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Blog | 08/31/2018 08:04:04

UPM Graduates Life: Youyou Tao moved along the value chain

Youyou Tao

Bioforce trainee

It has been almost one year since I joined UPM Bioforce Graduate Programme. Back then, I could have never imagined how much I would gain from this journey.

As a complete freshman in the paper industry, everything has been both challenging and fascinating. The graduate programme has offered the opportunity to work in different departments, which has helped me to understand the business and interrelations between departments in just a few months.

I spent first half of this 18-month programme learning about supply chain: first six months in Supply Chain Planning for UPM Specialty Papers at the Changshu paper mill in China and the next three months in UPM Communication Papers’ Inventory Team in Augsburg, Germany.

Experiencing both business areas allowed me to observe and compare different ways of working and made me better understand the business needs in markets of different maturities.

For me, one of the best things in this programme has been being able to share information and connect people cross-boundaries, even cross-business areas. It really is a unique advantage. For example, I did an info-sharing session for my team in Augsburg where I introduced the Changshu mill and compared the differences in our daily operations. Today, my colleagues in Augsburg are still offering us help for a new project’s setup in Changshu. Isn’t this exchange of knowledge and sharing practices just fascinating?

From supply chain to business intelligence

This June I moved along the value chain from the relatively back end of business to the front and started my third module with the Business Intelligence (BI) team in Shanghai, China. My current tasks are very closely market related and it is crucial to timely identify any new changes or trends.

As far as I’ve learned, the main task in BI is to collect accurate data and information which is then converted to valuable “intelligence” that supports decision making. Working with BI, I get to know many new things every day about the markets, customers, competitors, government regulations and much more. All of this complements what I’ve previously learned about production, products and logistics in supply chain. Combining these two viewpoints has given me a more holistic view of our business and the industry.

Ready to embrace the next challenge

After finishing my third module in BI, I will soon rotate to my last position in Sales & Operations Planning. I already feel excited about it! The department is even more involved with the dynamic markets and working there will require high levels of agility. It will definitely be a huge challenge but I’m ready to embrace it.

No matter where I’ve been located in the company, there are always changes taking place. New challenges keep people adaptive and responsive. We just need to be open to face them.

Looking back, I am amazed at how much the UPM Bioforce Graduate Programme has motivated and endowed me. With one third of the traineeship still left, I’m eager to see how much my professional skills will continue to grow. I‘m confident that the programme will lead me towards new opportunities.


Youyou Tao

Youyou Tao

Bioforce trainee |