Over the last few years, I have applied for numerous HR-related jobs knowing that the field is trendy and competitive. Even though my interest in employee development, workplace learning, recruitment, and employer branding was strong, until this summer I was not entirely sure what HR tasks consist of. As a potential employer, VTT initially felt distant since research, technology, groundbreaking innovations, and quantum computing are not directly related to my field of study. However, my interest arose, and I decided to jump into the unknown and try my wings in the HR of a research organization. In line with my high expectations, I have learned a lot about my field with an innovative approach.
What does employee development involve in a research organization?
At VTT the HR is run by approximately 30 people and several teams. During this summer, I am working in the Learning & Development and Culture team. The tasks of our team include for example:
- Organizing orientation days for new employees
- Coordinating and updating the process and instructions for goal and development discussions
- Planning and implementing different training
- Planning and implementing mentoring-, tutoring- and coaching offerings to support employees’ skill development
Through independent tasks and shadowing my colleagues, I have widely participated in all our team’s work. One of the biggest realizations of the summer is that it is not our team’s responsibility to ensure everyone’s perfect knowledge, but to offer all employees various tools for self and team development. Thanks to numerous distance and live training, mentoring programs, and comprehensive plans for job orientation, all VTT’ers can develop every day, let alone learning from work.
VTT’s core: research, development, and innovation, is strongly present in HR and there is willingness and ardor to innovate and do experiments. It has been a joy to notice that even outside of research, people open-mindedly try out new ways of working and learn from mistakes. It has been particularly interesting to participate in the New Work @VTT -project, that started in 2020. I have for example participated in brainstorming sessions, where employees from around the company come together to ideate for better work-life.
Enthusiasm for work from continuous learning, various tasks, and dream colleagues
One of the best things this summer, besides the tasks and challenges I have received within my team, is that I have had the chance to get to know other HR teams and what they do. Thus, I have gained an extensive understanding of what sort of tasks belong to HR and how HR work is done at VTT. Additionally, I have coordinated together with the communications team the Summer of Changemakers and Vastuullinen kesäduuni -social media campaigns. Along with versatile tasks and getting to know the jobs of other teams, I have got a clearer idea of what I want to work with in the future. Thanks to brilliant colleagues and varied and interesting tasks, this summer at VTT has altogether been a rich experience!
The author is a business master’s student at Åbo Akademi University, and her major is leadership, strategy, and organization. She works at VTT as an HR-trainee in the Learning & Development and Culture -team during the Summer of 2021.