Story | 07/22/2022 10:45:28 | 3 min Read time

Juho, HR Specialist, HR Service Center Kraków

I joined the UPM team in September 2021, soon after graduating as a Master of Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki. I knew I wanted to live and work abroad and preferably experience working in the private sector. After applying, I was offered a position as an HR Specialist in Kraków, which I happily accepted.

My daily tasks in the Reward & Career Changes team include supporting Workday end users and auditing changes in employment data. As a member of our CRM Key User team I hold technical training sessions for my colleagues as well as suggest and test system developments and improvements. I am really inspired by the two different sides of my Key User role. I get to both cooperate with the IT team to build systems that are more useful and user-friendly, and to help my colleagues use them as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Bridging the gaps between IT and end users is one of my main career goals and the HR Service Center is certainly a good place to work towards it.

"Trust and be trusted” is one of UPM’s core values and I really love seeing it in practice here at the HR Service Center. Nobody is looking over my shoulder when I am working, and if I say: “I can do this,” people not only trust me to do it, but they also trust me to ask for advice whenever I need it. As employees we are given space to grow and our managers are always there for us to discuss what we would like to learn next. UPM takes development seriously and I really feel that I am learning something new every single week here, if not every day. Even though I am just starting my career, I get to take on a lot of responsibilities and I am always encouraged to share my ideas and opinions with the teams I am working with.

One of the most satisfying aspects of my job is being part of this supportive, international community. Since I work in more than one team, I get to mix with a diverse group of colleagues of different ages and nationalities. When it comes to working with my Polish colleagues, the biggest surprise has been how small the cultural differences have felt. I think that people who work in an international environment are generally more understanding and give you the benefit of the doubt when something does not seem clear.

Initially, I was supposed to come to Kraków only for a few months, but I really liked it here and wanted to stay. I enjoy the vibrant city life, with a seemingly endless number of reasonably priced cafes, restaurants, and bars as well as countless activities. The Multisport card offered by the employer is helping me stay active by providing access to most sports in the city. I am a big history fan and the Old Town, Old Jewish district of Kazimierz, Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz have all left an impression on me. I also find the Nowa Huta district a very much underappreciated gem of the city’s history.

What makes UPM stand out from other employers? Besides the values, I find our company’s mission and innovativeness exciting. For example, replacing oil-based plastic bottles with bio-based alternatives and developing biomedical solutions for natural wound healing are something that I am proud of. There is so much beyond paper and plywood that we produce!

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