Internship turned into a permanent job

27.1.2022 7.55

Electrical Engineering Specialist Tommy Alho works for the City of Espoo. In his first post as an intern with the city, he already got to perform a wide range of engineering tasks.

Sometimes Tommy Alho also visits construction sites.

Tommy Alho started in his current role as an Electrical Engineering Specialist in the coronavirus spring of 2020. He had already been an intern with the city for about a year, so the switch to remote work went smoothly as he already knew his co-workers.

“I didn’t have to think twice when they offered me a permanent job. I was happy with my job and very motivated to improve my skills and learn more,” says Alho, who graduated from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences with a degree in electrical engineering.

His duties include ordering electrical installations from contractors, monitoring costs and schedules, supervising electrical installations at renovation sites and overseeing the maintenance of fire alarm systems. Renovations and repairs are put out to tender and outsourced to contractors.

The sites include properties owned by the city, such as schools, day care centres, health centres and libraries.

“I am also in charge of the fire alarm systems. My job is to ensure that periodic inspections, annual maintenance and unforeseen repairs are carried out at the sites on time. I also schedule the replacement of systems and the preparation of tendering processes.”

The City of Espoo’s Premises Department employs people with a bachelor’s degree in engineering mainly in specialist and managerial positions. The department’s employees include construction, electrical, HPAC and automation engineers.

New people are recruited for example to replace retiring employees.

Access to further training

Salaries are higher in the private sector compared to the public sector, but according to Alho, the public sector offers many other benefits, such as access to further training and a secure job if you perform well.

“We also have a wonderful work community,” Alho says.

“I already performed a variety of engineering tasks as an intern. I was proactive and had a very good coach.”

Those who have a longer career behind them also get longer holidays. Alho also appreciates the possibility to set his own schedule during the working day.

“It gives me freedom and keeps me from getting stuck in a routine. I can prioritise my tasks and plan my day independently.”

Development ideas are welcomed

Alho feels that development ideas are well received. As an example, he mentions drones, which are used for checking the condition of building facades. Filming the exteriors costs a lot of money if the service is outsourced.

“My colleagues and I suggested that we could learn how to use a drone and do the filming ourselves. Now we have a few drones at our disposal,” says a pleased Alho.

“We save money as we do not need to outsource the filming or hire a lifting device if the site we are investigating is located high up.”

Alho mentions bureaucracy as one of the less pleasing aspects of the public sector.

“Some decisions take longer than you would like.”

According to Alho, good communication and problem-solving skills are assets in his job, as the work involves dealing with both contractors and customers and, of course, co-workers.

Alho’s goal is to advance his career, and he believes he has a good chance of doing so as a city employee. When asked about his strengths, he mentions organisational skills and project work.

When working in the office, you can sometimes sit in a ball chair with the computer.

Alho writes music during his leisure time

When off work, Alho relaxes by composing music.

“Back in the day, I started my musical hobby by playing the guitar. I have also played the electric drums.”

Nowadays, he composes rhythm-based hip hop-style music on his computer.

“Making music requires a creative state of mind and motivation. Once you get into it, you lose your sense of time.”

The article was originally published in the Insinööri (Engineer) magazine published by the Union of Professional Engineers(external link) (in Finnish).

  • Work for Espoo
The whole Espoo