Sanna Rajala, IT Solution Consultation

When I was younger, I was certain I was going to become a home economics teacher. However, life led me down a different path, and I began studying information technology. Eighteen years at the IT Center of the University of Helsinki have taught me that testing leads to results and that you should not be afraid of experimentation.

When I was looking for an internship back in 2003, a friend of mine told me about the opportunities offered by the University of Helsinki. I thought “Why not?”, and here we are. My first duties included taking part in the exam aquarium project, working in poster printing support services and being responsible for providing advice at the video-editing station information desk. I also updated our unit’s website on behalf of our team.

I also worked a lengthy stretch as the supervisor of a specialist team as well as a Service Manager of a team responsible for both video services and the Moodle learning environment (one of the most used services at the University). Working as a supervisor was very educational for me as I was able to observe the work of IT Center specialists from a supervisor’s perspective.

Job rotation led to a new permanent position

In the summer of 2020, I applied for work rotation and was chosen for a position in the Solution Consultation and Publishing Platforms team. Learning new tasks and working methods in a new team was a welcome change of pace. I delved into the challenges of sensitive data storage as well as the technical support for product owners. This role eventually became my permanent position.

In my current team, I work as Solution Consultant and help resolve a very wide range of problems. I also participate in the University’s Lean coaching course. One of my future goals is to act as a coach in the Lean network of both my own unit and the entire University.

The IT Center’s work culture encourages experimentation

Over the past 18 years, I have learned that one’s work is never done and one can always learn more. This has served as a motivator since the learning process never stops. My job duties have changed over the years, but the experimental work culture has remained the same. Testing enables development as you do not need to be afraid of failure, and failures are seen as lessons learned as well as the building blocks for even better solutions.  You will receive support in learning new things, both through training and from your colleagues. However, one should not forget about the importance of self-study.

Testing enables development as you do not need to be afraid of failure, and failures are seen as lessons learned as well as the building blocks for even better solutions.

After working at the University of Helsinki for so long, I sometimes almost forget how good our employee benefits are. We are offered a large selection of workplace exercise opportunities that are inexpensive thanks to the staff discount. The flexibility in working hours helps with arranging schedules and makes it easier to leave work matters at work when leaving for home (or shutting down the work computer at remote work). Our unit’s staff club deserves an honorable mention for organizing relaxed events for staff and offering lots of different activities.

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