Career stories

Veera Vertanen, Myrsky Energia Oy

Project Developer (Electrical)

“The most important lesson is that at the beginning of a career, it's always worth starting out with an open mind to new challenges and situations, even if it sometimes feels difficult.”

Veera Vertanen, Myrsky Energia Oy

What have you studied and what influenced this choice back in the day?

After high school, I went on to study electrical engineering, from which I graduated in 2023 with a degree in electrical engineering and a minor in energy engineering.

I became interested in engineering when I was in secondary school, as I liked mathematics in primary school from the first grade onwards. In addition, in secondary school I had the opportunity to visit a wind farm in an optional subject class, which I remembered as an inspiring experience. By the time I went to high school, I had sort of decided that I would try to take all the long math, physics, and chemistry courses. It was certainly no easy task, but the determination to study prepared me well for the challenges ahead. 

During high school, the electricity-related courses were among the last physics courses I took, and it was then that I became interested in electrical engineering. What I liked about the electrical engineering courses was that I was able to use and combine the topics from previous physics courses in a variety of ways. At some point in high school, I also considered biotechnology, but in the end the electrical and energy sector seemed a more secure option for employment. I was particularly interested in electrical engineering at LUT because it was and still is possible to delve into renewable energy, something I had already been interested in at primary school! Studying in upper secondary school and preparing for the final exams was sometimes quite hard, but my efforts were rewarded, and I started my studies in electrical engineering in autumn 2018.

How did you become a project developer?

I started my current job as a project developer in renewable energy projects in March 2024, working on the electrical design of solar and wind power projects. I got into the field through my final thesis at university. I did my thesis for a company working in the renewable energy sector in the construction side. After my thesis and after graduating from university, I stayed on to work as a project engineer on a wind power project. The job gave me practical experience in implementing renewable energy projects and visiting construction sites, a completely different environment to what I was used to at university. However, the thesis work left me with a desire to improve things, and I had also worked as an electrical engineer earlier in my studies.  When I found a job advertisement for a project developer role in renewable energy electricity transmission, I was immediately very interested in a new career opportunity combining my previous work experiences.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best part of the job is simply working on projects of social importance. It's important because renewable energy will bring us closer to climate goals that affect all of us and our living conditions in the world. This importance also adds to the sense of meaningfulness of the work.

The most interesting thing about the job is that I get to see the life cycle of a new project from the very beginning. I get involved in projects as soon as our mapping team has identified a potential power plant site somewhere in Finland. The work is very varied, and we have a wide range of professionals from many different fields working together to develop our projects. This ensures that I get to learn something completely new every day in my own work. Not all the tasks are necessarily directly related to electrical engineering or technology in general, but the working day often includes, for example, the project's nature surveys or legal issues. A wide range of things besides electrical engineering!

What have been the highlights and most important lessons of your career?

So far, in the early stages of my career, the highlights have often been very simple things, such as successfully solving a difficult problem or when I've made some progress on a bigger, more collaborative piece of work. Big projects don't move at lightning speed, so even small steps forward are a source of great joy in our work community.

The most important lesson is that at the beginning of a career, it's always worth starting out with an open mind to new challenges and situations, even if it sometimes feels difficult. You will learn more from new experiences, and at the same time you may find new things that interest you, which will take you forward in your work or, why not in your life.

What do you expect from the future?

In my current job, I'm really looking forward to the moment when our projects move into the construction phase, when I can see my own design work in practice. 

More broadly, I hope for the future when new, sustainable energy solutions start to become more common in practice. The energy transition and its challenges were a strong focus of my engineering studies throughout, so I look forward to being actively involved in solving this problem and moving our society in a better direction.

For whom is this a suitable career option?

I believe that a career in renewable energy development is for anyone who appreciates the value of clean nature and wants to be involved in making a difference to society. It's a very broad field, so a wide range of skills and training are guaranteed to be useful. There is a lot to do not only in traditional engineering but also in other fields. In this field, the work may involve, for example, carrying out surveys in the natural environment. In this way, you can have a concrete influence on how new power plants can be placed in our environment in a sustainable way that respects nature. Renewable energy projects are often also very valuable in financial terms, so there is plenty of work for people with commercial or legal expertise.

What message would you like to send to a young person pondering their career?

You don't necessarily have to plan your career from start to finish. Along the way, you may come across different training opportunities and career paths that you should take without any preconceived ideas. Even at university, I didn't know what my dream job would be, so I focused on studying the things that interested me. 

If you feel like you don't know what you want to study, I recommend you consider engineering. Engineering subjects include a very wide range of courses, and universities often offer the possibility of taking other optional courses in a completely different field. Personally, I feel that my engineering degree has prepared me well for the world of work. The studies may have been tough at times, but the challenging courses also taught me perseverance, which has helped me to adapt to completely new jobs. And as I said, an engineering education opens a wide range of career opportunities.

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