Being a trainee in Finland

 

The writer is a Hungarian exchange student who spent spring 2014 studying at Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Department of Natural Resources and summer 2014 working as a trainee in project Hydro-Pohjanmaa. The goal of the project is to produce new operational models and tools to minimize nutrient loads from agricultural land. The tasks of the trainees were associated with nutrient loads from organic soil types.  The objective of the research work was to find out if a continuous measuring of water quality could give a reliable assessment of suspended solid loading and nutrient loading in organic soil types. The reliability of the continuous measuring was examined by comparing the results of the automatic probe of an automatic measurement station in Lake Mankilanjärvi with the results of water samples analyzed in a laboratory.

Originally I arrived here to spend a neat spring term at the OUAS. However, I got really attached to this place – to the university, to Oulu and eventually to Finland. Therefore I was committed to do my practical training here too. Now, these are the very last days of this traineeship and I wish I could stay further.

ine-height: 150%; font-family: ’Calibri’,’sans-serif’; font-size: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;” lang=”EN-GB”>Thanks to my supervisor teacher, Ms Kaija Karhunen, I had the possibility to join the Hydro-Pohjanmaa Project. This research project had many aspects regarding the state of the environment and the control of degradation. Since I was earlier an exchange student at the Department of Natural Resources, this task was really close to my interest. With my dear colleague, Laura Karhu, we have enjoyed working both in the field and the lab. I am especially thankful for both of them that shared their valuable knowledge with me, while being patient and helpful throughout the whole project.

I especially would like to make a note here. Many articles in many different countries tell about how people under the age of 25 cope with a panic to start to work. They tend to be confused about their own skills and how they would manage to pass the criteria. Therefore I am most grateful to have this traineeship as my first real job with this much responsibility. The working environment was really encouraging and supporting, and it is an excellent start in life for me. First of all, I have been some places before with the most outstanding landscapes. But in Finland, I was amazed how Nature is a very integral part of everything here. This is a view that I think I would have not been able to acquire elsewhere. I was always fascinated by the lake Mankilanjärvi where we have been working on, each time I laid my eyes on its wavy, other times silent or twinkling surface.

We Hungarians are not the men of the waters really; therefore it was fun times to get familiar with rowing a boat or how not to capsize into the lake. We have had many funny minutes when we found the boat flooded by rainwater; or when we had such a strong wind which made us hover around the measurement station for 30 minutes before we managed to set our mighty sailor boots on it. Similarly, I have got endowed by self-confidence, precision and a working manner that seeks for efficiency and quality. Finland, hence, is not only a unit in my CV, but an important episode in my professional and personal life.

Dora Szabo

 

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