Story | 12/11/2018 08:00:00

A shift manager sets the pace

Matti Simoska’s journey to UPM took him from home village Simo in Northern Finland all the way to Hong Kong and finally to a summer job at the Rauma paper mill in Western Finland. Matti spent his summer not just enjoying warm days on the beach but also acquiring valuable leadership experience.

“I was on an exchange program in Hong Kong when I learned about the summer jobs offered by UPM. I started working in Rauma as soon as the exchange program ended, although I did manage to swing by Oulu to pick up some clothes,” he remembers. Matti had one more year of studies and his thesis to finish in Industrial Engineering at the Oulu University.

The Rauma paper mill runs on three shifts and produces supercalendered (SC) and lightweight coated (LWC) paper used in brochures and magazines. As one of the shift managers for PM1 and PM2, Matti oversaw not only production but also personnel and safety issues. Ensuring that the right amount of people are working on the line is one of the basic tasks of a shift manager. If someone called in sick or was away, Matti had to come up with a solution.

“You have to learn how to make decisions quickly since on the factory floor, anything can happen. Luckily, I was already used to that pace. It’s part of the job description.”

Getting familiar with Rauma, starting with the dialect

The UPM mill in Rauma hired about 70 seasonal employees during the summer. As they usually come from different cities, the summer trainees tend to spend their free time together. UPM’s regular employees also wholeheartedly welcomed them to the team.

“They showed us the ropes and treated us like their own. I feel that my thoughts and new viewpoints were genuinely listened to. The only thing I had a hard time with is was some technical terms, because the Rauma dialect is so different from what I’m used to,” Matti laughs.

Like many Finns, Matti bikes everywhere. He even managed to take short holidays when the work schedule allowed. In his free time, he enjoyed being outdoors, going to the beach or just relaxing in his studio apartment. City of Rauma offered a free three-month rental apartment for technical students seeking a summer job in Rauma.

In the future, Matti sees himself working in a supervisory position, most probably in the manufacturing industry. “For me, it’s important to find a meaningful job that challenges to broaden your horizons. It’s a big plus if the job comes with an opportunity to work abroad.”

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