A typical workday in Amerikka’s office jolts with laughter and collaborative project work over the whizzing of the specialty coffee maker. I found myself working among Amerikka’s team through the assistance of a common affiliate’s recommendation. As a foreigner in Finland, it can be quite trying to land a career-oriented job. Despite my previous field-specific work experience, most firms did not consider me. Though, I did not despair, as I thankfully, was aware of the acknowledged discourse about the insularity of Finnish firms. (I likewise encourage students/ entry-level job-seekers to actively search and apply for positions. As Helsinki steadily flourishes, a multitude of jobs for creative professionals ensue.) This is where Amerikka’s outlook is set apart.
Nearing the conclusion of my internship/thesis writer contract, I review the former six months. Along with the numerous new professional connections, I also developed hearty friendships with fellow teammates. I suppose that working in the Sörnäinen neighborhood lends itself to that purpose, with its complimentary industrial and life-style scenes. For example, my co-workers and I often had a chance to visit the nearby hip eateries for a casual group lunch.
By the means of a commissioned thesis topic proposal, a concept which was foreign to me prior to studying in Finland, I approached Amerikka. To simultaneously gain work-experience, through real-case projects, a portion of my time was also dedicated to internship tasks. This entailed working as a trusted and respected member alongside a couple different project teams to create conceptual models as well as spatial documentation for presentation deliverables. Due to this dual position, I was additionally able to receive financial support from Aalto’s Career Services.
The objective of my thesis project is to construct a sustainability roadmap based on existing architecture and interior design metric tools and certification systems best aligned with the services provided by Amerikka. Although comprehensive, the standalone tools and systems can often be limited to a few attributes. Applying these alone would suggest that project types at Amerikka are consistently similar, on the contrary, one size does not fit all. In some cases, attempting to apply those tools, at all, can seem forced with no added value. Since it is crucial to consider sustainability from the onset of a project, the aim is to guide the team by delivering several routes that can be taken based on the needs of the project type. Although at first, daunting and seemingly burden inducing, shifting the project delivery system to include sustainable solutions is a fruitful move to the direction where the firm’s actions align with local and global sustainability goals.
My opportunity to work alongside Amerikka’s team, has endowed me an understanding of the Finnish workplace environment. As a result, I feel I am now better equipped to enter the workforce in Finland upon graduation.
Creative Sustainability Master Program