Changing careers felt challenging but I was surprised to see how well I could handle the technical questions and how well I got along with the team manager and other team members during the job interview. The summer traineeship was a steep learning curve for me. I had asked about the technology stack used in the team in advance to use it in my thesis, which helped with the onboarding. I was given a brand new laptop with an international English keyboard layout, which showed that Fortum cares about its employees and their work experience.
The first day was fun, our team went to have lunch together. I was introduced to my "buddy" who was very patient and dedicated to all of my questions, no matter how silly I thought they were. The assignments were hard at times, but there was enough time for me to breathe and no one was pressuring me to finish them quickly. Whenever I felt discouraged for not having progressed fast enough, I was comforted by other team members. The team was also trying out a new practice called pair-coding, which essentially means that two (or more) developers work on a piece of code or a debugging problem together, so ideas can be bounced off – this also helps with error-proofing the code. This was a new experience for me and I quite enjoyed it.
I was proud of how I managed to find connections between my degree and work, which helped me catch up to the team. Every day I left the office feeling more comfortable working with the tasks I received and confident that I would complete the next ones faster. Sometimes I would find it challenging to keep a good routine in order to and be consistent with my work. However, my team members were very understanding and helpful. I was reminded repeatedly that "work is a marathon, not a sprint" so I should maintain a balanced workload.
I also learned about the practice of a mindset with extreme ownership, which means that everyone should take responsibility in not only everything they work on but also the project work as a collective. This means that good work is recognized and if unexpected events occur, the focus is not to find a culprit but to handle them as a team. I stayed at Fortum after summer because I enjoy my work very much and I get paid well for doing it. I have established connections, which are more personal than I expected and I genuinely enjoy meeting my team members at the office.