Company’s encouraging support and their own desire to learn have taken Saara and Antti up the career ladder

28.06.2022

Employees have a fairly long career at Oulun Energia. Saara Palo-oja has been working 11 years for the company and says that her own desire to learn and the group’s encouraging support have taken her from intern to production manager at the circular economy unit. Over the past 15 years, operating manager Antti Juopperi on the other hand has risen from an apprentice to a management position in the energy production unit with the encouragement and flexibility of a training-oriented team.

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“I’ve had to be active myself and say what I want aloud. Since then, wishes have always been carefully considered and supervisors have been supportive and encouraging on the journey,” Production Manager Saara Palo-oja sums up.

This spring, Saara has been working for Oulun Energia for 11 years. The good opportunities for development in matters that interest her have kept alive her interest in working within the same group. Persistence and self-motivation have driven her career development from her internship onwards.

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Operating Manager Antti Juopperi’s 15-year career at Oulun Energia also reflects an enthusiasm to develop and educate himself alongside work. Antti started his power plant operator apprenticeship training in the company in 2007. Four others who started training at the same time as Antti are still working for Oulu Energia.

“People spend a long time in the company and I, too, have enjoyed all my jobs here so far,” Antti says.

Educating oneself alongside work is quite common at Oulun Energia. After two years of apprenticeship training, Antti, too, educated himself to become a process supervisor and later began engineering studies at a university of applied sciences.

"Many encouraged me to continue and the work community and supervisors otherwise had a positive approach to studying alongside work. Workmates also deserve a huge thanks for their flexibility since I had to change shifts quite a lot.”

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Antti now works in the power production operating unit and heads a team of eight as well as around 50 operating staff. The work is of a process nature, which includes power plant safety monitoring, developing efficiency and looking after the team.

“I want to create an engaging atmosphere and an open communication culture. I feel I’ve succeeded when the whole team is motivated when doing things together and there is an immediate communication channel,” says Antti.

Saara says that she is motivated for similar repetitive process work when the processes remain steady and the team is enthusiastic about what they’re doing,

“Since workdays are full of solving challenges and problems, a good team is an important resource. Also positive feedback and small everyday successes help to cope,” Saara says.

Next, Saara wants to deepen her managerial and supervisory skills and thinks this will also be possible sometime going forward.

“My aspirations to progress have always been supported. If there hadn’t been the opportunities, I wouldn’t necessarily have wanted to stay in the company so long. Oulun Energia is a sound employer, there are great people here, long-serving employees and this industry isn’t that susceptible to economic cycles. I can only recommend the company,” Saara sums up.

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