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Both Fennovoima's Safety Culture Specialist Jesse Hakala (left) and Project Engineer Tommi Kujala were first recruited to the company as trainees. Photo by Toni Pallari

University traineeship led to a job with Hanhikivi 1 project

Hanhikivi 1 project offers job opportunities for students and people who are just starting with their careers. For Jesse Hakala and Tommi Kujala, a summer job and the writing of a thesis paved the way to a permanent job in the nuclear industry.

A summer job or traineeship can have a significant impact on your career – sometimes even so significant that you get a permanent job right away.

Jesse Hakala, a Safety Culture Specialist, and Tommi Kujala, a Project Engineer, both of whom work for Fennovoima, are excellent examples of this. Both of them signed a permanent employment contract with Fennovoima after having gained experience from summertime jobs and having completed their theses in the Hanhikivi 1 project.

Hakala and Kujala, who studied technology, say that the company is an interesting employer and the project is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Even though they both already had previous experience from working in a large company, the scope and scale of the Hanhikivi 1 project were a surprise.

“It was exciting to be a part of it all,” Hakala says when reminiscing about his first summer with Fennovoima during his fifth year of studies.

Energy industry was attractive

Jesse Hakala came to Oulu from Kaukonen in Kittilä, first to study mathematics and then environmental engineering at the University of Oulu. Before Fennovoima, the young expert had summer jobs at a steel mill in Outokumpu and Kittilä gold mine.

Hakala was attracted by the energy industry from the very beginning of his studies. The summer job in the Hanhikivi 1 project only heightened his curiosity towards the nuclear industry and nuclear safety, in particular.

“I proposed a thesis about nuclear safety or specifically the nuclear safety culture in an international nuclear power plant construction project. Fennovoima immediately accepted the idea,” Hakala says.

“At the construction site, I was at the very heart of the project.”

Now he’s working for the company as a Safety Culture Specialist, supervising and developing the nuclear safety culture.

Meanwhile, Tommi Kujala – who studied process engineering at the University of Oulu – has always been interested in design and project management. At first, Kujala accumulated experience through summer jobs in the cobalt and paper industries.

Kujala’s thesis was about the construction of a fire-tube boiler simulation model with Apros software.

“At the construction site, I was at the very heart of the project. I was able to apply everything I had learned in practice and see how a large project and a large construction site work. It felt awesome,” Kujala says.

Possibly a job until retirement

Experiences of the young experts on working with Fennovoima have been extremely positive.

“The atmosphere at work is challenging in a good way, encouraging, and international. You always get help when you need it,” Hakala relates.

“The atmosphere at work is challenging in a good way, encouraging, and international.”

The work community is also known to support people’s career development. Hakala and Kujala believe that Fennovoima could, at best, be their employer until retirement.

“My future career with Fennovoima seems promising. I believe that there will be new challenges and interesting positions as the project proceeds,” Kujala says.

Article updated 16.8.2021 (originally published 29.1.2020).