AFRY Future Stars stories
How do we make the world a better place to live in?
Climate change has become a topic we face every day, from the school curriculum and work projects to advertising, news and conversations in our free time. Some of the individuals starting those conversations at AFRY are our young colleagues and trainees. They bring fresh insights as they combine their studies with gathering experience in the workplace at AFRY.
In Vantaa, Finland, the latest set of AFRY Future Stars trainees feel that their work can make a change – and this is the perspective they choose over the vortex of climate anxiety that challenges many young people today, who have grown up with an acute awareness about climate change.
Meet Siiri and Väinö, our AFRY Future Stars trainees
Siiri Kalliovalkama and Väinö Vahteristo joined AFRY in May 2022. They were selected from a massive number of applicants for the well-known AFRY Future Stars programme in Finland, one of the original trainee programmes at AFRY. The Future Stars trainees in Finland feel empowered to contribute as full team members while experiencing collaboration with various experts and professionals and getting to know the working culture at AFRY.
Väinö Vahteristo works as an AFRY Future Stars trainee in the Bioindustry team while studying at the University of Helsinki:
“Studying Forest Bioeconomics, Business and Policy was not my first choice when I applied to university. However, I found it fascinating after having familiarised myself with the field, especially since forestry is a vast sector in Finland, where I am from.
“In the business environment, it’s exciting to work on topics as they come up and not stick to a fixed plan like in high school. That is how I found myself working on the Bioindustry topics. I believe that bioeconomics plays a significant part in providing sustainable solutions for society, and at AFRY, I feel that I can contribute to that discussion and support progress there. My studies and work at AFRY have been a great match, and it’s great to put the theory into practice. In my studies, I’ve focused on the forestry sector and market analyses while minoring in Industrial Engineering, which is helpful as I can also use the engineering part of my traineeship, which I am eager to learn more about.
“So far, I have got to know my team, and everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. It’s pretty amazing to know that there are about 17,000 colleagues at AFRY, which is why I look forward to meeting more people and learning from them!”
Similarly, while Siiri Kalliovalkama is studying at Tampere University, she also works as an AFRY Future Stars trainee in the Bioindustry team in Vantaa, Finland.
“Leadership and different business challenges intrigue me, and being interested in the bigger picture made me study Industrial Engineering and Management. I believe that the degree I’m pursuing will give me a broad understanding to build on as I evolve in the future. Even though I’ve only recently begun to work at AFRY, I recognise the potential of our employees and the amount of knowledge this company has. That makes me eager to learn from my colleagues and develop myself as an expert in my field.”
What does AFRY’s vision, Making Future, mean to you?
Making Future are words you often hear when working at AFRY, as they are core to our vision as a company. Those words link our daily work with a higher purpose and our contributions towards a more sustainable future for generations to come. We asked Siiri and Väinö what the words mean to them:
– Siiri: “I reckon that Making Future means the same to us as it means to everybody else at AFRY: We get to be, more or less, part of creating positive change towards a more sustainable future by helping with actual client projects. In addition, we are simultaneously developing our skills.”
– Väinö: “Even as a Future Stars Trainee, I’ve been working as a full-time team member just like any of my colleagues. Making Future stands for an opportunistic view of our whole team’s work, which contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle in the long term.
Climate change and the phenomena around it are topics Siiri and Väinö have grown up with. We also asked them how they felt about the future:
– Siiri: “I feel a bit tense when talking about the future and climate change because the topic is still not resolved, and a lot of uncertainty occurs around it. However, working at AFRY has opened my eyes and made me feel more comfortable since I can contribute to work that revolves around sustainability and a better future.”
– Väinö: “Climate change is a topic that comes up every day in school, at work and in our free time. It’s a challenge that touches us all, so we must take action. The contribution of a single individual doesn’t have to be big, but everyone needs to make an effort. We can solve the problem by working together towards a mutual goal.”
AFRY Future Stars programme in Finland
AFRY Future Stars programme is a trainee programme for engineering, natural science, business and information technology students. The one-year programme gathers students from various backgrounds to meet each other on training days throughout their traineeship. The training days focus on AFRY’s business, work in a consulting environment, presentation and facilitation skills, sustainability, brave leadership and career planning while recognising one’s strengths as an employee.
The programme strongly focuses on self-development, career planning and work-life balance, specifically within the engineering and consulting environment, which is considered relatively dynamic, challenging and fastpaced. We believe that employees who feel good and enjoy taking responsibility can drive results exceeding clients’ expectations.
Students in Finland can discover more about the programme and the schedule for next year’s application period on our website afry.fi. The programme is held in English.
Author: Emmaliina Kolari
This article was originally published in our digital magazine on www.insights-bioindustry.afry.com.