans 2016 – 2018. Most of my tasks are related to developing materials to communicate Valmet’s sustainability performance and conducting supplier sustainability assessment. The work has been very diverse and enjoyable. I’ve got to work with people from different functions and countries. Right on my first day, I had the chance to attend a project kick-off meeting, in which colleagues around the world participated.

What’s fascinating about the work is the feeling of making a positive difference across many areas. The level of trust and responsibilities given to trainees at Valmet is remarkable. I have also been encouraged to learn and expand skills beyond my field. 

To say I am ecstatic about the next three months would be an understatement. There is so much to look forward to in the coming months, both my long task list and company social and sport events already reserved in my calendar. 

 

Welcome to follow the blog series “My Summer at Valmet”, where Valmet’s summer trainees share their experiences during summer 2017. This blog post was written by Tram Nguyen - a summer trainee in Valmet’s Sustainability from May to September 2017. Tram has finished her first year of a 2-year Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility in Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. She is interested in Global supply chain and sustainable development. 

Read the next blog post from Laura: People working together – the atmosphere at Valmet from summer trainee’s perspective