February 16, 2016

Riding the IT learning curve

Beatrice Palmgren

Business Development Trainee, Retail, Tieto

How did I manage to convince my future boss that I had an idea of what IT was? Sure, I did take a couple of programming courses and I do have a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. However, had they placed me in front of a computer to pull off some cyber magic, they would have realized that they had picked the wrong person. 

I thought I’d better take some IT courses in the summer before my internship at Tieto. Did an “IT for dummies” course even exist? These were the thoughts I had about a year ago when I was recruited to be a trainee in business development within retail, logistics and services at Tieto. 

Now I can laugh about my hesitation and see why my employer wasn’t really sharing those doubts. As a trainee, I work on companies operating in such industries as retail, fashion, pharmaceuticals, gas, logistics, real estate, travel, and so forth. What business development needs is an awareness of market trends, observing changes in consumer behavior, and knowing what’s currently hot in IT. Questions that I’ve faced so far range from household digitalization to the future of brick and mortar stores.

The projects we trainees have been involved with illustrate the point that Tieto’s business covers a wide range of topics. Caroline has been working on projects that help us diagnose cancer more quickly, Karl has had his hands on the EU data protection reform, Carl-Fredrik has worked on block chains, and Carl has tested and developed an internal product. I’m not saying that IT doesn’t include data centers, software development and similar tech staples. On the contrary, they are a very large part of what we at Tieto do. But our jobs go beyond that. 

Without the exchange between industry knowledge and profound IT competence a company like ours wouldn’t survive. Business and technology simply can’t be separated. That’s also why my programming talent, or lack thereof, wasn’t measured in the interview. Curious by nature, I’ve been glad to see that my colleagues at Tieto are always willing to take their time to help and explain new things to me. It goes without saying that there are lots of those.

So what have I learnt about the IT? At its core, it involves the storage, exchange, transmission and transformation of data. IT helps us connect with each other and grow businesses. IT stretches from your personal computer or smartphone all the way to the data nerves that keep society’s most crucial systems running. We might not see it, but it’s there and continues to grow.

One thing is for sure: the learning path will never come to an end. I’ll never gain a complete understanding of information technology, and that’s fine. There will always be a new challenge ahead and an opportunity to be seized. Quite frankly, this journey is why I enjoy working on IT in the first place.

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Read more about our career opportunities at www.tieto.com/careers and our Generation T -trainee page.

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