I am Elina Pasanen, and I work in HiQ´s Frends integration unit as a Service Manager and a supervisor in the Energy team. I have been working for the company for six years.
Seven years ago, I was still finishing my thesis on electrostatic separation of precious metals from waste incineration bottom ash, and I had no idea I would end up in the IT sector! I had studied at Aalto University in the Department of Material Science and Engineering, majoring in recycling technology and minoring in environmental management and sustainable business.
So, how did I end up in the IT sector and at HiQ? What made me stay on this path?
The road to HiQ
After graduation, it was challenging to find a job in my field in the Helsinki region. So, encouraged by my sister who was then passionate about programming, I took a free online programming course offered by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki (www.mooc.fi). The course got me interested in coding, and I started looking for IT jobs also.
I came across a six-month training program organized by our company, with the aim of getting a permanent contract. I applied and was accepted to study to become an Integration Developer.
My career path
I started at HiQ through a training program as an integration developer. I had never even heard of integration development before, but now I was excited to build processes that passed information from one system to another, performing different business logic and message transformations along the way.
I enjoyed the problem solving involved and the concrete experiences of success in getting the integration processes up and running. In addition, there was a good, relaxed atmosphere in the work community, so I had a great time!
I ended up working in integration development for about three years, until I went on maternity leave. When I returned to work, I was offered the position of Service Manager.
In our company, the tasks of a Service Manager include acting as a link between the client and the developers, coordinating the implementation of work commissioned by the client, assessing resource needs, and holding regular service management meetings with the client. I decided to take the opportunity because, although I was reluctant to give up my development work, I knew that working at the client interface was my thing.
When I took over as Service Manager, I also decided to switch to 80% working hours to make life with children easier. My workload was adjusted so that I was able to work six-hour days, which was a real lifesaver!
I have enjoyed the varied work of a Service Manager, where I feel I am able to use my strengths. After working as a Service Manager for a few years, I was offered the opportunity to become the new supervisor of our Energy team. I agreed, and so, alongside my Service Manager duties, I was given team management and supervising duties.
How it feels to work at HiQ
I've enjoyed being a supervisor. I think it's important that my team has a positive working atmosphere and good team spirit! I encourage my team members to tell me openly what they want from their jobs and if something bothers them. This way, I can ensure that my team members receive work that meets their wishes as well as possible, and that possible challenges can be dealt with quickly. I also enjoy my role as a Service Manager alongside my supervisor work, as it keeps me involved in our day-to-day business.
All in all, I'm really glad I took the plunge into the IT world and had the opportunity to learn through work! I've discovered an interesting field, a job where I can constantly learn and develop, and, above all, an employer who invests in its employees and supports and encourages their career progression.
I have always felt that I and my abilities have been trusted and my wishes have been heard. Flexibility has also been an important factor for my family and me. My family life has been running smoothly, as I have been able to work flexible hours from different locations.
But perhaps the most important thing is our amazing team! Our team spirit is excellent, and we work with commitment and good vibes. We spend a lot of time at work, and it's really important to me that we have fun at work and that everyone can be who they really are.