It is an early morning in Wroclaw, Poland. I am a Finnish Bioforce Graduate who moved here a couple of weeks ago for a UPM Raflatac traineeship module of four months. It is quite cold outside, but the Polish winter is still distinctly mild compared to a Finnish one. It is time to eat a quick breakfast and go to work. When leaving at 7 a.m., it is possible to avoid the traffic jams that usually start half an hour later.
At the office people are nice, polite and smiling. I greet everyone by saying “dzie≈Ñ dobry”, good morning, as it is one of the Polish phrases I have learnt during my stay. Till this moment I have received so much kindness and hospitality from my colleagues that it is difficult to put into words.
At UPM Raflatac I work as a Bioforce Graduate Trainee in the Films Business team. Now it is the second module of the trainee programme, which consists of total of four modules. During my first module, I stayed in Tampere, Finland. Similarly to the first module in Tampere, here in Wroclaw I have various tasks related to business support and sustainability. Still, my most important current task is to learn more about the R&D processes as a means of deepening my technical understanding of pressure sensitive labels.
Values as a starting point
During recent years, I have been drawn to study and work abroad. I did the first part of my double Master’s degree in Environmental Management for Business in Cranfield University, England and the second part of it in the Environmental Faculty of the University of Helsinki, Finland. After graduating with two Master’s degrees, I came across the UPM Bioforce Graduate Programme and I got excited about the concept: it promised an opportunity to gain unique, international work experience, personal growth and an inspirational view on a global company. “This is exactly what I am looking for,” I thought to myself and applied for the post.
A meaningful and a truly developing job has been my dream ever since I started my university studies. Sustainability has been my passion for years, and therefore it was a natural choice for me to join a company with similar values. At UPM, responsibility is a core value and it can be seen in all the actions of the company. At the point when I said “yes” to this opportunity, I felt like I was taking an actual step towards my dream of having a truly meaningful job.
A meaningful job as a goal
What is a meaningful job? There may be as many answers to this question as there are people. In my case, a meaningful job means that I can be myself at work and support the company with all my best skills. Furthermore, it means a work environment where all the people treat each other with kindness and respect – where the diversity of people is appreciated. To me, a meaningful job is in line with my own values and morals: I strive to work with the worldwide environmental problems of today and to give my personal effort in solving them. What comes to success, I believe it follows professionals who work for something that feels important and meaningful to them.
As a Bioforce Graduate Trainee I see the correlation between the early promises of the trainee programme and the reality of it. I think the actual work experience has already had a very positive impact on me as it has taught me a lot and it has offered me new ways of thinking. In the same way, this traineeship has speeded up my personal growth and given me new, great friendships. All of this is highly meaningful to me.
As for the global environmental challenges, I have noticed that the world may be slow to change, but even the smallest steps move us forward. Likewise, the traineeship at UPM Raflatac has been a great start to my career, constantly moving me forward and leading me to the direction where I want to go.