People of Pema | Sami Heikelä, Machine Specialist

Sami Heikelä works as a Machine Specialist at Pema and is often on the go. His work includes for example taking part in the assembly of various machines and the work has often taken him to other countries.  We had a chance to sit down with him and talk about his work and experiences at Pemamek. 3 days after this interview Sami once again was on his way to France.

Sami started working at Pemamek 3 years ago as a Mechanic but has since then changed position to Machine Specialist. His job description now includes taking part in the assembly of various machines, as well as machine functionality and making sure the different machines run and work as intended. Another aspect of Sami’s job description is traveling abroad to help customers all over the world, setting up and running Pema equipment and machines.

In fact, traveling is such a common aspect of his work, that last year Sami was out traveling for 22 weeks outside of Finland. On average Sami is away 3-5 weeks at a time but admits it can vary quite a lot depending on the job. Most of his trips so far have been to France, which in his words is almost like going to a second home.

We were, of course, interested to know, what his favorite country is.

“Definitely Australia. If I compare Australia to France, the weekends were more versatile. This is due to the different landscapes and nature. Most of the sightseeing was beaches and mountains which is so different compared to Finland. And it was winter in Finland and summer in Australia when I went there.

I like to think of traveling like a long commute to work. So, it’s not that bad. Although flying to Australia was quite a long trip. I think the whole trip from Helsinki to Adelaide in total took 32 hours.

Sami enjoys living in Loimaa with his family. Outside of work Sami spends some of his time on his old vintage Mercedes, but most of his time is spent with his family and two children aged 9 and 7.

Are there differences between working abroad or working at Pema in Loimaa?

“At Pema in Loimaa, things are often easier. If you need something, you just go and get it, or ask a colleague for help. That is something you can’t always do when traveling abroad. Sometimes even the simplest things can be quite difficult to get for us foreigners because we don’t know how the systems work. 

In France for example we have had many surprises and situations to solve. After you’ve handled those, you become more confident at what you are doing.”

The best thing is that colleagues are nice people and very helpful. If you have an issue, just go and ask and they will help.”

What is the best part of working at Pemamek?

“One of the best things is that at Pema you get to challenge yourself. You learn, gain experience, and get to grow. Colleagues are also nice people and very helpful. If you have an issue, just go, and ask and they will help.

You are given as many challenges as you want. And when you think you’ve had your biggest challenge and managed that, you soon have an even bigger one. With time and experience, you learn and begin to trust that you can handle and solve different, even surprising situations. You also get a lot of support from colleagues and learn to know people and who to ask for help from.

I like to think it also depends on attitude and personality: Do you take even big challenges as an opportunity, and are you good at handling pressure?”

What would you say to people thinking of applying for a job at Pemamek?

“You should be open-minded, talkative and of course it’s good to have some practical experience of technical know-how. You don’t necessarily have to have a technical education, but if you have the basic principles, you should be fine. After working at Pema for a while you will gain experience and learn while working.

Every day you learn something new, even after 3 years I still learn things I did not know. And I will continue to learn new things in the next 3 years as well!

We are recruiting new talents this autumn! Keep your eyes open and read more on our career pages.

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