Essi Saarinen, Plant Production Sciences

Essi Saarinen, who graduated with a degree in plant production sciences, works as a development manager at Yara Suomi Ltd (formerly Kemira-Growhow Ltd).

She has studied plant production sciences, especially plant pathology, at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry on the Viikki Campus. In addition, she has studied crop science, consultation and soil chemistry.

1. What do you do for a living?

I am a development manager at Yara Suomi Ltd. My work combines product development and communications. I am in charge of planning research on grassland farming, applying research results to product development and production and communicating with our farmer customers about these matters. In addition, I collect user experiences of our products, carry out training and tour trade expos. Sometimes I even have to don my rubber boots, because our field testing is carried out at our research farm in Kotkaniemi, Vihti.

I originally heard and became excited about Yara Suomi at a recruitment fair in Viikki during my studies. I found a summer job at the company, after which they offered me a Master’s thesis project and a real job.

2. What makes your work interesting?

The best things about my job are variety, cooperation with farmers and the international nature of the company. Finnish farmers are top level professionals with whom I am always learning new things. On the other hand, my international colleagues open up new perspectives to the topics at hand. It is interesting to follow the international developments of our field. In addition, I have many opportunities to participate in training and conferences abroad.

3. How does your future look?

There will be interesting challenges and opportunities that affect the entire agricultural sector. International trade will further increase the demands on the quality of agricultural products, and we must strive to meet these demands. Environmental issues are another topical question, and we strive to both consider environmental perspectives and facilitate the work of farmers; our comprehensive growth programmes are a concrete example of the latter.

My current duties in product development and communications are interesting – there is something new every day. I can constantly increase my knowledge and experience. Discussions with my knowledgeable colleagues are particularly rewarding. The future looks good, because Yara Suomi Ltd is a diversified company offering a wide range of positions.

4. What are your best memories of your studies?

During my studies I was actively involved in our subject-specific student organisation, Sampsa. It created a network of people with whom I am still in contact. Contacting people about work-related matters is now easy when I already know their names and faces.