1,000 Young Leaders – Maria and Teemu’s day at Pemamek

November 13.-17. is a national week for the “1000 Young Leaders” campaign. Throughout the week students get to spend one day at a company of their choice and work together with managers. This year Pemamek had the honor to welcome two sharp-minded students and introduce how it is to work as a manager at a global technology company. After the day we sat down with the young leaders to find out how was their day. 

Teemu, 2. year Electrical Engineering student, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Hello Teemu, tell us briefly about you? My name is Teemu and I’m a second-year student at the University of Applied Sciences of Tampere. I would describe my personality as outgoing and easy to approach. Whenever I have free time, I invest it in sports.

If you had a glass bowl to see to your future at work, what would you see? It must be definitely a combination of electrical engineering, leadership, and management.

Today you have spent one full workday at Pemamek, tell us about your day. The day was overall very rewarding because I had a chance to follow the day of several managers here at Pemamek and got also to take part in a couple of meetings. I started the day with the Chairman of the Board of Pemamek, Pekka Heikonen. He introduced the company, told about PEMA products and solutions, but also described the industry that the company works in. After that, I was taken to meet Pemamek’s production manager, Risto Rehakka, and took part in the meeting with him and his team. After lunch, I met many other managers, such as Financial Chief Officer and I was in a meeting with the Director of Operations. Now I’m here in this interview. 

So you got to meet a lot of people and had good discussions. What you think has been the most interesting about the day? Learning different ways to be a good leader has been definitely the most interesting thing.

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What took you to take part in the 1000 Young Leaders campaign? The main reason was that the day is a unique opportunity to get authentic insights into managers’ workday and to learn different aspects of leadership.

Have you learned anything new or something that has made you look at leadership differently? What I have learned today is that here at Pemamek, the managers have a very humane and down to earth way to lead individuals and teams, which I think are very important and appreciated characteristics for a manager. Also, I learned that managers should have a good overall understanding of the ongoing things in the industry.

Last but not least, what do you think makes a good leader? A good leader is a person that shows a strong example and leads by his/her own example. At the core of his managing philosophy and mentality is that he is in the same line with his team, not above them.

Maria, 1. year Business student, School of Economics of Vaasa University

Hello Maria, tell us briefly about you? Hello, well I’m Maria and I’m originally from Loimaa but now living in Vaasa to study business at the School of Economics of Vaasa University. I’m a freshman now so I just moved there a couple of months ago. Before my uni studies, I was really enthusiastic about dancing and in fact, I was a dance instructor, but now I don’t have that much time for dancing anymore because of my studies.

If you had a glass bowl to see to your future at work, what would you see? I’m really interested in international business. In fact, I don’t have an exact title or work position in mind that is really my goal, but I know that I want to work in an international work environment. The work content will be something related to accounting and financing.

Today you have spent one full workday at Pemamek, tell us about your schedule. My day started by signing in at the reception. After I had received my Visitor-badge, Pemamek’s CEO Jaakko Heikonen welcomed me to the company. He was accompanied by Marketing Manager, Mikko Aarnio. They gave me a broad introduction to Pemamek and its business functions. After the company introduction, I met up with Matti Lahtinen, Pemamek’s Service Manager. He gave me a tour of the factory so I got to see where all PEMA machinery and solutions are made. While we had the tour Lahtinen described his normal workday so I received a lot of information from the production and management from the service’s point of view.

The lunch I had together with the Financial Manager, Mari Saari. I was looking forward to this meeting because it is close to what I want to do in the future. We discussed the tasks and how a normal day at the finance department looks like.

What do you think has been the most interesting about the day? Have you learned anything new or are you looking at leadership differently now? The day gave a rare opportunity to see managers in their own working environment and in their normal work duties. Additionally, I had very good discussions with the leaders and I was able to ask questions that I have had in mind regarding leading teams and individuals. The day definitely opened my eyes and made me think differently about leadership and management.

I think the most important thing that I have learned is how important it is to have those “grass root level” work experiences. I think you cannot become a good leader unless you don’t really know and understand how things are in the very practical and hands-on working field.

What took you to take part in the 1000 Young Managers Day? I wanted to see what belongs to managers’ daily work duties. Also, before coming here, I was at the crossroads of which business branch I will choose as my major. I was hoping that taking part in this day would help me to make that decision. Pemamek was my first option because for a long time I have admired the innovative and international mentality that the company has.

Sounds like a smart move. Has the day at Pemamek helped you in choosing your major? It definitely helped me. Now I’m more aware of the actual work content and daily routines that different work positions have which gives me an idea of what I won’t do in the future.

Last but not least, what you think makes a good leader? I think a good leader is a person who is able to reach company goals but at the same time, she/he can keep employees happy and motivated at work. I think this requires that the leader has a good conception of her/his own personality and know-how she/he communicates and reacts to different situations.

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