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How Visma’s Management Trainee program kick-started my career – Part 2

Many of our Visma talents started their careers as Management Trainees. In this blog post, we’ll meet Stina Wahlsten and Julia Hakanpää about their journey in Visma, how it was like to be an Management Trainee, and what they do today.


This blog post is part of a series and you can read the first part where we talked to Brian Ye and Steffen Torp here.

Interview series: Meet some of our previous Management Trainees

Stina Wahlsten, Financial Development Manager

Meet Stina, a Financial Development Manager who started out as a Management Trainee. This is how her career has developed through her journey in Visma.

Stina Wahlsten, Financial Development Manager at Visma

Stina Wahlsten, Finland
Currently works as a Financial Development Manager
Management Trainee 2017-2018
Studied: Master degree in Finance at Hanken School of Economics

How did you start your journey in Visma and what do you do today?

“I started my journey at Visma in the autumn of 2017 in the Management Trainee Program. In my year there were 10 of us, of which two were Finns. Since I joined Visma four years ago, I’ve held four different positions and have had a staggering learning curve. I’ll try to keep it short, but a lot has happened for, or to, me at Visma!

After my year as a Management Trainee, I wanted to return home to Helsinki and started working as a Business Development Manager. In this role, I worked as a project manager for strategic and business improvement initiatives. 

My responsibilities included developing, promoting and monitoring methods, frameworks and tools for continuous improvement in all departments. What does this mean in practice? My responsibilities included mapping out customer journeys and implementing improvements to our products. It also included analysing and optimising consulting resources and revenues, and executing OKRs among many other projects. 

Sustainability has always been a topic of interest of mine and I’m happy to say that it has been a theme throughout my journey at Visma. As a Business Improvement Manager, I got to initiate our, and Visma Finland’s, sustainability strategy. Later I was also a part of the entire sustainability strategy for Visma. 

After I was a Business Improvement Manager I got the opportunity to learn more about a specific product of ours: M2, a travel expense software. Here, I was our Product Marketing Manager (PMM) for one year. In this role, I was responsible for both the internal and external communication of the product. I implemented our go-to-market strategy and tore down silos while learning a ton about the operational side of software.

While I loved being a PMM I thrive best as a project manager. This time I wanted to learn more about our financial systems and took on the role as our Financial Development Manager. 

At the moment I am optimising our billing process. This is very interesting as I have gotten to learn more about the tools we use, such as Salesforce, and implement new ones such as our Data Lake. It is also very fun as I get to work with a lot of people across the company and deep dive into their processes and be a problem solver. 

Whilst being our Financial Development Manager I have continued my work on our sustainability strategy alongside Visma’s Sustainability Manager. That means, I help inform, organise and inspire towards a more sustainable future via a small network of experts.”

You might also be interested in reading: Say hello to the Management Trainees of 2020/21!

What was your experience with the Management Trainee Program and why should people apply?

“I cannot recommend the program enough! After university I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I had finance skills and was interested in working with IT. This was my starting point.

During the Management Trainee Program I expressed that I wanted to travel as much as possible and learn as much as possible in diverse roles. So that is what I did! I worked with GDPR-processes in Oslo, with customer journeys in Stockholm, with project portfolios in Helsinki, and with website design in Copenhagen. 

The learning curve was so steep that sometimes it felt like I couldn’t always keep up, but I could thanks to the support networks built in place. 

Even more valuable than the tools I acquired to my toolbelt was the network I was able to build within Visma. Via my network I both find the right people, and I can connect the right people. This makes me valuable in the Visma family, and makes my workdays fun! Just the other week I was in Copenhagen visiting a friend and stopped by the Visma office. Here, I visited my old team from three years ago, as well as my trainee friend.

If you are interested in any kind of management, have a keen interest in IT and software and want to learn more about everything—this is the program for you. You learn something new every day, meet new people and you become a part of our Visma culture. Our culture includes an entrepreneurial experiment culture, breakfast at the office, and all sorts of activities and perks. As an example, at Visma Enterprise Oy I volunteer one day a month to give back to society.”

Visit our career pages here.

Julia Hakanpää, Business Development Manager

Meet Julia, a Business Development Manager who started out as a Management Trainee. This is how her career has developed through her journey in Visma.

Julia Hakanpää, Business Development Manager at Visma

Julia Hakanpää , Finland
Currently works as a Business Development Manager, Mergers & Acquisitions
Management Trainee 2018-2019
Studied: Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki. Major in Management & International Business, minor in Computer Science.

How did you start your journey in Visma and what do you do today?

“I had always been interested in working for an international company and wanted to figure out whether I should work in business or something more tech-related in the future—two things I studied at university. 

The year as a trainee provided great opportunities for travelling the Nordic countries and gaining international experience. Not to mention working with interesting projects and many new people and working environments. As well as an answer to my biggest question: what kind of career do I want? 

After the trainee year, I started working as a Business Developer Manager. Over the past two years, I have seen my role evolve. From researching potential acquisition targets, evaluating the case during due diligence processes to planning and integration of acquired companies into Visma. 

I am currently focused on making the onboarding process as smooth as possible for newly acquired companies. Being in charge of these projects means careful planning and precise coordination with a team of people. Together, we conduct the onboarding activities so that new companies feel welcome at Visma and are confident in navigating their way around the Group on their own as soon as possible.

The best thing about my role is getting to know all the fantastic people and businesses Visma acquires. Every onboarding process is unique, and every organisation is unique. This means that each onboarding is different. 

Visma is a great acquirer, and the onboarding process is quite soft compared to most standards. There is so much we can offer new companies. It is great to see new companies grow and evolve thanks to the support and synergies they get from our ecosystem.”

What was your experience with the Management Trainee Program and why should people apply?

“There is no better way to discover what you are interested in doing, and how to best leverage your skills, than to participate in the Management Trainee Program. I doubt there is any other trainee program that is as educational and broadens one’s horizon as much as the Visma program. 

During my trainee year, I gained a large network, met new friends, developed knowledge of Visma, and worked in various positions within the company. I have the Management Trainee Program to thank for a fantastic experience that has taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

Do you want to read more about our trainee programs, and see what it’s like to work at Visma? Visit our career pages and read more about our Management Trainee program as well as other possibilities within Visma.

Read about our Management Trainee program

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