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Get to Know Us | Aurora Vatanen, Janita Stenroos, Krister Kojo, Meeri Haapamäki & Sohvi Purho, Legal Assistant Trainees, Helsinki

4 March 2021

Aurora Vatanen, Janita Stenroos, Meeri Haapamäki, and Sohvi Purho have been working as legal assistant trainees at Hannes Snellman’s Helsinki office since January 2021 and Krister Kojo has been working since August 2020. They are all studying on undergraduate programmes in business administration and aim to graduate this year. Aurora, Janita, Krister, and Meeri are studying Leadership and Organizational Development at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, while Sohvi is pursuing Modern Languages and Business Studies for Management Assistants at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. We asked them a few questions about what it is like to work at Hannes Snellman and to do a traineeship remotely.

What has it been like to start a new job remotely? Did you have some concerns or worries before the traineeship?

Sohvi: It has been easier than I thought. Communication works smoothly on Teams, and I receive most of my work assignments through e-mail. First, I was a little concerned about how I would be able to concentrate and stay motivated at home, but everything has gone pretty well so far. Of course, I would love to work at the office and get to know everyone in person, but unfortunately, we can't do that at the moment. Luckily, we have a lot of distance coffee breaks, group meetings, and other virtual get-togethers.

Janita: At first, I thought that remote orientation days would be confusing and that I would be home alone with my silly questions and wonders about all the new things. But it was not like that at all. Yes, I was home alone, but all my colleagues were just one Teams call away from me. I have a tutor, who works as an assistant in our Finance Team, and she has helped me a lot from the beginning to this day in settling into this whole new working environment. Every time that I have a new assignment to do, we are sharing screens and calling each other both with my tutor and the other assistants in our team, so that I can do every assignment correctly. Weekly coffee meetings at Teams gives me the opportunity to get to know my teammates and to have a little chat with them. So, I must say that all the uncertainties that I initially had had about remote work have now disappeared.

As we all have been working remotely for some time now, please share your top three tips for effective, yet pleasant, remote work? Have you found any benefits in working remotely?

Sohvi: Good coffee, to-do lists, and active communication with colleagues. Being able to work remotely means more free time in the evenings and more sleep in the mornings.

Janita: Working remotely has many benefits. My one-hour travel to work has turned into a two-step walk to the laptop, which has given me the opportunity to sleep longer and to just stay inside when there is minus 20 degrees Celsius outside. I still think that the most important tip to working remotely is that you should go outside more than once a day. For example, a little morning walk wakes you up differently than just moving from your bed straight to your computer. Third tip I would like to give is not to forget to have your coffee breaks! Nothing is more important than a good cup of coffee.

Meeri: For me, the best thing about remote working is that no time is wasted on commuting. However, I find it convenient to wake up early even on remote days. One thing that makes remote working easier is having your cameras on during virtual meetings. In addition, it is good to stand up and stretch your legs regularly during the day.

What kind of matters have you been handling lately in your team? What have you learnt during your traineeship?

Meeri: In the Real Assets Team, we handle matters related to real estate, projects and construction, environment, and energy. So far, I have assisted lawyers and assistants with things such as document, email, and calendar management, proofreading, time entries, translating, creating expense claims, project administration, and organising virtual meetings and events.

Krister:  In the M&A team, we provide advice and support on all types of transactions. As my role is on the support side, I have been supporting and helping my colleagues, lawyers, and assistants in every possible way. Since January, I have been working three days a week, so my daily tasks are mostly project-related, such as document management and planning virtual events. I also got the opportunity to work as a project assistant and got to see transactions from a close distance, which was fascinating. I have learnt that working in the legal field is interesting and that the industry is constantly developing. I am still eager to learn more and to develop myself professionally.

Aurora: During our traineeship, we have learnt so many new things, for example, how to operate effectively in suddenly changing situations and under pressure. We have also developed considerably as users of data processing programmes and overall learnt how different processes proceed in a law firm.

What is the best part of your job at Hannes Snellman?

Meeri: The best part about my job at Hannes Snellman has to be the inclusive atmosphere from day one.

Sohvi: Getting valuable experience and being able to overcome my own challenges. Also, the fact that there is more than one trainee, because peer support is the best kind of support.

Janita: The best part about my traineeship is the people that I am working with. The next-best thing has been the opportunity to get into a law firm and to see what it is like to work in this kind of an environment. I have learnt many new things, and I am sure that I will keep on learning a lot more during this spring.

Aurora: The best part of working at Hannes Snellman is most definitely my amazing colleagues. I also feel very fortunate for the fact that working at Hannes Snellman genuinely contributes to achieving my educational and career dreams now and in the future.

What is the most important thing at your home office and why?

Sohvi: Two screens and an organised desk. I never understood the reason for having multiple screens until now. It saves time and makes completing tasks easier.

Meeri: I think there is no need for further explanation, but an ergonomic chair saves my working days both at the office and at home.

Janita: The most important thing at my home office is my two cats. They keep me company (or not, because they are sleeping all day long). Anyway, I love those sleeping creatures.

Krister: Definitely a bottle of water and a short distance to the fridge. Remember to stay healthy and nourished to maintain your focus!

Aurora: My personal assistant/lunch break company/leg warmer also known as my 8-month-old kitten Elliot. Elliot has already made new friends at Hannes Snellman since he’s actively participating in the company meetings. Besides Elliot, I would say that the most important thing at my home office is having a positive mindset about working remotely and drinking a lot of good coffee. These things help me keep my focus and strive for the best performance while working from home.

FAVOURITE | Lunch A: Fafa’s halloumi salad; J: Sushi and sugar-free Red Bull; K: Filled sandwich; M: Chinese; S: Cheeseburger and fries Podcast A: Epäformaali (by Rosa-Maria Vuori); J: I leave this one to my colleagues, I am not so much into podcasts (yet); K: Leadcast; M: I don't have a favourite one yet, but I am in the process of finding one; S: Jäbät & Tunteet Power Song A: Ei roudareit; J: Vivir mi vida; K: ENERGY; M: Midnight Sky; S: Breathe


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