Dear Diary – my first weeks in the company by Beth Burka Part 2
5 min read
14 Apr 2020
5 min read
14 Apr 2020
Beth Burka joined Wärtsilä less than two weeks ago and is now experiencing her induction period at home due to the remote work obligations. In the second part of her diary, Beth continues to share about her life in this unusual situation.
When Beth Burka joined us on 1 April, we asked her to share about the beginning of her Wärtsilä journey in her own words. In her first diary entry, Beth wrote about her expectations for her new role as Wärtsilä’s visual designer, told about her past, and described the first three working days with her new team.
This week, Beth gets up to speed with the team and her projects. But as we’ll learn, she has some time on the side also for baking and other #stayhome-activities.
Day 4, Monday, 6 April 2020
I’m starting my second week with Wärtsilä getting to know my teammates and other neighboring teams. With Piia, my line manager, we’ve planned one-to-one discussions where I get to deep dive into the projects each of my colleagues is working on. After the calls, I should have a better understanding of what everyone is doing and the tasks that we’ll be working on together.
Piia also suggested that I make a drawing of what others are working on, to strengthen my understanding of the big picture. I think it’s a great idea to easily remember the different projects, and I decided to give it a try.
After my first one-to-one sessions with Timo and Markku, who are user experience and design experts in our Marine Business, I feel excited about the new things I learn. We covered the status of a new joint project and then discussed how we will collaborate to create visual components that build a profound design system. My colleagues were very clear as they walked me through the scope and the requirements of the project. I feel I’m getting up to speed nicely which gives me great motivation to get started with this task.
Today, I needed to also book a health checkup that is mandatory for new employees. Then it was time to enjoy lunch, a nice green Thai dish that I cooked yesterday. On most Sundays, I’m prepping lunch for the first days of the week. Therefore, I can have a free choice on what I feel like to eat for dinner.
For the afternoon, I’d reserved time to work on my own, to concentrate on the documentation and some background routines of the projects I will be involved in. Wrapping up the workday, I prepared a small report based on the morning meeting memos to use it for later reference.
After work, I’ve planned to bake cinnamon buns, which is a Finnish pastry that I enjoy the most. They are good coffee time snacks and a feel-good breakfast. It is very easy to make them at home and we can then eat them for the entire week.
Day 5, Tuesday, 7 April 2020
It’s Creative Tuesday! As a designer, I find it important to dedicate some time weekly for being truly creative – to further stimulate the right side of your brain. I’ve decided to take time for that personal growth every Tuesday. This might mean practicing my design skills or learning a new creative skill, such as copywriting or making music. As the day is already quite packed with tasks, I plan to take my creative time in the evening.
My morning started again with Piia, with whom I have a slot for virtual coffee every morning to briefly chat about our previous day, how we are feeling and about plans for the start of the day and what tasks I’m to focus on. After that, I continued my one-to-one discussions getting to know Joanne, my teammate in Singapore. These one-to-one sessions have turned out to be super important for me to gain an overview of our projects, e.g. on Smart Marine Vision.
In the afternoon, I joined a long workshop to go through an anchor design project that I will be part of. I’m happy to get some insight and new ideas to scribble down in my notebook. However, the intensive brainstorming left me feeling a little exhausted and I was ready to chill before the evening’s creative activity, Adobe live stream, which is my favourite.
I love joining these live stream sessions that include different guest artists designing live, and there are challenges you can do with them. I have learned a lot of cool stuff from the live streams in the past three years and I recommend all designers to give them a try.
Today’s session was about Workflow Pro tips on Adobe XD and before it began, I managed to study some character sketching. I consider myself an illustrator, but I also love to study different drawing techniques every now and then. At the moment, I’m trying out character drawing by Harri Scott through an online learning platform.
Day 6, Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Here again, started another day in my home office. To be honest, I feel comfortable with this virtual way of collaborating – participating in a meeting doesn’t take extra effort as you don’t need to look for a meeting room or set up a Jabra (the device for sure looks simple, but based on my knowledge, it can be anything but that). I think virtual meetings are the new normal; you simply dial in whenever, wherever.
However, while saying this, I feel it’s important to create two separate spots for work and meetings in your home office. Changing places and moving around during the workday can make your working environment more enjoyable, allowing better concentration and motivation in what you do.
For today, I’ve planned to read through all the information and guidelines that I’ve gathered, enriching them with my own notes. I hope to get started with hands-on tasks next week. For sure, the best way to learn is on-the-go.
In the middle of the day, I needed to pause reading to attend Wärtsilä’s local COVID19 townhall where one of the topics is the temporary layoffs in Finland. After the meeting, I remind myself that the present means the most and I decide to keep an optimistic mind no matter what is to come.
I also plan to fix some technical issues as I haven’t been able to connect my wider screen with the Mac. I’ve put the matter aside for some days now, and I hope the universal energy is on my side to solve it today. After visiting the store for the third time, I wish to come home with all the correct and necessary cables.
Day 7, Thursday, 9 April 2020
Today, it’s the last of my five meetings with my teammates. All of them have been a little different; with some, we’ve shared a lot about our background, hobbies and life in general, and with the rest, the emphasis has been more on the career, way of working and project-based topics. All in all, it has been nice to see that I have commonalities with everyone – both as a human and in terms of our experiences.
Talking about personalities, I’m a person who doesn’t need any dedicated hobbies, but I rather choose my free-time activities depending on the time of the year. Now, it’s spring and as we have meeting restrictions, I’ve enjoyed exploring Helsinki. I love the vibes here – you can even exercise in nature while staying in the inner city. Still, I think the area where we live, Käpylä, is the most colourful part of Helsinki.
Tomorrow, we’ll start a four-day Easter holiday. I have a couple of books to read and plan to take long jogs around the seaside in Arabia, Helsinki. I’ll probably spend a lot of time illustrating too, as usual.
Before folding up with the week, I’ve decided to share one more fun idea with my team: I’ve created a Spotify playlist where I’d like them to add their all-time favourite songs. During the long weekend, I’d then get to explore my teammates’ choice of music.
The end of this diary is just the beginning of a journey
This is the second and final part of Beth’s diary where we followed up her first days with Wärtsilä’s User Experience Design team. Even if this is the end of Beth’s diary here in Twentyfour7, Beth’s journey as a member of the Wärtsilä family has just begun.
And as Beth herself said it, now, it’s time to make it truly as her own kind of journey. You never know if you might even get to catch up with her journey one day again. Until then, continue reading our Wärtsilä people stories from all over the world.