Gaining valuable professional experience – a technology internship at City of Espoo

My name is Niina Juopperi and I’m a 20-year-old Media Assistant. I completed my media assistant qualification at the same time as I graduated from secondary school in the autumn of 2015. After graduation, I immediately threw myself into job hunting. I had already decided that I would look for work in my specialist field for a year or two to gain valuable work experience. That turned out to be easier said than done. After more than a hundred job ads and applications, I spotted the Technology Academy Finland’s Teknoloikka internship programme. The post they were advertising was for a Communications and Marketing Intern and the job description was a perfect match with my qualifications. It was obvious that I had to apply! Happily, I was chosen for the post and I am now working as a Teknoloikkaaja intern at the City of Espoo.

When I first started in October, I was invited to join the Urban Development Team within the Mayor’s Office, where I work in communications. The City of Espoo also recruited another intern and we were made into our own team. It was great to be able to work with a colleague who was in exactly the same situation as I was. I spent the first week getting to grips with everything, including the IT systems and my new work iPhone, which I had never used before. The news had spread that we had started and a lot of the staff from the Mayor’s Office came to introduce themselves and say hello. They made me feel so welcome.

At my first mentoring meeting, they told me that I would have a lot of say over the sort of work I would be doing during my placement. We had already discussed my interest in graphic design at the interview and, if I remember correctly, the first job I ever did was designing an infographic. The other staff had also picked up on my interest in photography and I was asked to take portraits of my colleagues in the Urban Development team and to cover some events. During my internship, I also gained valuable new experience in website and social media management and I developed a better understanding of what the city’s marketing activities are all about and all the work that the team do on a daily basis.

The best thing about the internship is that I have had a genuine opportunity to really use the skills I learned at school and gain lots of relevant work experience too. I’ve also met some really incredible people. When my final Teknoloikka month started I felt quite sad that it was all coming to an end. However, a couple of weeks before I was due to finish I had some good news and I was invited to extend my contract by a few months. So, luckily, I won’t have to say goodbye to my fantastic colleagues or feel too stressed about what the future holds just yet.

Before the internship started, and even before I had been chosen to take part, I knew that I had a real interest in marketing. As the placement progressed, I became increasingly convinced that I would definitely want to remain in this field. One of the aims of the Teknoloikka internship programme is to give the participants the chance to figure out whether the work they are doing would suit them in the long term. In my case, they’ve certainly succeeded in that!

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