MEET OUR SUPPORT STAFF

Anni Pöllänen

Legal Assistant, Real Estate, Helsinki
(currently on secondment, Finance & Restructuring, Stockholm)

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I started working at Hannes Snellman as a legal assistant trainee in January 2016, and directly after graduating from Haaga-Helia, I continued working as a legal assistant in our Real Estate team. I am also spending spring 2019 on secondment in our Finance & Restructuring team in Stockholm.

What is included in a “normal” working day?
My working days vary quite a lot and include all kinds of support tasks. For example, some of my working days might comprise only of tasks related to a certain project and other days I might be working with various different projects and administrative assignments. Therefore, you could almost say that there is no such thing as a “normal” working day for a legal assistant – every day is somewhat different.

Can you describe your working group?
I work in the Real Estate team, which can be described as an energetic, positive, and dynamic working group. Our team consists of about 20 professionals. As a legal assistant, I also get to work in close co-operation with lawyers, other assistants, and support teams.

What do you like about your job and what do you wish could be improved?
I like the professional working atmosphere at Hannes Snellman, enjoy working in co-operation with colleagues, and find it rewarding when I can help others and develop myself by learning new things. The best part of my job is that you never really know what the day holds, and for me, that is exciting and challenging in a positive way. It is also great that there is always someone willing to help if your day gets busy.

Can you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?
Hannes Snellman has a professional and friendly atmosphere. It is almost a little bit hard to describe the unique culture we have, but it is obviously the talented individuals who build the professional, warm and welcoming culture of Hannes Snellman. I think it is a privilege to be a part of this community.

What kind of skills is important for a legal assistant?
In three words, I would say that a legal assistant should be reliable, flexible, and diligent. A positive mindset, a solution-oriented way of thinking, and taking ownership of your tasks also helps. Furthermore, good IT, language (especially English), and organising skills are of essence to a legal assistant.

Why did you choose to go on secondment?
I have always dreamt of working abroad and was so excited when I got the chance to go on secondment at our Stockholm office. It has been so rewarding to get to know our other office better and learn more about another culture and language. Secondments are also a great way to share different practices and knowledge between our offices.

What are the practicalities you need to get in order before you go on secondment?
There is quite a lot of paperwork and other practical issues that need to be taken care of when you go on secondment but our fantastic HR team helped a lot with the practicalities, for example by finding an apartment for me. Furthermore, it is good to familiarise yourself with and learn as much as possible of the foreign culture and language when on secondment – I learned a lot about the Swedish way of working and their fika culture as well as the Stockholm dialect.

Bhupathi Rajan

IT Administrator, Stockholm

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I joined Hannes Snellman as an IT administrator in November 2017. Prior to that, I had earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology in India and a master’s in computer science from Högskolan Dalarna in Sweden and worked as an IT consultant, onsite support, and IT admin officer.

What is included in a “normal” working day?
I monitor and maintain the computer systems, software and hardware, and servers within the organisation. If there are any issues or changes required regarding computers and mobiles etc., I am the first person employees will come to for technical support. As an administrator, I act as the point of contact for all employees, providing administrative support and managing their queries.

Can you describe your working group?
I have one colleague in the IT team in Stockholm, but I also work closely with our IT colleagues in Helsinki. I work with different office service groups and business areas daily, since IT work involves everyone in the firm.

What do you like about your job and what do you wish could be improved?
I love working as IT support and fixing the users’ issues, as well as the versatility of my duties in an ad-hoc situation. I also like having responsibilities and challenges, and I think that IT support really offers me that. I also enjoy the hectic nature of the work and the fact that you never have a dull moment. There is nothing better than the buzz of having many projects going on at the same time and still managing to get them all done on time.

Can you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?
I would describe the Hannes Snellman culture through the following values: teamwork, trust or integrity, responsibility, and learning opportunities.

Annie Tillmo

HR Coordinator, Stockholm

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I joined Hannes Snellman in November 2017. Prior to that, I got my B.Sc. In Human Resources Management from University of Gothenburg and worked at an automotive company.

What is included in a “normal” working day?
Since I work within many fields of HR, my days consist of everything from recruitment and employer branding to HR administration. I also work a lot with our internal education programme Hannes Academy, that provides learning opportunities such as internal lectures and introductions of our new colleagues.

Can you describe your working group?
We are three persons in the Swedish HR team and we also have several HR colleagues in Helsinki who we work closely with. For example, we host our event Summer School together.

What do you like about your job?
I like that I get to meet a lot of people; both internally from different support functions and business areas, and also students and lawyers at interviews and events.

Can you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?
I would describe it as modern, professional and open-minded. Everyone is very competent with high ambitions, but we are also great at laughing, having fun and spending time together.

