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Story | 11/05/2021 12:00:00 | 5 min Read time

A cozy community and intense professional growth at the UPM HR Service Center in Kraków

Saara Töyssy

Editor, Tulus

Imagine accepting a job in a country far away, with a language you do not know. Exciting? Definitely. A little bit frightening? Sure. There is however a lot of things a company can do to make their employees’ arrival to a new location comfortable. The UPM HR Service Center in Kraków, Poland, employs human resource professionals from tens of different cultural backgrounds. Many of the center’s employees have moved to Poland specifically for the job. This pack of professionals has managed to create a very special community – one you are happy to join, and sad to leave.

Team Coordinator and HR Specialist Petra Kukonlehto relocated to Krakow in 2020 from Finland. She has found the onboarding process smooth and the community welcoming.

”The support system is solid. You are never alone with your problems. In my case for example, I got to stay in a UPM rental apartment for the first three months after arriving and was then assigned a real estate agent to help me find a suitable apartment here. UPM took care of the flights and all the red tape. To put it simply: you can have peace of mind about the practical matters and focus on your new job. Also, everyone was very welcoming,” she narrates.

Petra works in the develop and perform stream and spends a part of her hours in the Finnish occupational health and safety team and supports the onboarding process at the HR Service Center as well.

We have a lot of teamwork, across team lines as well, which means there is ample opportunity to learn from others. Also, our processes aren’t that defined which means that there is room to brainstorm and develop.

Freedom to improve and opportunities to grow

Petra experienced a warm and well-organised welcome, but it has only gotten better from there. The HR Service Center with its nearly 100 employees seems to have found the sweet spot between being cosy and small and big and exciting.  The average age of employees is a bit over 30 and many enjoy hanging out together outside of work as well. When someone moves on, they rarely fail to mention that they will miss the special atmosphere of this community.

For Petra, in addition to having found some of her best friends from work, one of the most rewarding things is the versatility of tasks and endless possibilities to learn. Petra had six months of HR experience before arriving to Kraków – some have none and start their HR career here.

“Every day is different. The tasks are diverse and the scope of the tasks is wide. We have a lot of teamwork, across team lines as well, which means there is ample opportunity to learn from others. Also, our processes aren’t that defined which means that there is room to brainstorm and develop. Some nice little details are our bi-weekly praise moment where we focus on giving each other positive feedback and the training money assigned to all employees,” Petra describes.

Petra has a lot of freedom to organise her work as she sees fit.

”I have some deadlines, but I can do the time management myself and organise my work as I see fit. During the summer we had some audits with stricter deadlines and a lot of teamwork. When working as a team towards a shared deadline you do have a lot of responsibility. On a day to day basis we communicate actively about the ad hoc tasks: who can take them on and which tasks are out priority number one,” she describes.

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Experiencing beautiful Kraków

Krakow has its own university and, in addition to students, attracts a lot of tourists. To cater to the needs of both groups the city has a great offering of restaurants, cafes, culture, and sports. The UPM’ers, including Petra, do not fail to take full advantage of what Kraków has to offer.

Petra is especially into culture – and Kraków has plenty!

“I live near the city centre and take a 20-minute train to the office. When I arrived, I was surprised about the beauty of the city and about the number of restaurants. There’s also a lot of museums and galleries and movie theatres. The old Jewish quarter is very beautiful. My next plan is taking up piano lessons, which are more affordable here than in Finland,” describes Petra.

Petra seems to have found a home, for now at least, in Kraków. How about you? Ready to take on this historic city and the modern working community at UPM HR Service Center in Kraków?

“The people we recruit to the center do not necessarily have previous HR experience. The most important thing is that you are eager to learn and have some flexibility of mind as there are many ad hoc tasks and it gets busy from time to time. I would describe this as an amazing opportunity to get international human resource experience,” says Petra.

 

Check out the open positions at the UPM HR Service Center in Kraków

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UPM HR Service Center in Kraków

Our teams of HR Specialists support UPMers in our 40+ countries around the world in 9 different languages. The services we provide cover employee data and employment lifecycle processes, recruitment, learning and compensation and benefits, as well as process automation and HR data analytics. The HR Service Center is a prime vantage point into the HR processes of a global organization and a great place for building a solid foundation of HR knowledge.