While Anna Lehikoinen was studying Chemical engineering at the Lappeenranta University of Technology, she got a summer job at UPM Communication Papers' paper mill in Rauma in 2017. After the summer, Anna also did her Master’s thesis at the Rauma mill. When the thesis was almost completed, the position for UPM Communication Papers' own one-year Graduate programme opened.
“The Graduate programme was a really good opportunity after the graduation,” says Anna. “There were seven of us in a team. The programme included several trainings and meetings togerther, and we also learned from UPM's Businesses’ representatives about the various operations. All of this gave a comprehensive overview of UPM as a company.” The programme also included a three-month working period in process development tasks at the Augsburg paper mill in Germany.
Process development work gave a wide view of production topics
After completing the Graduate programme in the autumn of 2019, Anna continued in Rauma as a Process Development Engineer. The role provided a good insight into production issues and the mill’s paper manufacturing processes.
Anna also worked as a Chemical Approver at the Rauma mill area. The next step in her career was found at the end of last year in the Intranet announcement.
“I noticed from the vacancies in the Intranet that there was an open position for a chemical expert in the global Responsibility team. I had already thought if I wanted to focus more deeply on production issues or should I go for specialist career. I had followed UPM's responsibility issues a lot in the past already and I was really interested in working with those, so I didn't have to think twice about applying for the position,” Anna explains.
Sending the application was easy, and soon came an invitation for the first round of interviews with an HR representative and current manager. After the aptitude tests, the leader of the global Responsibility team participated in the second round of interviews.
“The process went really well. It took just over a month including the Christmas holidays. The transition from a UPM Business unit to a global role went well,” Anna describes the application experience.
Chemistry in a new role
Anna works now as a Senior Specialist, Product Stewardship at UPM Responsibility team, coordinates issues related to chemicals REACH and biocide laws, and keeps business representatives informed of changes.
“I represent UPM in various international chemical consortium meetings, for example, and maintain UPM's internal Product Stewardship network. Now a lot of time is spent on the project for the new chemical database. After the implementation of the database, I am working as one of the key users. The great thing is that this job challenges me every day and I get to work with a very wide and international network.”
In 2021 63.7 percent of open positions were filled by internal candidates, just like Anna.
Anna has a clear message for colleagues who want to change jobs. “It’s worth following your own dreams and topics of interest and throwing yourself into challenges! Be curious and move forward!”