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Blog | 01/12/2022 14:35:25 | 3 min Read time

UPM Graduates Life: Exciting projects and deep dive into the versatile HR world

Anette Hämäläinen

UPM Graduate

In August 2020, my Graduate journey started in HR after graduating from Aalto University School of Business. UPM’s ambitions in sustainability, international work environment and innovation-driven businesses were things that first caught my attention.

After graduation, my aim was to find a company that has a positive impact on both the world and the people – UPM seemed like a good place to fulfill that aim. I was eager to put my knowledge and skills into practice, challenge myself and gain new experiences in a truly international context. Since day one, I had a strong feeling that this program is a perfect path for kick-starting my career in HR by rotating in different teams and taking part in various projects.

My goals for the program were clear: I wanted to acquire a comprehensive understanding of HR work, gain international work experience and build a wide supportive network of experts. I started in Biorefining Business Area’s HR team where I had a chance to create a solid base for my journey by learning more about daily business HR tasks, such as organizing info calls and workshops, preparing relevant materials and reports, as well as supporting in summer job recruitments and onboarding.


Widening perspective during rotations

After my stint in Biorefining, I jumped into HR Strategic Development team where I focused more on the employer branding and employee development side. For instance, I planned, organized and hosted a dozen summer job webinars in cooperation with hiring managers to tell more what the work is in practice. I also created e-learning content, conducted an extensive study regarding HR work and supported in building a concept and first content to a new service management platform globally.

My final rotation was in the Wroclaw business hub in Poland where I worked closely with the local HR, mainly focusing on recruitment and learning all phases of the process properly. In addition, I visited Krakow HR Service Center for two weeks where I gained deeper understanding of responsibilities and daily routines of different teams. Soon after my arrival in Poland, I realized how pleasant my stay will be.  I had a warm welcome and felt immediately included to the new team as new colleagues invited me for lunch or to spend time with them after work. I’m extremely happy and grateful for this experience of intense learning and working over two months abroad.

I had a warm welcome and felt immediately included to the new team

Poland was a cherry on top of my programme after which it was time to reflect on where I started and where I am standing now. To keep this somewhat short, I am convinced that this journey has significantly speeded up my personal growth and provided me with a bunch of opportunities to learn different angles of HR work in a global context. I collected a significant amount of new information and learnt new skills by working hands-on in my rotations, asking lots of questions, and cooperating closely with UPM colleagues. Most importantly, during my time as a graduate, despite corona pandemic, I was able to work with many different teams, I gained a wide network of colleagues and friends, and now I always know where to turn to in case I need sparring. I am truly grateful for all the people who I have worked with and made my journey so special.

Diving into the deep end and a new area has proven to be a winning combo to develop as a young professional. With this experience behind me, I look forward to continuing my path in a new role of Senior Specialist in Energy and Global Functions HR team in January 2022.