The Swedish trainees take Helsinki and Ostrava
A couple of weeks ago I and my fellow trainees left sunny Stockholm for rainy Helsinki. After a smooth trip and a quick lunch at the hotel, we headed straight to the Tieto headquarters in the north-west of Helsinki, also known as the ‘Aku office’ due to its address on Aku Korhosen tie. After a warm welcome from our Finnish colleagues – among them Kimmo Alkio, the CEO of Tieto, we continued with a dinner and sauna together with some of the Finnish trainees.
As we headed to the reception asking for guidance to the sauna, we found out that the stereotype about sauna-loving Finns really has some truth to it: In the Aku office there isn’t just one sauna, but three. Luckily, we managed to find the right one on the building’s rooftop. I was the only one of the Swedish trainees to join the Finns in the sauna. That was a moment I had long feared because being roasted like a turkey, so to speak, is something I would rather avoid. But it soon turned out that I had overestimated the heat of the Finnish sauna. Yes, it was hot, but definitely not the fiery furnace I had imagined.
Probably out of their envy for my courageousness in the sauna, my fellow Swedes decided to play a practical joke on me. As I was still sitting in the sauna benches, I was told to hurry up because the taxi was supposedly waiting outside to take us back to our hotel. So I jumped into a really quick shower, put on my suit as fast as I could and ran out. After about three seconds, as the sweat from after the sauna had already soaked my new shirt, my trainee colleagues welcomed me outside with roars of laughter and flashing cameras. Needless to say, the taxi was nowhere near.
In addition to being extremely friendly and fun to hang out with, the Finnish trainees already had a six-month head start working at Tieto. They turned out to be really good mentors, encouraging us not to worry if we didn’t understand everything at once about this complex, yet interesting organization and business. The learning really does continue throughout your career and whole life.
After our short but eventful trip to Helsinki, our journey continued to Ostrava, Czech Republic. Again, we were warmly welcomed and very well taken care of. During our stay we got to, for example, see the support facility of the Ostrava office in all its glory. It resembled a kind of ‘90s’ stock market with modern screens. Also, they actually had a real emergency room for unexpected technical issues, which looked like it could have been located in The White house or at NASA headquarters.
Having the opportunity to meet with so many colleagues from other corners of the world has been truly inspiring. Each and every one of them has had something to share with us, whether it’s a story, a perspective or a method. I know I speak for all of us trainees in Sweden when I say that our introductory period has been simply great. Based on these very first weeks, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the five of us.