Get to Know Us | Anni Pöllänen, Legal Assistant, Real Estate, Helsinki
20 April 2020
When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I started working at Hannes Snellman as a legal assistant trainee in January 2016, and directly after graduating from Haaga-Helia, I continued working as a legal assistant in our Real Estate team. I also spent spring 2019 on secondment in our Finance & Restructuring team in Stockholm.
Can you describe your working group?
Currently I work in the Real Estate and Projects & Construction teams, which can both be described as energetic, positive, and dynamic working groups. As a legal assistant, I also get to work in close co-operation with other teams’ lawyers and assistants.
What is included in a “normal” working day?
My working days vary quite a lot and include all kinds of support tasks. For example, some of my working days might comprise only of tasks related to a certain project, and on other days, I might be working with various different projects and administrative assignments. Therefore, you could almost say that there is no such thing as a “normal” working day for a legal assistant ─ every day is somewhat different.
What do you like about your job?
I like the professional working atmosphere at Hannes Snellman, enjoy working in co-operation with colleagues, and find it rewarding when I can help others and develop myself by learning new things. The best part of my job is that you never really know what the day holds, and for me that is exciting and challenging in a positive way.
What kind of skills are important for a legal assistant?
In three words, I would say that a legal assistant should be reliable, flexible, and diligent. A positive mind-set, a solution-oriented way of thinking, and taking ownership of your tasks also helps. Furthermore, good IT, language (especially English), and organising skills are of essence to a legal assistant.
Why did you choose to go on secondment?
Stockholm has always felt like a second hometown to me, as I have regularly visited my close relatives there ever since I was very young. I had also been dreaming about working abroad, so when I was offered the chance to go on secondment, the decision to go was easy to make. It was so rewarding to get to know our other office better and learn more of another culture and language. In my opinion, secondments are also a great way to share different practices and knowledge between our two offices.
What are the practicalities you need to get in order before you go on secondment?
There is quite a lot of paperwork and other practical issues that need to be taken care of when you go on secondment, but our fantastic HR team helped a lot with the practicalities, for example by finding an apartment for me. Furthermore, it is good to familiarise yourself with and learn as much as possible of the foreign culture and language when on secondment. I, for instance, learned a lot about the Swedish work culture (and let us not forget about the fika culture) as well as the Stockholm dialect.
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