20-years of adventures with Wärtsilä
Years ago, 24-year-old Samuel Chrysostomo experienced in practice how one person's trash can be another one's treasure. “A friend of mine found a translation job too technical for her and said to the client: ‘I have just the person you need’, referring me to the job,” Samuel begins his story. Consequently, Samuel was interviewed, he took a test and was hired as a contractor for translation services. “This was the beginning of my exciting and long-lasting relationship with Wärtsilä!”
Before getting into legal matters, Samuel gathered experience elsewhere in Wärtsilä Energy Business, e.g. in roles of a Contract Manager, a Plant Manager and even temporarily as a Sales Support for Agreement Sales. Currently, he works as a Senior Legal Counsel for Wärtsilä Energy Business in the Americas. “I’ve held several positions in the company and therefore have never been bored. I’m glad that I’ve been continuously challenged to be – and give – the best of myself,” Samuel tells about his career steps.
Now, Samuel is actually on a job rotation in Buenos Aires – a special period that is coming to an end this December. “Here in Argentina, I’ve also got to work with a great team, and they’ve made me feel home. My family and I have really enjoyed our time here,” Samuel says and emphasises that even if he had negotiated several deals in Argentina over many years before, nothing replaces the day-to-day experience that one gains when working and living at the place.
So many memorable moments
As the discussion moves on to a new topic, best job memories, Samuel has tens of examples to give. And for a fellow who has 20-year history with Wärtsilä, it’s only natural. Besides closing major sales with the team, there have been more personal moments of joys – such as the time when Samuel got an email recognition for a job well done from a Vice President he highly appreciated – and there were other VPs included in the email, seeing the positive feedback given.
Also, unusual work occasions are something that easily stay fresh in one’s mind – such as year 2002, when Samuel participated on-the-job training and got to assist a maintenance crew working at a power plant. Or 2005, when he got the Plant Manager job which was unforgettable since there weren’t many plant managers without an engineering background.
“Also, for a young man who was still studying at law school, it was quite amazing when I got to assist in the negotiations of our agreement extensions. It gave me first-hand experiences that I wouldn’t gain elsewhere,” Samuel says and moves on to talk about the time when he begun actively steer his career development. “One of the most important steps I’ve taken took place in our yearly development discussion in 2007, where I brought it up with my boss that I’d like to work as Wärtsilä’s Legal Counsel. It didn’t take that long before I was interviewed and accepted for a Legal Counsel's position. And that is the path I’m still following.”
In the next years, Samuel believes, his career steps and days to remember will most likely be all about the renewable energy future. “In the transition to renewable energy, we need to actively offer our supportive solutions to new projects. Personally, I can help in finding a good contractual platform that will balance the risks – benefitting our customers and us at the same time,” Samuel describes. “If one sees Wärtsilä only as a company delivering megawatts, this may seem like a boring job. But our people know we are shaping the future for the generations to come – generating jobs and enabling stronger and more sustainable communities of people. That is what keeps things interesting.”
A unique support network
In his job, Samuel gets to participate in contract negotiations, where the team is constantly challenged to find solutions meeting the needs of both the customer and Wärtsilä. And when a solution is found, it can be reused as a good standing block for future projects. Samuel sees this collaboration as the most enjoyable part of Wärtsilä – it is a people company where colleagues truly work together. “We in Energy Business are a network of very collaborative colleagues. I know I have people to whom I can turn to when I need to test an idea – or ask for new ideas when I've run out of my own,” Samuel says with a grin.
Benefits of shared agenda come most evident when you start losing your faith in the process, and colleagues carry you further. “Sometimes it can happen that you think about giving up the negotiations or a project, but with determination and support from the management and the team, I’ve always been able to refocus,” Samuel describes adding that also he desires to be a good team player – above anything else, “working closely with the team, enables me to get the best out of myself and my colleagues”.
As Samuel indicates it multiple times – teamwork is one of the reasons why he loves working at Wärtsilä – and with the local colleagues, everyone can be themselves while working. “Even if we have the internet, nothing replaces the energy you gain from a nice eye-to-eye chat,” Samuel tells about his preferred way of working.
Occasionally, the local colleagues have also those informal employee get-togethers. “Once, we formed a band to play at our Christmas party and other company events. When we played Born to be Wild, I used my motorcycle as a musical instrument and with that I impressed at least one of my colleagues,” Samuel reveals with a smile. Jokes a side, music is a dear hobby for Samuel also in his free time. “I play the drums, percussion and now I'm taking on bass. My wife is very supportive on this as she also loves music and the bass guitar. So, the past few months have been pretty exciting also in that front.”