Sofia Passoja, 26, arrived on Saariselkä’s snowy slopes with high expectations in December 2017

 ‘I was looking forward to working hard, meeting new people and enjoying some proper winter conditions! It all came true,’ explains Sofia, who came from Fiskars to Hotel Riekonlinna to work as a waitress.

After upper secondary school, she qualified as an artisan from a carpentry programme, but in the end the restaurant industry held greater appeal for her. She has now worked as a waitress for ten years and feels ready to take the next step in her career. In Saariselkä, she mostly worked two shifts so her days were busy.

When she had free time, she headed to Saariselkä’s ski slopes. Thanks to the great leisure opportunities offered by her employer, Sofia tried out snowboarding and found herself enjoying it. And if the temperature plummeted too low for skiing, she pulled on warm overalls, put on a helmet and jumped on a snowmobile. With the right attitude, every situation is a new opportunity!

She has always felt drawn to Lapland. The seasonal work she found through the Opteam service offered an easy route to trying out life in the region.

 ‘I’d definitely do this again,’ says Sofia, after finishing her stint at the end of March.

 ‘The international environment is a nice extra and the pace of work is somehow different here. The locals are great, even though everyone works hard. And I love the scenery,’ she adds.

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