Hanna-Mari Mudi

Legal Assistant, M&A, Helsinki

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I joined Hannes Snellman in August 2016 after working at a smaller law firm for three years. I work in the M&A group, and I am currently on a four-month internal secondment at Hannes Snellman’s Stockholm office.

What kinds of skills are required in an assistant’s work?
As a legal assistant, you need to be flexible, good at multi-tasking, organised and have great teamwork skills. Having an understanding of the legal industry and constantly developing your professional skills is also essential. Furthermore, you often end up advising your colleagues or solving problems relating to different software, so being a bit of an IT nerd is always a bonus!

How does internationality show in assistant’s work?
Having excellent English skills is naturally a must since most documents and client correspondence is in English. It is also good to have a basic knowledge of languages of the neighbouring countries, as you might find yourself searching for company documents in Danish or Estonian, for example. Furthermore, you need to remain conscious of people working in different time zones.

What have you enjoyed best about your secondment at the Stockholm office?
The welcoming atmosphere, lovely colleagues, and coffee the way I like it (strong and dark!). Stockholm is a lovely, beautiful city to live in, and the spring/summer season allows you to enjoy the best of it.

What has been challenging in working abroad?
Although my Swedish is quite good, it has taken some time to get used to discussing without thinking too much in social situations. In addition, while the Swedish culture is quite close to the Finnish, there are still differences between the two.

What are your TOP 3 tips for secondments?

  1. Actively take notes from both offices and share the best practices. Use the opportunity to increase knowledge and improve routines.
  2. You will not only be going abroad to work but also to learn about the social culture and working environment and to explore what the city has to offer. My colleagues have been happy to help me with things to do and new restaurants etc.
  3. When you have the chance, go for it! You will never regret the decision, as there is so much to learn and see.

Outi Talola

Lawyer-Linguist, Helsinki

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I started working at Hannes Snellman in 2009, directly after my university studies in Uppsala. I started as HR/Administrative Assistant and worked pretty much with everything that needed to be done or organised as the Stockholm office was still quite new.

What is included in a “normal” working day?
I work within all areas of Human Resources (HR), such as employer branding, recruiting, talent management, and organisational questions, to name a few. This means that my normal working day is filled with interviews, internal meetings with my closest colleagues and our Managing Partner, sending and answering emails, and working on different kinds of projects and processes regarding HR. Every now and then I even take part at student events, which I used to do a lot before, and nowadays I miss it very much!

Can you describe your working group?
I have one colleague that I work with on different HR issues in the Stockholm office, but I also work closely with our HR colleagues in the Helsinki office. It is important that HR is involved in most of the matters in our organisation and, therefore, I also work with colleagues from several different support groups and business areas every day. I also have a lot of contact with our Managing Partner, who is responsible for the operational questions in the Stockholm office.

What do you like about your job and what do you wish could be improved?
I love the fact that my job is very social. I get to meet a lot of different people and work together with colleagues from various groups and business areas. I also like having responsibilities and challenges, and I think that HR work really offers me that. All of my colleagues are also very, very good at what they do, and it is inspiring to work with some of the best professionals in the field. I really cannot come up with anything that could be improved…Well, in Stockholm, we sit and work in an open space and I used to sit closer to lawyers. I think I miss having that closer contact, and I would like to sit somewhere else in the office for a while (not that I do not like sitting close to the colleagues I sit close to at the moment).

Can you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?
In my opinion, we have a very demanding, but a rewarding working atmosphere. We want to develop as individuals, but also as a firm, and we are supportive towards each other. Even though we expect a lot from ourselves, we have a lot of fun together and the atmosphere is very “down-to-earth” and helpful.

Emilia Lanu

Client Relations Assistant, Helsinki

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?
I joined Hannes Snellman in January 2014 as a legal assistant trainee. Currently, I work as an assistant in our Client Relations team.

What is included in a “normal” working day?
I am involved in planning and organising events and seminars in cooperation with our lawyers, assistants and other support teams.  Usually, my working day consists of all sorts of preparations for our events, from making and sending invitations to hosting and assisting in the actual events. I also draft and send electronic newsletters to our clients, add new content and update texts, e.g. CVs and news, on the Hannes Snellman website. However, the work varies a lot and no day is like the other, which in fact is one of the things that make the job so fascinating.

Can you describe your working group?
I have three colleagues in the CR team in Helsinki, but I also work closely with our team colleagues in Sweden and Russia. I work daily with other support groups and business areas as well, since CR work involves so many people in the firm.

What do you like about your job and what do you wish could be improved?
I can honestly say that I love my job! The work is so versatile and interesting that I couldn’t get bored. Some tasks can be challenging, but it only motivates me to work harder and I feel like I learn something new every day.

Can you describe the Hannes Snellman culture?
The atmosphere at Hannes Snellman is encouraging and positive. I think it really shows that everyone is motivated and keen on their work. It’s a privilege to work with such talented colleagues.