A Six-Week Internship That Turned into a 40-Year Career

Laura Saali

Kyösti Miettunen embarked on his journey with Raute as a bright-eyed six-week trainee, and now, after 40 years of dedication, he is bidding farewell to his storied career.

Let us rewind to 1984. A business course for engineers and technicians led Kyösti “Kössi” Miettunen and his fellow students to Raute. At that time Raute’s office was on Vesijärvenkatu in a wooden building that has been torn down since then. Kyösti and his classmates were set for a six-week internship, with two options to choose from—one of which was Raute. For logistical reasons, Kyösti chose Raute as it was easier to commute to. 

From Novice to Veteran: Four-Decade Career 

Just after May Day, on May 2nd, 1984, Kyösti started his six-week internship at Raute. Those six weeks stretched into a lifelong journey; he quickly became a valued member of the team. By June, he had secured a permanent role in Raute's Services unit as a Sales Engineer for the Spare Parts department, despite initially knowing nothing about veneer machines. 

“The phone was ringing on my desk, and someone just told me to answer it. That is how my career began, as part of a four-to-five-person team. Even now, after nearly four decades, I still remember some of the machinery parts in detail and probably won’t ever forget,” he recalled, adding with a laugh, “For example, the carbon bearing bushing for the dryer has the part number 331466.” 

In 1988, the office relocated to Nastola, Lahti. The new office building had six floors, and over the years Kyösti navigated almost through the whole building from the basement to the fifth floor. “I’ve never worked on the sixth floor or in production,” he says. Over the years, he held various roles, from writing quotes to being a Project Engineer, returning to the Spare Parts department, and then moving into modernizations and pricing. 

Mastering Silent Knowledge and Market Insights 

Kyösti, a mechanical engineer by educational background, has spent his latest years as a Coordinator in the Quotations department. He worked closely with a team of eight, and they operated like a well-oiled machine; relying on each other’s expertise, supporting each other, and helping team members when needed was a cornerstone for the team spirit. His daily tasks included pricing modernizations, starting from a basic framework, requiring thorough research, and comparing similar cases to utilize accurate pricing. 

Kyösti emphasizes that the job demands a lot of silent knowledge and understanding of the market: “Which parts suit this case, and which do not? What are the current market price impacts?” He adds, “Sometimes team members ask me, ‘How do you know this?’ Well, after 40 years, you gather a lot of know-how and silent information gained from the cases I have handled.”

Career Highlights and Volleyball Championship 

While working in spare parts, Kyösti left his mark on Raute's technological advancements; Kyösti was involved in the groundwork for the new enterprise resource (ERP) planning system V7 in 1992. In 1995, after successfully commissioning the V7 ERP, Kyösti seamlessly transitioned into further refining and enhancing the V10 ERP.  

More recently, he undertook a pivotal role in driving the implementation of the D365 system. Kyösti recognized the challenges of integrating new technologies into the workplace, emphasizing the considerable time and effort required for adaptation. However, he also celebrated the team's courage in embracing this digital transformation, marking a significant shift from traditional paperwork towards streamlined and efficient operations. 

Kyösti identifies the pivotal projects of his career as involving Metsä Serla (then Finnforest and now Metsä Wood), Koskisen, and UPM. He emphasizes his role as a point of contact during the Metsä project, recalling it as a period where he had the opportunity to connect with numerous new people. 

Besides work, Kyösti enjoyed volleyball – a sport he played with colleagues from Raute, Precision, and Sope & Infor. Even though they didn’t play seriously, and it was more like a fun hobby, they organized volleyball tournaments. Kyösti looks back fondly on the 1991 volleyball tournament organized by volunteers, likely his first and last volleyball championship. 

Any Last Words? 

As Kyösti looks forward to enjoying retirement in good health, he fondly reflects on how a mere six-week internship launched him into a lifetime of passion and dedication. What began as an opportunity to learn has evolved into decades of invaluable experiences. For all aspiring interns and young professionals, remember: every small step can lead to an extraordinary adventure. Embrace every opportunity, nurture your passions, and who knows—your six weeks could turn into a lifetime of fulfillment and achievement.