Summer jobs: a win-win for all parties

Summer jobs provide valuable pre-graduation work experience and nice income for students, while also allowing the permanent workforce to enjoy stress-free vacations. We have been privileged at Algol Chemicals to enjoy the help of several summer workers this year. Here we introduce you to Henrik Nikkilä, Bachelor of Science in Technology and first-year Master’s student in biomass refining at Aalto University’s School of Chemical Engineering, who has spent the last three months with Algol Chemicals HSEQ* team assisting in a wide range of tasks related to safety documentation.

Henrik Nikkilä became interested in chemicals only after he was accepted to university. He has since gathered work experience in the field by working in as research assistant at the university. In summer 2017 he ended up at Algol Chemicals more or less by chance after spotting the job ad on the internet. He was interested in working in a chemicals sales organisation and was keen to learn about the dynamics of the business.


Henrik found out from his fellow students that Algol was a well-established company, and at the job interview he was told about the company’s positive atmosphere. The job itself, assisting with safety documentation, also sounded compelling.


“To complement my theoretical knowledge on chemical safety and legislation, I wanted to gain some practical experience and see how safety- and legislation-related issues affect other parts of the business and vice versa,” Henrik explains.


Henrik started in his position in mid-June. Over the next three months he learned that the atmosphere at Algol Chemicals is not only positive but also rather hearty and rakish. There is a very low hierarchy, and even the managing director sits around the same coffee table as the others, laughing at the jokes that are more of a rule than an exception.


“The cooperation between the units was really smooth, and it was easy to go and knock on anyone’s door to ask for advice,” Henrik admits.


“The work itself wasn’t always simple or straightforward, but the positive attitude meant that even the most challenging tasks were solved easily. I received a warm welcome on my first day and got along well with everyone. Naturally, for the most part I worked with my own team, but a lot of my work required input and advice from other teams as well,” he adds.


After spending the summer with Algol Chemicals, Henrik has gained a good overall picture of the chemical supply business. At the same time, the work experience has sparked his interest in working in similar tasks after graduation. He has gained a lot of experience working within a corporate HSEQ department, while also acquiring a general understanding of chemicals distribution.


From the perspective of Algol Chemicals’ HSEQ team, Henrik was a great help in handling time-consuming routines that demand a lot of concentration.


“All of our team members could leave on vacation when it was their turn and truly relax on their holiday knowing that their work was in good hands,” confirms Päivi Autiovuori, HSEQ Team Leader at Algol Chemicals.


“Our job demands special knowledge and profound familiarisation with the field. Vacation time often contains unexpected situations that demand full concentration from the permanent workforce, and at those moments it is very valuable to have a qualified pair of hands running the routines. Henrik learned the tasks very fast and got to see all the different sides of the job. He visited our tank warehouse in Turku, participated in chemical safety training and took part in everything that was going on in the team. He also helped out with customer service and product management, plus he was in communication with various domestic and international stakeholders both inside and outside of the company,” Päivi summarises.


*Health, Safety, Environment & Quality

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