Proper career development, taking on interesting challenges and the need to see the results of your work – these things have guided the career of Laura Hakanen at Patria. She started at Patria in 2000 and since then, she has changed cities only once but has changed positions multiple times.

Hakanen, who is originally from Jämsä, studied in the late 1990s in Hämeenlinna and stayed there after finishing her studies. For a period of time, she worked in the safety and security field but soon realised it was not for her.
– I felt a longing to get back to the technical industry that I studied and once a position opened up at Patria’s site in Hämeenlinna, I had to apply.

Exchange to Aviation unit and return back home

Hakanen previously worked at Patria as an electrician, but alongside her work, she studied and was interested in more challenging tasks – from performance-based jobs towards an expert role. In 2006, Hakanen applied and got hired as an expert at Patria’s Aviation unit in Jämsä. 
Moving from Hämeenlinna back to Jämsä was pleasant.
– I’m not a city person, but rather enjoy living in the countryside, which is what influenced my decision to apply for jobs and move back home, shares Hakanen.
Over the years, Hakanen has dreamed of further studies, automation engineering, among other things. 
– In Halli, I was promoted to project manager, and I was involved in many projects. In 2018, I transferred to lead a Hornet team.

After a misstep a meaningful job

Hakanen was working as a product group manager at the STIC (Software Test and Integration Center) system-testing group, which received an F-18 Hornet Handler award from the Finnish Air Force in 2020 for its merits in ensuring the performance of the Hornet fleet. 
– I was very happy about the recognition received by the group. Everyone worked hard and it was rewarding.
With Patria’s big Horizon 2025 organisation change that started in 2020, Hakanen went from the Hornet team to being a training manager. That turned out to be a misstep in her career.
– Working as a training manager wasn’t for me and therefore, I transferred to being the project manager for task support at the turn of the year 2022-2023. Now this is a great place to look into the future.

You can see the appreciation of employees at Patria 

In addition to challenges, what influenced her feeling good at work were the people. She absolutely wants to work with people and be of service for everybody to reach their goals.
– In my current job, supporting and helping others feels great.
She feels she is taken care of at Patria.
– Since the latest organisational change, Patria has clearly started to put an effort into fostering well-being and feeling good at work. The new direction indicates how everyone is genuinely important and not just a part of the machinery. The appreciation of employees has been made visible. It is a matter of great importance that I want to stay at Patria in the future as well, Hakanen explains. 
– In addition, Patria has interesting challenges in the technical field. As long as you have the willpower to climb the ladder, Patria is full of opportunities. There are hardly other companies like this in Finland.
23 years at Patria have gone by in a heartbeat.
– Patria is a stable and esteemed company and a nice place to work where one feels good. In addition to flexible working hours, the employee benefits as well as occupational health care services are very good, and the company pays attention to people and their well-being. We have our own gym here in Halli.

Patria’s mission impacts on the meaningfulness of the job

Project Manager Laura Hakanen thinks that Halli’s history as an aircraft factory provides a strong base for working. On the other hand, especially with the latest organisation change, Patria has become a workplace with so-called soft values for the 2020s:
– The appreciation of its employees, a good frontman job, and a good reputation as a workplace have become more important and ensure that professionals keep coming back to Patria in the future.
In addition to the meaningfulness of one’s work and the possibilities of career development, an even wider dimension must be added to the scale of meaning of work. Hakanen feels that she has a small part in helping to prevent terrible things from happening in the world. The defence industry does meaningful work.
– By following the news, it has come to my mind what Patria does and what its meaning is in the world. It all fits in with my values.

Career highlights

  • 2000-2006 Electrician, XA and AMV
  • 2006-2010 Expert, Operating and Maintenance Instructions
  • 2010-2018 Project Manager, HN MLU2 projects
  • 2018-2021 Product Group Manager, F-18 Hornet
  • 2021-2022 Training Manager, Aeronautical Training
  • 2022- Project Manager, Mission Support & RD