It was time to get down (under) to business!

When thinking back to that moment, I remember the words from Antti (Antti Niemelä, Deputy Head of Mission), during my Skype interview in January 2017 at 7am in the morning, "Here at the Embassy you have to be ready every day to learn something new and be prepared for everything". And of course I was ready for the future challenges. The first step was already taken when I left everything behind in Finland for a while and got ready for my new hometown called Canberra.

On day one, July 17, I met all of my colleagues and the whole embassy team. I was aware that there would be a business delegation and, as Finland celebrates its centenary of independence during 2017, the main event would be the Finnish Crazy Games & Open Doors for Everything Finnish on September 23-24. I have to admit that my studies in Law did not fully prepare me to be a "wife to be carried" in the wife-carrying competition or to be wearing a reindeer skin while walking with oars in the promotional video. I was meeting the halfway point between my studies and my craziness (the latter of which I was obviously already aware of). Since this has been such an incredible event, there will be an individual post from the weekend. You will notice later why, if you are now wondering.

Is there anything more motivating than being a key team member?

However, at some points my business card was a good reminder of the other work I did at the embassy – especially when I was preparing the Hobby Horse track. While working as an intern in the political and commercial team, there were a great number of different tasks that I was able to execute. Diplomats riding hobbyhorses to videos about the Northern Lights…The variety has been enormous, I might say. In general, the image of Finland is extremely positive in Australia so it was perfect timing to pick the specialties of Finland that people have not yet seen. Maybe there will be more people out there choosing Finland as their travel destination after seeing some of the crazy videos the Embassy of Finland in Canberra has been posting or after visiting the Finnish Crazy Games event. I think this was just the beginning.

I have also been extremely lucky to be here while the embassy was helping with preparations for the health business delegation. In addition to Finland's achievements in the health sector, I have been amazed at the potential for Finnish companies to develop the markets here in Australia with regard to green energy, waste management, and also expertise in the construction sector.

The feeling of success is enormous. I have been extremely fortunate since day one. I have made lifetime friends. I have met so many people who have remained in my life both personally and professionally. After a while, networking does not feel like 'networking.' It is something that just naturally becomes part of your work life and your personal life. I am very satisfied with my job and always eager to work harder to excel in my career.

The staff here in Canberra earns my biggest personal thanks

Thank you for making me smile every day at work. Much of our team success is due to your skill and hard work. Your positive attitude cheers up the atmosphere in our office environment. You simply have lots of ideas and talents. Thanks a lot. You are the best.

Katariina Tuomela is an intern at the Embassy of Finland.


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