My cross-border career story: Joining NAPCON during a global pandemic
Mehmed Yumer - Lead Process Control Engineer / 06 Oct 2020
Mehmed Yumer – Lead Process Control Engineer @ NAPCON Process Control Engineering Team.
- M.Sc and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering
- 7 years of experience in refining R&D, before NAPCON.
- Dual citizens from Turkey and Bulgaria
My recruitment and onboarding experience with NAPCON is an interesting story. Our roads were crossed with NAPCON in the beginning of 2020. At the time, I was an R&D expert and had been working as a developer and a project leader of several data science, smart manufacturing and automation projects in the refinery business in Turkey. At the same time, Neste and NAPCON were two brands that I had been following since my early career.
Lean Recruitment Process and Setting the Expectations
The recruitment process was so fast, flawless and lean that after a couple of remote interviews with my prospective manager, I was eager to work for such a great company. I was excited to take a role in sustainability and efficiency centric automation projects. I was told about the expectations for the role and described the common ways of working in NAPCON. Furthermore, I was told about the comprehensive relocation support offered. Everybody knows that relocation is not an easy decision, but the support I received gave me a boost of confidence. But who could have known that a pandemic will hit everything?
Overcoming the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-border perspective
The contract was signed, personal belongings were packed, and in the beginning of March 2020, I was all set to relocate to Finland. Then COVID-19 turned the world upside down. The pandemic brought about many unexpected changes to our lives and we were forced to rethink my relocation plans. When would things be normal? When would it be possible to travel again? I had too many questions in my mind.
During these exceptional times, crisis management skills have become more essential than ever before. One of the golden rules of crisis management is to calm down and think rigorously about the situation you are in. Focus on the things that you can change and take responsibility. We did that together with my line manager and the pandemic showed us that there is always a solution. As you might guess, mine was to work remotely. My line manager organized everything and sent the devices that I needed to get started. A couple of weeks later, I received my devices and I was ready to start working. Despite the physical distance, my colleagues gave me a warm virtual welcome. However, that was not the end. Indeed, it was the beginning of another story. Sooner or later, I would need to travel to Finland. Thus, we needed to plan everything accordingly: Deciding on the best way to travel to Finland, finding an apartment to live in, applying to different institutions and whatnots… Luckily I wasn’t alone during this process. Neste HR, my line manager in NAPCON, and the relocation company FRS, were all devoting their efforts to my cross-border process. It is not easy to count how many emails we exchanged and the number of calls we had as we tried to find the optimal solution. The funny thing is that this process taught us a lot about the other things, especially the travel restrictions 🙂
On the Way to Finland – Finally
After a couple of months, I was finally ready to travel to Finland. The experience left me wondering, what if we had not found a solution for me to travel to Finland? Could I have opened the first official office of NAPCON in Turkey? Just joking. 🙂 Now, I am writing these sentences in Finland. Safely arrived with no problems. I have received my company laptop and smartphone and dived into my assignments again. This story made me remember that every cloud has a silver lining.
Working at NAPCON
My team is very diverse as we have different personalities coming from different backgrounds and having different experiences. Our team has a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere, which made my onboarding journey in NAPCON easier. Here, we are encouraged to share ideas and feedback, which makes me feel as a valued team member. We are living in a rapidly changing world where adapting to change has become crucial. Sharing knowledge and experiences is one of the core strengths we have in NAPCON. By fostering a culture of creative idea sharing, we can be more agile and adapt ourselves to face new challenges as a team.
Values I Love
To sum up, being under the umbrella of Neste, NAPCON is fostered by the values of the outer shell. Our values “We care”, “We have courage” and “We cooperate” are visible in our daily work. I have personally experienced each of these values during my recruitment process, cross-border process and daily work. I am confident that I will continue to experience them a lot in my further career in NAPCON. My sincere gratitudes are to my line manager Tero Hellström, Senior HR Specialist Maria Bitar, the representatives in the relocation service company FRS and the other colleagues in Neste who gave their great support during my recruitment and relocation process. Let’s continue to be the best solution partner for our customers to facilitate their goals towards efficient and sustainable digital transformation journeys!