From Student to Teamleader – Paving the Way for Future Talents

12 April 2024

Transitioning from university studies to working full time can be a challenge. Meet Adina Valjakka, Teamleader and Software Developer at Combitech, equipped with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Today, she plays a key role in fostering strong connections with current university students and creating valuable opportunities for seamless integration into the professional world.

Adina Valjakka


Fulfill
ing a need in society at large

 

I didn't have much experience with programming or development at all before university. Before choosing my route, I went to a few ‘open houses’ and realized that computer engineering was an area in need of a stronger workforce, not least in the Jönköping area where I live. Many employers are looking for this specific skill set.

 

Adina graduated from university in 2022, ready to take on new challenges! Her way to Combitech started before graduation though, when she went through LinkedIn to look for master thesis collaboration opportunities. A former university student – now Combitech employee – got in touch. Working on the thesis, Adina got to know the Combitech culture, her future colleagues, and a sense of what life after university could look like. She mentions this as a great advantage that made the transition from university very comfortable:

 

It was a great way to be introduced into work life! And this is something I'm trying to maintain now as an employee at Combitech – to work closely with interns and students who write their thesis in collaboration with Combitech. I want them to have as good of an experience as I had.

 

The thesis work led to employment, and today Adina carries a dual role as Teamleader and Embedded Software Developer. She and her team of five work with Saab Training and Simulation, including development of military live training simulator systems. In her day-to-day, she leads her team through the daily agenda, ensures everyone stays on top of their to-do’s, addresses arising issues, and together they
consistently enhance the simulators for fool proof training sessions.

Giving back

Apart from her everyday work assignments, Adina finds a deeper purpose of giving back to students through Combitech Connect, and delving deeper in her knowledge through Combitech's talent program. Now, what is this?

 

Combitech has a talent program ranging for two years that corresponds to about 10% of Adina’s working hours. In the talent program, newly graduated employees get to attend different courses and dialogue seminars. They also get the opportunity to reflect with their peers, exchanging experiences and new insights. Adina adds that Combitech offers many different directions to the program, and that the length and content may differ from office to office, but in Jönköping almost all new graduates attend the program to get a head start in their Combitech journey.

 

Combitech Connect is a more hands on connection to the university, through student fairs and other employer branding activities. For example, attending and exhibiting at “IGE-day” (Introduce a Girl to Engineering day) hosted at Saab, and VERA-day hosted at Jönköping University.

 

I enjoy being a part of Combitech Connect and CTP! it's definitely a bonus to get the opportunity to be involved in different networks and exchange experiences. It enriches my working hours.

 

Being a Shaper of a Smart and Resilient Society

Outside of Combitech, Adina enjoys going to the gym, and recently she's gotten into climbing together with a few colleagues. Other than that, just staying at home with her partner and cats, enjoying tv-shows, is high up on the list when she clocks off. Balancing work and home-life is not something she considers a struggle:

 

Generally, Combitech offers a lot of ´freedom with responsibility´. If you have an errand you need to run during working hours, that is not a problem, as long as you manage your work duties and have clear communication with your team. It is very flexible, I experience the Combitech culture to be very accommodating to me and my colleagues' needs, both personal and professional.

 

When it comes to purpose, Adina describes her work as fulfilling. Both in the sense of giving back to current students so they can experience the same transition into work life that she did, but also considering the impact of her work on a bigger scale. She can see Combitech’s purpose of Shaping a Smart and Resilient Society embedded in her day-to-day work:

 

I find it quite literal, that through my work I am involved in creating a resilient society in various ways. As we work a lot with the military industry, it contributes to society at large. It's nice to have a sense of purpose at work. Not everyone gets to have that, and I don't take it for granted.

 

Looking forward, what's ahead for Adina?

 

I have no idea what’s ahead! I like where I am right now, but I continue to learn new things every day, and I believe that knowledge will set the direction for my future. It's a comfort to know that there's a lot of different opportunities within Combitech that I have left to explore, and I feel like there's space to grow in many different ways.

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