Jori Alen, analyytikko, kauppatieteiden maisteri, Vaasan yliopisto

Jori Alen - Analyst

Recent graduate Jori Alen’s clear roadmap for progressing from being a summer trainee to the holder of a permanent job

Although Jori admits that “he did not take things too seriously” while at upper secondary school, he did, however, decide to adopt a serious attitude towards studying at the Faculty of Business at University of Vaasa. This is because quite soon after beginning his studies he realised that with excellent grades, recent graduates would stand a good chance of getting a job. Therefore, it would pay off to work for good grades.

Jori Alen knew that he would complete his studies by the summer of 2015, and then he would need a job. Like so many of his friends at the university, Jori also had a vision of his career. He had set his sights on embarking on a career in financing, either in the banking sector or an expert organization. Ambitious young person that he was, he was interested in companies in which he would have an opportunity to advance his career and to gain extra responsibility at an accelerated pace.

Job-seeking plan

Without prior applicable work experience, a person’s competence is hard to verify. Young people know how harsh the competition for summer jobs can be. How to stand out from the crowd and to attract attention to one’s application? This is what Jori Alen was also thinking about. After completing his studies, Jori drew up his job-seeking plans:

  • Instead of applying for a permanent job, he decided to seek employment only for the summer in order to gain foothold in a company.
  • He also considered whether he had any acquaintances at the companies at which he was seeking a job. Could they perhaps lend a hand in the recruitment process?
  • Jori also decided to write his job application in such a manner that the recruiter would notice his good grades. It would not harm to emphasise one’s diligence, target setting and target achievement.

Applying for a summer job

In 2015, OP was seeking new summer employees for the entire OP Financial Group via a general employee search. From an acquaintance of his, who was employed at OP Corporate Bank, Jori had heard that the Credit Risks and Analyses department would hire summer employees. Jori did not want to risk not to secure a summer job, as finding permanent employment in the autumn would be all the more difficult.

A general employee search process by a large organisation meant that the organisation would be flooded with applications. Jori considered it important to ensure that his application would end up on the desk of the manager of the department in which he was interested. With the help of his acquaintance, Jori obtained the contact information for the manager of this department, managing to convince him on the phone by showing the right attitude. As a result of a two-stage recruiting process, Jori managed to secure a summer job as an analyst trainee in a department that he liked.

Career plan being realised

Jori is satisfied. To date, his career plan has been realised exactly as he envisioned.
During his three-month summer traineeship period, Jori had the opportunity to perform credit risk analyses on companies, including their credit rating. He was surprised how much responsibility OP was prepared to give to the bank’s summer employees.

“Being given responsibility while the employee is only holding a summer job is in part a matter of personality, but I nevertheless feel that summer trainees are given more responsibility at OP than at other companies on average,” Jori says.

My being given responsibility enabled me to secure a permanent job: Jori decided to show his mettle by doing his job as well as he could. He had only one summer to convince the manager of the department of his attitude and potential. He did not hesitate to make clear his interest to his supervisor, taking the initiative to discuss his continued employment with him.

From being a maternity leave deputy to holding a permanent job

Jori is pleased. He now holds a permanent analyst job at OP. After advancing to a permanent job from being a maternity leave deputy, Jori now has broader and more varied responsibilities. The enterprises subject to his analysis are larger, and his cases are more challenging. Meeting customers is an integral part of resolving such cases.

Jori is very aware of the significance of his work. Credit risk analyses that are carried out well play a significant role in the bank’s credit risk management. Responsible credit management affects the bank’s customer acquisition and the granting of credit.

At the time when Jori was applying for a job at OP, he had a strong image of OP being a bank focused on private customers. Now, he knows how varied the business that OP conducts on a daily basis is. Young people often wish that they could gain international work experience, and this wish is also realised in Jori’s work – to his surprise. Many of Jori’s customers operate on an international scale. Through them, Jori is in regular contact with international business and markets outside Finland.

Everyday experiences influence long-term plans

Jori’s career plan is being realised in accordance with his expectations. His experiences have already convinced him that even a long career in the banking sector is worth pursuing. The fact that his plan has remained on track is a result of small, everyday experiences, his activity and his positive and inquisitive attitude. They have earned him credit and additional responsibilities.

Support provided by the supervisor and the team is crucial for young people while they are accruing experience. Jori’s team includes both seasoned veterans and younger employees. Jori recommends that all young people listen to the views, opinions and experiences of the senior employees. Jori gives high marks to his supervisor: he takes Jori’s professional development seriously, supporting him in achieving this. However, Jori highlights the significance of employees’ own activity. You should not wait for somebody else to serve you your career plan on a silver platter.

In the daily work, flexibility regarding, for example, working hours, and the opportunity to work from home, coupled with the opportunity to work with true professionals in the financial sector, add to the meaningfulness of the work.

“And a mortgage benefit for a young professional is not a bad bonus, either,” Jori says.