Port’s new recruits Marjut and Annika expect to contribute to the Port’s development and increasing its attraction
The Port’s personnel was strengthened by two new employees in September: HR Manager Marjut Haltsonen and Executive Assistant Annika Schulman. Marjut is Master of Arts in Education and Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration, and Annika has completed a qualification in tourism and languages.
Tell us a little bit about your background, in what kind of jobs have you worked before?
Marjut: I have worked since I was 14 years old, for example distributing newspapers, and after that alongside my studies, and in summer jobs e.g. in a shop, bakery and insurance company. In HR positions I have worked almost 10 years, most recently at Valmet Automotive as HR Specialist and previously at Visma as HR Business Partner.
Annika: I have previously worked e.g. as Purser and Hostess on board Tallink Silja’s m/s Galaxy for 14 years. In addition, I have worked as a Personnel Assistant at Vertico Oy and in various customer service jobs in a hotel in Italy.
What was your most unusual or interesting job before joining our organisation?
Marjut: The most interesting job was with racehorses. Horses have been important to me also otherwise, although at present that leisure activity is more or less “suspended” as I have two little children.
Annika: The work in a luxury hotel in Tuscany at tailor-made customer services and as a concierge, or contact person of the customers, is an experience I wouldn’t give up at any price. There I learned high-standard customer service and also something new about myself. I didn’t speak much Italian when I started, so the job was a jump in the deep end. The work was demanding but increased my professional self-assurance a great deal.
What do you expect from your job in the Port of Turku within the next few years?
Marjut: I expect to be able to contribute to making the Port of Turku even more attractive!
Annika: Being born and bred in Turku and interested in tourism and seafaring, it’s great to follow the progress of the Ferry Terminal Turku project and the renewal of the terminal and port area. I believe that my job description as Executive Assistant will be varying and interesting.
With what issues do colleagues ask for your help or advice?
Marjut: With issues related to employment legislation or systems, but at lunch, I may be asked for advice for changing cars. I’ve been interested in cars since I was young. I changed the oil and tyres by myself and then thought I knew something about cars. Nowadays the technology is developing so fast that I can mostly help with the used car markets.
Annika: I’m a problem-solver by nature, so my colleagues often turn to me with challenging customer contacts. I know the Tuscany region and its wines well and I love good food, so people often ask me restaurant or wine recommendations.
If you could ask the Managing Director one question, what would you ask?
Marjut: As HR person, a basic question springs to mind: tell me about yourself.
Managing Director Erik Söderholm: I am an eternal optimist – the glass is always half full!
Annika: If you had a magic wand that would allow you to change one thing in the Port of Turku, what would it be?
Managing Director Erik Söderholm: I would change the clay soil to hard ground.
What would your dream day at work be like?
Marjut: I would solve a big work-related problem together with a team – and somebody would have baked fresh buns for work!
Annika: Next summer, on a beautiful sunny day, when the archipelago, Port and the River Aura are at their best, a new cruise liner would arrive for its first visit. That would be nice to see.
What is the best piece of advice that you ever got?
Marjut: Don’t give up – you will find it in front of you anyway.
Annika: My friend’s father once said: “Är det inte roligt längre så skall man göra något annat.” (“If it’s not fun anymore, you should do something else”). I think it applies to many things in life; you need to do things that you enjoy and that feels right to you.
What secret skills or abilities have you got?
Marjut: I can prepare a sweet delicacy, even if there seems to be “nothing” in the cupboard.
Annika: As Programme Hostess on a ship I once got to substitute for Little My. And it resulted in a long substitution because I was said to be the best Little My ever, perhaps that’s my secret talent.
Text: Heli Kaijansalo
Photo: Markku Koivumäki