The most important thing is trust: Mika Jurva joined Patria as a thermal design engineer in space technology and ended up leading several teams.
To be approachable, empathetic and listen to people – that is Mika Jurva’s goal in his job at Patria. 

– I’m interested in leadership, that is, leading people. Work feels meaningful when I get to be present, give my time to people and spread good vibes.

Jurva explains that he currently wears three different hats at Patria: Team leader positions in Systems & Integrations and Underwater Solutions and, thirdly, PMO (Project Management Office), which in this case means activities aimed at developing project management processes and the competence of project managers at the Systems & Integrations unit of Operations.

– Above all, I work as a supervisor, looking after a group of more than 40 experts.

But when Jurva first put a Patria ID card around his neck more than 20 years ago, he was by no means a supervisor.

Neither seeking out responsibility nor drifting into it

– I joined Patria in 1999 as a young man to work in a design role at the Space unit. A few years earlier, I had graduated from the Department of Energy and Process Engineering at what was then the Tampere University of Technology, majoring in fluid dynamics and heat transfer, Jurva says.

– My first assignment at Patria was thermal design and environmental testing of space electronics, but more and more team leadership, development tasks and administrative duties were gradually added to that main job.

Mika Jurva laughs and says that he neither really sought out nor just drifted into being a supervisor, but rather something in between.

– Of course, I can see the reasons why I’ve been chosen to lead projects and teams. The fact that I’m approachable has always been a recurring theme in the feedback that I receive, and little by little I’m starting to believe it myself, he smiles.

Jurva feels that the work of supervisors has always been well supported at Patria. On the other hand, the best lessons for supervisor duties have been learned at his hobby.

– I was the head coach in junior football for 12 years. With 50 kids, 100 parents and 10 fellow coaches, managing an operation like that is a tough job that teaches you a lot. Even though I don’t coach anymore, I still draw on those lessons.

A short jaunt elsewhere and return to Patria

Since 1999, Jurva has managed to work elsewhere as well. His first exit from Patria took place in 2015 when Patria sold the Space unit.

– It was an interesting experience, as the building and the team remained the same, but suddenly we were a completely separate company. HR management became part of my job description, which included agreeing on occupational health care and acquiring new keys, subcontractor contracts, recruitment... The decision-making hierarchy became much flatter all of a sudden, Jurva recalls.

A couple of years after that upheaval, Jurva also had a stint as a project manager at an automation company in Pirkanmaa before spotting a suitable job posting at Patria in the spring of 2020.

– It was really nice to return to Patria. Right now, the work community is one of the best I’ve ever been a part of, and with the organisational changes, Patria is also an even better place to work: people are listened to and respected, Jurva praises.

On the other hand, Jurva feels privileged to be able to work with important things at Patria.

– Back when we were making space equipment, I was saving the world’s climate, and now we are ensuring the security of this country. Those are pretty grandiose things that you don’t always think about, but they’re important sources of motivation.

Do not stress or rush around

However, in day-to-day work, succeeding as a supervisor brings Jurva the greatest job satisfaction.

– When someone tells me about their personal matters, it’s a big sign of trust and gives me confidence that, if necessary, trust will help us get through even difficult situations.

Trust creates strong teams. In his job as the leader of multiple teams, Jurva is bound to be in a rush and feel pressure at times, but he says he takes it easy.

– When you have 30 years of working life behind you, you know from experience that there is no point in stressing or rushing around. Things tend to work themselves out. I’ve also learned to leave my work at the workplace and not dwell on work in my free time, but rather recover by being outdoors and spending time with my loved ones.

Jurva finds his current job enjoyable, suitably challenging and interesting – for example, he is only just getting to know the Underwater Solutions team and its work.

– There’s a lot to learn and be amazed by, he rejoices.

Jurva also admits that he does not like the word ‘career’ and does not really plan for the future.

– I have about 15 years of working life left and I don’t set any bigger goals than to succeed, do things better and learn along the way.

Career highlights

  • 1996 graduation 
  • 1999 joins the Space unit at Patria
  • 2015 transfers to RUAG Space Finland Oy when Patria sold the Space unit
  • 2020 returns to Patria as System Engineer Manager in the LV2000 MLU project
  • 2023 holds the title of Director with three different roles to attend to