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Get to Know Us | Leo Pihkala, KM Trainee, Helsinki

7 May 2021

We interviewed Leo Pihkala, who works as a KM trainee at Hannes Snellman’s Helsinki office. Leo is a third-year law student at the University of Helsinki. We asked Leo about his experience of working as a KM trainee and what it is like to combine school and work.

Hi Leo, how are you?

Hi, thank you for asking!  I am doing great actually — I have recently been enjoying the sunny weather by  kicking off the golf season with my friends. Especially in a time of remote working, these social events have turned out to be extra important to me.

You started your traineeship three months ago. How has it been? What kind of matters have you been handling?

The beginning of my traineeship has been exciting and full of learning, since, as a KM trainee, the variety of tasks is rather wide. During the first couple of months, I have, for example, assisted lawyers in research work and fact finding and managed both the electronic and physical library collections. These tasks are often carried out together as a team to ensure everything runs smoothly. Approaching daily tasks through teamwork has definitely been the most rewarding experience for me, as I feel that being able to work in a team is one of the most important skills in a modern work environment.

Probably the most interesting part of the internship has been the fact that the tasks have come from various business areas and included topics from all areas of law. For a law student, this offers an invaluable chance to constantly learn and understand the breadth of the legal field. You may feel a bit overwhelmed by this in the beginning but luckily the other members of the KM Team are always happy to help!

Since KM trainees work part-time, you have also been able to continue your studies at a normal pace at the University of Helsinki. What has it been like to combine school and work?

Combining studies and work has gone as smoothly as you could possibly imagine. KM trainees usually work 2 or 3 days a week, so there is also plenty of time to study. As the work shifts are scheduled together with other KM trainees, we are also able to plan our shifts so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in all mandatory lectures. In addition, I feel like my work as a KM trainee has also helped me in my studies, as my information seeking skills have improved enormously.

As we all have been working remotely for some time now, have you discovered any tips on how to make remote work more pleasant and effective?

To make remote work more pleasant, we regularly arrange casual calls over coffee through Teams with the KM Team. These moments are a great way to catch up with teammates and also talk about current work issues in a more relaxed environment. Another great way of making remote work more enjoyable is an early morning walk or run. A bit of fresh air makes you feel energised and ready to tackle the daily challenges. If you are not an early bird, this can also be done during your lunch break!

What do you like doing in your spare time? How do you take care of your well-being?

I have always found sports to be a way for me to clear my head.  I believe that there is nothing that a good run or a round of golf with friends would not solve. Furthermore, I love playing football and various racket sports, such as badminton and tennis.

In addition to my physical well-being, I take care of my mental health by spending time with my family and friends. If I need some alone time, I like to relax by reading a good book and just taking a moment for myself. Currently, I am reading Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, which has definitely been insightful and thought-provoking.


FAVOURITE | Way of Commuting Tram Book Missä kuljimme kerran by Kjell Westö Lunch Sushi Work Equipment Height-adjustable desk Afternoon Routine A cup of coffee Mobile Application Wolt Relaxation Method Reading Work Outfit While remotely: sweatpants and a sweater. While at the office: business casual. Power Song Meripihkahuone by J. Karjalainen Website Netflix Social Media Channel Instagram Drink Coffee Weekday Saturday Leisure Activity Football

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