CoreHW summer trainee story: Sofia Virtanen

Fueled by creativity, inspired by wirelessness

When Sofia Virtanen, an Engineering student at Tampere University, went to chat with the CoreHW staff at a job fair last winter, she did not know where that conversation would take her.

Now she works as Junior Test Engineer at CoreHW Tampere location where she runs tests and measures integrated circuits as part of a four-member test team.

“Initially, as a recent bachelor’s degree graduate in the beginning of my professional career, I was not sure if my knowhow would match the company’s expectations. However, I was really inspired by what CoreHW does in the field of RFIC and wireless technologies. Also, during the interview I expressed great interest towards the fact that CoreHW offers custom antenna design. I believe this right attitude combined with my theoretical background were the key to getting me hired. This position was the perfect match for me, and it has been a great learning experience so far,” Sofia says.

Supporting each other is part of the work culture

At her daily work, Sofia runs Python program code on the computer to manage the test equipment. She also supports product development by performing quality assurance before the integrated circuits are shipped to the clients and occasionally jumps in to help her colleagues in the assembly line, if needed.

“What strikes me the most since day one is that helping one another is an essential part of the working culture at CoreHW. It is easy to ask for help and everyone is ready to go the extra mile to support you. When talking with my colleagues during coffee breaks, I have learned that the company is very versatile: there are so many interesting projects and positions. I see many opportunities to expand my knowhow at the company in the future as well.”

Expanding limits through creativity

Maybe a bit uncharacteristically for an engineer, Sofia’s true passion lies in visual arts. She is into painting, drawing and photography. She often photographs flowers and has recently started to paint them in addition to landscapes. When drawing, she usually creates cartoons.

“Visual arts fuel my life, but I would rather keep them as my hobby. When it comes to work, electrical engineering is the best field I can think of,” she smiles. “Creativity is important for me as it brings variation into my life. It means not sticking with common thinking patterns. New ideas flow easily when I get into that creative mode.”

Sofia has been especially inspired by CoreHW Tech Infos, which are informal company-wide sessions. During those sessions, staff members give updates on their projects and share lessons learned. “It is interesting to hear about various projects and I feel that I have learned a lot,” Sofia says. “Tech infos and technical materials on the Intranet have helped me better understand the theory base I have gained at the university and how those theories can be applied at work life later on.”

Taking the next step

Sofia is planning to continue her studies in the fall. In addition to electrical engineering, she sees telecommunications engineering and signal processing other possible fields to specialize in during the master’s program. When asked about her biggest takeaway from this position, Sofia says that it has given her confidence.

“I feel that my manager and my team have trust in my skills and knowhow. It has been great to see that my knowledge and technical skills take me pretty far at this point. After this summer, I feel confident to continue with my master studies and I am looking forward already to the next summer to expand my knowhow further,” she says.