Many students return to their childhood homes for the summer. So does Annuriikka Korhola, who is expanding her process knowledge for the second summer in a row in the field of electricical maintenance at the UPM Pellos plywood mills.
Annuriikka studies electrical engineering at the Lappeenranta University of Technology but she often spends the weekends at her family’s forest estate in Mikkeli, located about an hour's drive from her study place.
“It’s more pleasant to spend the summer in the countryside rather than the city. My friend encouraged me to apply for a summer job at the Pellos mills. As a forest owner, the large domestic forest industry company UPM appealed to me. Another important factor for me was that the mills are located in my municipalityˮ, Annuriikka comments.
Before Annuriikka started working at the mill site for the summer, she had only visited the power plant, but not the production facilities. She reminisces that she was quite nervous the first few days at work, but the nervousness dissipated quickly as she got to know the site and her colleagues.
The summer job increased Annuriikka’s motivation to study. Annuriikka states that it was more rewarding to study the theory after seeing the installation of the equipment in reality during the first summer.
“At the university, the emphasis is on the theoretical aspects and planning instead of the installation in practice. That is why the practical experience gained at the summer job is so valuable.”
From electrician to holiday stand-in for supervisors
Last summer, Annuriikka worked at UPM Pellos as an electrician, which was very practical work. She shadowed experienced electricians and performed maintenance work under guidance. This summer, Annuriikka gets to stand in for electrical maintenance supervisors during their holidays. Her duties include assigning tasks to electricians, planning maintenance, submitting work orders for contractors, ordering spare parts and filling out work permits.
“I work closely together with the electrical maintenance supervisors, and they help me when necessary. I believe I will get to know the white-collar employees of all three mills better during the summer. But the expertise of the electricians, too, helps me work betterˮ.
Annuriikka goes gladly with the electricians to the site to inspect the issue. She finds maintenance planning somewhat challenging still, but states that she learns something new about the production process and industrial electricity every day.
After a day at work, there’s plenty of time for hobbies
Mostly staff at the mills work in shifts, but Annuriikka has only experienced what it feels like to work a day shift. Whenever she does not have to work overtime, she likes to head out to nature after her shift, either to walk her family’s hounds or to pick berries and mushrooms. She also chops wood with her siblings in her spare time.
Last summer, Annuriikka returned to her old hobby: shooting. She also tried trap shooting for the first time and that she intends to continue this summer too.
In addition, Mikkeli is the perfect location for the most traditional Finnish summer activity, with such plentiful water resources.
“The best way to relax is to go to sauna and for a swim in Lake Saimaa”.
Text: Marjut Meronen