Tiina Vanhanarkaus from Kittilä graduated as Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 2002 in Rovaniemi. Since then, her work tasks as a Site Engineer and Project Manager have taken her to different parts of Finland. Her employment history includes several well-known projects for large construction companies. Thus, being on the road is something Vanhanarkaus knows well.

In February 2018, the situation changed, since she started working for Fimpec at the Kittilä gold mine of Agnico Eagle. According to Vanhanarkaus, who now lives in Levi, she hit the bullseye with her new position in many aspects.

“The job of a Project Manager at the mine is exactly the kind of work I am interested in and have the required training and experience for. Secondly, for a person born in Lapland and enjoying the life here, it was outright fortunate to find a job right next to home. Thirdly, as a company, Fimpec is of the type I wanted to work for.”

Working underground poses no problem

At the Kittilä mine, Vanhanarkaus started as the Project Manager for a central pumping station project, with Fimpec being responsible for project management consulting and construction works supervision. Today, the work continues with Päätaso 900 (Main Level 900) project, which constitutes a significant part of the mine expansion investment. The responsibilities are the same as with the central pumping station project.

The number 900 in the name of the project indicates the working depth. For Vanhanarkaus, this does not pose a problem.

“Working underground is not for some people, but it is OK with me. Of course, the conditions are unique and due to space limitations, humidity, and logistics challenges, for example, construction works differ from those carried out above ground. The challenging new operation environment means learning something new and developing your skills – in my opinion, this is important in work.”

Projects have taken Tiina Vanhanarkaus to different parts of Finland

The importance of self-development is something that Vanhanarkaus wants to emphasize. She says that the practical experience acquired over the years with different projects provides a good foundation for performance of her current tasks. On the other hand, Vanhanarkaus has been actively developing herself, among other things, by acquiring her Master of Science in Engineering degree from the Lapland University of Applied Sciences in 2017.

Obtaining a versatile work experience has meant working in different parts of Finland. According to Vanhanarkaus, she has worked for more than ten years in the Helsinki metropolitan area and elsewhere in Southern Finland, although projects have sometimes been available in her home region as well, for example, the Hotel Levi Panorama construction project and some mining sites in Northern Finland.

“The projects around Finland have been interesting, enlightening and even rewarding, but now I really enjoy going to work from home. More time and energy is saved on hobbies and maintaining social relations. When you travel all the time, it is easy to forget there is life outside work”, she admits.

The comprehensive nature of her experience is reflected in that a mine as a working environment is not something new for Vanhanarkaus. In the first half of this decade, she already worked in the very same Kittilä mine.

”Thus, I knew what to expect. I also knew many of the people working there from a few years ago”, she says.

Wearing a smile to work every morning

Fimpec as a company was familiar to Vanhanarkaus from a few earlier projects. For the first time, their paths crossed at the Metsä Group’s Äänekoski bioproduct mill, followed by more thorough acquaintance in Pori.

“I was attracted to Fimpec because it is a forward-looking company of a suitable size. I felt that the time was right to jump aboard.”

Vanhanarkaus is satisfied with her choice. The work and the employer have met her expectations.

“I wear a smile to work every morning. I would not trade away a single day.”

The satisfaction is based on interesting tasks and the possibility of going to work from home, but also on Fimpec as a work community.

“Naturally, the situation differs from a regular Fimpec job in that the rest of the company’s employees are at least hundreds of kilometres away, since the company’s offices are located in Jyväskylä and Helsinki and there are people participating in projects around the world.”

“Nevertheless, I have always felt like the personnel is being cared for and support is available when you need it. For example, we communicate regularly with Jarno Rannikko, my superior, and he visits Kittilä often. As concerns work tasks, an important feature is that a lot of expertise and skilled people have accumulated at Fimpec, which means that there are not many challenges or problems that cannot be solved based on the practical experience of my colleagues.”

According to Vanhanarkaus, from an employee’s viewpoint, Fimpec is a company with a healthy foundation. The organisation is flat and the atmosphere relaxed; as an illustrative detail, she points out that the entire management of the company participates in practical projects.

“This manifests in understanding practical life and contributes to the sense of unity.”