Career Stories | Janita Stenroos, Legal Assistant, Finance, Helsinki
7 September 2023
Janita Stenroos works as a legal assistant in our Finance Team. Janita joined Hannes Snellman in January 2021 as a legal assistant trainee, and she then continued working as a legal assistant after her traineeship. Janita holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
How did you end up working at Hannes Snellman?
As mentioned above, I managed to get myself a legal assistant trainee position in January 2021. The first time I heard about Hannes Snellman was at Metropolia UAS when Mari Sipiläinen from the HR Team visited our lecture to introduce Hannes.
Working in a law firm sounded interesting and I got excited about it, even though I had not even thought about such a trainee position before. I had no experience of working in an office or in the legal field in general, so I thought that this could be not just a challenge but also a great opportunity for me. Happy to say that I am still working as a legal assistant in the same team where I first started my Hannes journey.
What is included in a “normal” working day?
I think this is the most frequently asked question when you work as a legal assistant, and at the same time it is one of the hardest questions to answer briefly. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a normal working day. Sometimes the days are full of administrative work, such as billing, calendar invites, meeting and travel arrangements, and sometimes I am focusing fully on the client assignments that my team is working on. On the client assignment side, I work mostly with different kinds of documentation. For example, proofreading and fixing styles of documents, pointing out typographical errors, and preparing presentations are very typical tasks for a legal assistant. I would say that a “normal” working day includes a good combination of the administrative work and the client assignment-related work.
What other responsibilities do you have aside from your regular legal assistant tasks?
One of the best things about working at Hannes is that you get to work with things that you find interesting. My BBA degree included a lot of HR-related courses, so naturally I am interested in such tasks. Therefore, I have been lucky to have the opportunity to participate in our student co-operation with Metropolia and Haaga-Helia, for example. I have also been part of our legal assistant trainee recruitment process and mentoring our legal assistant trainees during their traineeships at Hannes.
Organising all kinds of events is also close to my heart, which is why I have been actively involved with our recreational activity club called Avocados. With Avocados we organise things like after works, movie nights, different tastings, museum visits, tennis classes, and yoga breaks for Hannes employees. In addition to Avocados, I have also taken part in organising our office parties, like our annual Christmas and summer parties. These versatile tasks keep me motivated in my day-to-day work.
Do you have any advice for students applying for traineeships or the legal assistant traineeship in particular?
Be yourself, be open-minded, and show your motivation!
It is good to remember that you are applying for a traineeship mostly because you do not have the experience of that kind of work. More important than experience is that you show your motivation and a good attitude towards the traineeship and the employer. And remember to be yourself, as that is how you will bring out the best in you.
One theme that currently stands out in working life discussions is that of purpose. To conclude this interview, we would like to ask you what the things are that keep you going and motivated at work — what is your purpose?
As I mentioned before, the versatile tasks keep me motivated. But still, I would say that the thing that matters the most for me is the colleagues that I get to work with. I am lucky to have colleagues that I can always count on, no matter what the situation is. My colleagues are also very professional, so every day I get to learn from the best.
FAVOURITE | Way of Commuting: Train; Lunch: Sushi; Podcast: I prefer listening to music, so no favourite podcast; Work Equipment: Extra monitor(s); Afternoon Routine: Coffee; Mobile Application: WhatsApp; Relaxation Method: Music; Work Outfit: Casual black dress; Social Media Channel: Instagram; Drink: Pear flavoured sparkling water; Weekday: Friday; Leisure Activity: Spending time with friends and family.