Career Stories | Tatu Prehti, KM Trainee, Helsinki
15 March 2023
Hi Tatu, how are you?
Hello! I'm doing quite good, thanks for asking. Autumn just flew by — I can't believe it has already been half a year since I started at Hannes. This year has also started off great and I'm looking forward to everything I have planned for the rest of 2023.
You started your traineeship six months ago. How did you end up as a KM trainee at Hannes Snellman?
Since the end of my second year of studies, I have been eager to seek out traineeships because I feel like they provide very pleasant variety to the life of a student. You learn a lot as a trainee but it's very different from reading exam books in a library. Our KM trainee programme caught my attention long ago because it seemed like a great opportunity to broaden my skills while still being part-time. My good friend had been a KM trainee at Hannes and warmly recommended the position to me. Reading the description of the traineeship I realised it was a perfect fit and decided to apply. I was overjoyed to hear that I had been chosen for the position!
What was your first impression of Hannes Snellman?
I think the atmosphere was very warm from the very start. During the orientation days, we got to hear presentations from all of the teams in the firm and we also had a fun little social event in the evening with all the new trainees. It always takes some time to get used to a new workplace full of new faces, but I feel like the people at Hannes did a great job at making us feel welcome right from the beginning.
How would you describe your normal workday? What kind of matters have you been handling?
It's difficult to describe a normal workday, as it's usually impossible to predict what kind of a day we're going to have. Some days are busier with different requests coming left and right and some days are taken up mostly by news monitoring or tackling more time-consuming tasks with less strict deadlines.
I have carried out both by myself and with my fellow trainees a large variety of different investigations. Some of them have been very quick and precisely defined, like finding a certain article or book. Many of them have really put my skills to the test, for example finding case law regarding a very specific topic or defining what is actually meant by certain legal terms. Often the shortest and most simple sounding questions prove to be the most challenging, but it’s also fun when you get to delve deep into a certain topic.
What has been the best and what has been the most challenging part of working as a KM trainee?
The best part has been getting to know so many wonderful colleagues and broadening my knowledge in different legal topics. The latter has also provided me with valuable information on which areas of law I might want to specialise in later (and which ones may not be my cup of tea).
The most challenging part has been delving into topics and concepts that haven’t been previously familiar to me at all, some of them barely by name. However, at the same time, that has been absolutely the most rewarding and skill developing part of working as a KM trainee. You get to familiarise yourself with all of the different tools and archives that can be used for research.
How would you describe the Hannes culture?
I would describe our culture as both professional and supportive. While there's certainly an emphasis on maintaining a high level of professionalism in everything we do, I feel like Hannes also has a strong commitment to supporting employees and helping them grow professionally. We also have lots of events and clubs for the employees to take part in and have fun with their colleagues outside work.
Since KM trainees work part-time, you have also been able to continue your studies at a normal pace at the University of Lapland. What has it been like to combine school and work?
Because we work part-time and there's a whole team of us, I've never had to skip exams or mandatory lessons because of work. Also, if I have a more busy week at school, like a couple of deadlines drawing nearer, I can request fewer shifts for that week and do them some other time. This makes it so much easier to combine studies and work!
You also study at Aalto University and aim to graduate with a degree in economics and business administration. What is it like to juggle two degrees at the same time?
Studying for two degrees at the same time is certainly something I didn't think I would be doing a few years back, but I definitely don't regret the decision. It can be quite challenging to balance the workload, but I try to keep in mind that I can focus on the courses that are useful and interesting to me while letting some of the less intriguing ones go at their own pace. The good thing is that my law and business studies are somewhat complementary, and it has been a lot easier to advance and schedule my studies at Aalto University when I have already gotten used to university-level studies through my law degree. While it can be a lot of work, it's also quite rewarding to explore different fields of study!
How do you take care of your well-being?
For me, an important part of taking care of my well-being is listening to myself. While I love to hang around or go to the movies with my friends, sometimes nothing beats a calm evening at home watching my favourite series or reading a good book. One thing I love doing is walking around the city and photographing my surroundings, both architecture and nature. I still consider myself fairly new to Helsinki, so I always see something new to admire and capture. I also like to take care of my physical health by going to the gym to exercise either by myself or with a group.
What are your top three tips for future trainees?
- Don't be afraid to take on assignments you don't have previous experience on. That's the best way to build your expertise!
- Remember to ask questions if you're unsure about something. This is especially important during the first few weeks of your traineeship when you're still getting accustomed to a new workplace.
- Be open to meeting new people outside your team. Especially in a large firm such as Hannes you will see lots of new faces throughout your traineeship. Cherish this opportunity and broaden your horizons by discussing with people who are in different career stages and have various educational backgrounds and interests in the legal field.
One theme popping up in working life discussions is purpose at work. To conclude this interview, we would like to ask you what the things are that keep you going and motivated in your work — what is the purpose of your work?
As a KM trainee, I have learned something new every day I have been at work. The experience has also been very enjoyable thanks to the supportive and fun colleagues I’ve had the opportunity to work with. Receiving positive feedback from our lawyers has felt particularly great, as it reminds us that the work we do is very important to the whole firm!
FAVORITE | Way of Commuting: Tram; Book: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; Lunch: Sushi buffet; Work Equipment: Standing desk; Afternoon Routine: Getting home and changing into cosy clothes; Mobile Application: ResQ; Relaxation Method: Going to the gym; Work Outfit: A slipover matched with a long-sleeved dress shirt; Power Song: Unstoppable by Sia; Website: YouTube; Social Media Channel: Instagram; Drink: Sparkling water; Weekday: Thursday; Leisure Activity: Going to the movies (in a small block cinema)