February 8, 2018

Discovering new areas of comfort zone by sailing away from the safe harbor – My summer as a part of Tietolife

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Niina Hokkanen

Summer Trainee – Sales and Marketing Assistant, Tieto

I remember that one May morning as it was only yesterday: I sat in a lobby of Tieto Keilalahti HQ and waited for my first day of summer internship to begin. I felt extremely enthousiastic as my five months wait was finally over: at last it was the time to change the scenery from uni’s library and lecture halls into bustling and inspiring office life (which in this case is better known as #tietolife).

But in order to speak honestly, this feeling of being over the moon enthousiastic included a tiny twist inside my own head. As quietly in my mind I was wondering how I will adapt into one of the biggest IT companies in the Europe with background of a pure business student without any earlier experience on basically anything IT-related. And in that sense, I felt bit like sailing away of my own safe harbour and leaving on adventure to see where the limits of my comfort zone truly are. You never know if you never try, right? Nevertheless, those silly thoughts of mine were soon totally washed away as I became more familiar with the opportunities for people with a business background inside the company. Even though Tieto might fundamentally be a house of Software and Tech, it most certainly doesn’t mean that each of the job there is only an IT job. It’s also a house of Business understanding.

I listed below three main cornerstones of my summer, which enabled me to adapt into the tech world:

1)    My work and the co-workers

I was instantly taken as a part of team: Already on my first workday, I participated in the meetings like any other of my co-workers. And when the first workweek was over, I had, for example, already spent two whole days in Sales Hackathon in Stockholm and learned valuable information of the Tieto’s Financial Services business and the unit that I just had recently joined as a Junior Sales Trainee. Right starting from my first day, I was for sure engrossed into the world of Fintech with various inspiring insights from many professionals of the field and I was also given multiple interesting and variating work assignments right from the beginning. I was also beyond lucky to get to work with talented and experienced people who were willing to share their expertise with me, as well as support and help me when learning and working with tech related stuff wasn’t always a bed of roses.

2)    Tieto’s engagement to their trainees

Right starting from my first interview round it was made clear to me that Tieto invests in its trainees and wants me to succeed and develop together with them. This was also concretely proved to me during my summer internship: besides being given interesting tasks and good amount of responsibility, I was trusted and priviledged to see, experience and learn Tieto’s Financial Digital Channels business from various angles in order to explore where I could feel most at ”home”. I was also given an opportunity to continue working part-time besides of my studies and I was told about the future opportunities regarding my master’s thesis and my possible future career at Tieto.

3)    Networks - People people and once more people

One of the most memorable event of my summer internship was the traditional Tieto Take-Off day, which gathers together all the new employees from the Nordics into a two-day seminar filled with different activities and interesting presentations – not to forget the event program in the Helsinki city center! That was the occasion where I finally met my fellow summer trainees and other newcomers, who provided me with invaluable peer support during the summer and as well offered perspective and familiarized me with the other units and businesses inside of Tieto. Or let alone all those afternoon coffee breaks spent with them on the sunny 8th floor rooftop terrace when the whole office was pretty much quiet during the busiest holiday season! One other very important perk of my Tietolife was also the network of Tieto Young Professionals that organizes a wide variety of different activities such as afterworks.

And if things like these won’t make you feel like at home at your new job, I most certainly don’t know what does! And when it comes to my initial setting as a bare-foot business student in the IT-company, I learned the most important thing: By stepping out of your assumed comfort zone might make you see that it's even larger than you thought. And that's also the best way to discover and acquire new perspectives and ways of thinking - and as a bonus: learning a lot about yourself is guaranteed!

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