Uratarina Rahkola en
Consistent interest boosted by versatile work
Saija Rahkola, Systems Specialist
National Police Board of Finland, Information Technology Centre of the Police
M.Sc., Computer Scienc
I work as a systems specialist in the maintenance of administrative systems. In addition to the maintenance tasks assigned to an application specialist, my job description includes system development duties. The system I maintain is one of the largest ones among those we are involved in; unlike other systems, our users also include seven further Police customer agencies. Therefore, our user number is as high as 16,000. We also have several integrations linking us to outside systems, and this keeps us busy. Maintaining such a major system means that working days are never dull and repetitive and something new pops up every day.
My normal day includes, for example, maintenance tasks, customer development wishes to be defined as modification requests, cooperation with multiple suppliers, going over the working hours and invoicing of suppliers. I am also a member in various coordination groups involving customer agencies, and participate in planning and development sessions and meetings.
IT by accident
A career in IT was really an accident in my case. After the upper secondary school and matriculation exam, my mind was set on a career in special needs teaching but that remained a dream not come true because I suffered a hearing impairment as a consequence of an influenza at the age of 20. Computer science was the only field that was even remotely interesting to me when my original career dreams evaporated. During my studies at the Kuopio University I worked for the customer service of a large phone company, and that is the basis of my strong experience in that field. Once I graduated, I moved back north and worked three years in a private software company. I was then employed by HALTK, the Government ICT Centre, where I started my current career in the agencies under the Ministry of the Interior.
Prior to my current job description, I have worked in government as a planning officer, project manager, and now I am a systems specialist. During this time, I have endured the tough spot of working alone but have also had the chance to be a part of a large project group. This has been such an interesting and diverse line of work that 14 years in it have just flown by. I still enjoy the fact of interacting with so many customer agencies, even if I am a Police employee.
The best part of work with the Police are the nice colleagues and a stable working atmosphere. Naturally, the most important aspect of the whole is constituted by the interesting tasks in IT, and the Police offers every part of it, always extending and increasing.