In addition to receiving a regular wage package, Pauliina Herronen, 22, benefited in other ways from her stint in Lapland

It taught her to cope with busy schedules. She explains that her ability to work under pressure came on in leaps and bounds once she started working at Ski Saariselkä Bistro Pilkku at the beginning of December.

Despite being rushed off her feet at times, Pauliina, who came to Saariselkä from Mustasaari in Vaasa, says that she thoroughly enjoyed the work and and would not change the experience for anything.

 ‘The best thing about the north is having space to breathe,’ she explains. This really struck her when she went back home on her days off. ‘In the north, you don’t get one fast food joint and shop after another. The people are more authentic and down-to-earth too,’ she says. 

It was pure chance that brought Pauliina to Saariselkä’s Bistro Pilkku. Or you could say that the Finnish railway company VR’s train is to blame, as it came to a standstill on a wooded stretch between Helsinki and Vaasa late one evening. During the two-hour wait, Pauliina filled in and submitted job applications online.

Even though she had qualified as a machinist, she was offered work in the restaurant industry. In the past, she has also gained experience in the media field, having worked as radio broadcast assistant.

 ‘I expected to have the opportunity to work a lot and hit the slopes in my free time. I was right on both counts. Saariselkä offers great slopes. Not being a top skier, I was happy that they were not too challenging. Nothing beats being on top of a fell on a bright sunny day,’ says Pauliina, sighing happily.

 She adds: ‘Every time I went out I had to pause to take in how beautiful and peaceful it was. It’s hard to believe that such places exist…’

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