Sievo Summer Academy

Sievo Culture

A Florida man in Helsinki: my first weeks at Sievo

Erkki Paunonen May 26, 2021

My name is Erkki, and I’m originally from Florida. Currently, I’m working on my M.Sc. in Marketing from Hanken School of Economics. Despite my very Finnish name, I can’t say I speak Finnish well (after 6 years in Finland). This blog will share my experiences from the first few weeks as a Summer Seal in Sievo’s Summer Academy.  

The Sievo Summer Academy is a student-focused job program with roles in Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Solution Support and Data Management. This year, we have 12 “Summer Seals.” The Sievo mascot is a seal name “Jaxu”, hence our nicknames.  

The Summer Academy is not your average summer work. Even though we are split into departments, over the course of the summer we gain a very well-rounded picture of the different functions at Sievo, and “get our hands dirty” in many different projects. For instance, as a marketing trainee, I will also get an opportunity to sit in on sales training. Data management Seals will also be involved in our yearly customer event Sievo Friends. The idea is to develop us as multi-faceted professionals and gain a full picture of the operations at Sievo.   

In my first two weeks, I was thrust directly into the fray. I’ve been given real assignment between our many training sessions and had plenty of one-on-one time with managers. Despite the virus that shall not be named, we have been given the chance to do our on-boarding at the office safely (with face masks and a lot of hand sanitiser). This was a really nice change of pace after a whole academic year studying remotely. The Summer Seals have also had the full opportunity to participate in training remotely.  

The most palpable thing about these first few weeks has been the energy from management. For example, in the marketing department our CMO Lari Numminen has been incredibly hyped for the projects the Seals will be taking on. Not only is that energy infectious, but it has really given off the feeling that our roles matter. Unlike most summer jobs where, honestly, you feel like a cheap replacement for full-timers on holiday. At Sievo, the Summer Academy is built around on the job learning and a well-rounded introduction to the company.  

Another thing I didn’t foresee was how many employees I’d meet here who started out as Summer Seals and continued part-time. That showed that the summer program here is not just a good-will exercise or student exploitation. It’s a real jump start to your career in Sievo, and a period where you can gain real hands-on experience. For non-Finnish speakers like myself, opportunities like this are incredibly rare.  

My expectations for the summer are only going up. For other students out there who have similar trouble finding summer work in Finland due to the language, I hope my story inspires you to look for companies like Sievo—or better yet, apply here next year! In our welcome pack, we were each given the Sievo hoodie among other things. I’ve worn mine everyday.  

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