Kimmo Pohjola

“We have a good team spirit”

Read what Fennovoima's IT Manager Kimmo Pohjola says about his work and management style, as well as tips for job seekers.

Kimmo, what is it like working in IT at Fennovoima?

What I like most, is that work in our unit is interesting. It’s both challenging and rewarding. We have a very open atmosphere and a good team spirit. Even though our team has almost doubled over the last two years, we have managed to keep that spirit.

How do you manage to maintain that open atmosphere in your team?

I can draw an analogy with skydiving, which is like one more calling to me. I have been in the Finnish National Team for 10 years and represented Finland in European and World Championships several times.

Team building in skydiving environment and at work is quite similar. If we have set and agreed on goals, the same methods can be adapted to both, a skydiving team and a working team to succeed and get peak performance. Everything is based on team spirit, openness, and communicating early enough.

Fennovoima has its offices in Helsinki and Pyhäjoki. Where do your experts work?

At the moment, we have several persons in Pyhäjoki, I work in both offices, and the rest of the team is in Helsinki. We are also practicing remote work more: We don’t have to be in the office every day to do our work.

Can you tell me about the tasks that your people do?

Our unit is responsible for the development, support and maintenance of Fennovoima’s ICT services and systems. This means that we provide all tools, software, and systems to Fennovoima staff to enable their daily work in our huge Fennovoima Hanhikivi 1 project. All computers, mobile phones, devices, tools and applications that you need to do your daily tasks.

This environment is growing all the time. We get new applications for different disciplines and departments, so challenging tasks come up every day.

When you interview candidates, what kind of qualities are important to you?

The most important feature to succeed in our work is being open to change. We are still a young company and develop continuously. One more thing I value is a positive attitude.

What about professional skills?

For all our IT positions, we need some background at information security and mission-critical systems. This can be experience from e.g. power plants or power stations that are important for the whole country. Or background of working with systems important for government preparedness. In Finland we have many experts like that. I also hope that we will get some international experts to the IT team.

Does it mean that fluent Finnish is not absolutely necessary?

That’s right. Our company language is English.

Let’s talk about your management style. How can you characterize it?

It’s mostly coaching and supporting teamwork. I appreciate teamwork because it’s more beneficial to do work as a group rather than focus on individual achievements. I like to define challenging goals for my team. We need to solve challenging tasks on a daily basis, and team spirit is important for this.

What happens then if a person is not ready to take some challenging task or doesn’t have enough expertise in that area?

Then we will define more suitable goals. Also, training and competence development plans will be in place. Our specialists have training in new technologies, architecture, information security and project management.

What advice would you give to people who join Fennovoima?

One piece of advice would be to be open to change and new challenges. We are still a developing company and many things are changing. Also, communicate and try to meet as many colleagues as possible from other units and departments. It’s good to get familiar with Fennovoima’s way of working that we call Fennoway. Its main principles are: build cooperation, create solutions, make it clear and care. This common way of doing our work is a very important characteristic of our company.

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Katarina Culham

Katarina Culham believes in shared expertise and learning from others