Diana Kasymova, Academic Researcher, Metso Outotec
Diana Kasymova, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, came to Finland in summer 2018 to do a double degree master’s studies in Sustainability Science and Solutions Program in Lappeenranta University of Technology. At the end of her first academic year at LUT, she joined us as a summer trainee in dewatering equipment proposals. Diana is currently an Academic Researcher at Metso Outotec.
How did you end up at Metso Outotec? What kind of positions have you had?
Before moving to Finland to study at LUT, I had been studying Metallurgy at St. Petersburg Mining University already for five years, both Bachelor’s and Master’s. Since I had metallurgical background and studied environmental technology at LUT, I was trying to find a company where I would be able to combine both directions, and Metso Outotec was a perfect place for this. I was incredibly happy to get a call from Metso Outotec after applying for summer job positions! I was offered a summer job in dewatering equipment proposals team and started it in May 2019 – at the end of my first academic year at LUT.
Summer at Metso Outotec was a great start of a career journey. I enjoyed being a part of a nice team and I was also happy with the environment: new country, new people, new connections, new things to learn about company’s technologies and industrial processes. I am grateful for those times, also because I learned about Finnish way of living and working. During studies at LUT I was very busy all the time, since I still had studies in St. Petersburg as well, and in the end, not much time was left to learn about Finland and the Finnish culture. Fortunately, this was fixed during the summer at Metso Outotec. After the summer job, I got an extension of the contract and stayed in the same team as a Trainee until the end of October 2019. The classes at LUT and the master’s thesis were at the final stage, and I graduated in November 2019.
From the very beginning of working in Metso Outotec, I have had the desire to get more work experience in the laboratory. Besides that, when working on my thesis, I realized that I enjoy doing research. I started thinking of continuing studies as a PhD student, and doing research in sustainable minerals processing or metallurgy. Fortunately, after asking many people within Metso Outotec, I was offered an Academic Researcher position in the R&D team, with a possibility to do PhD together with the company, in the future. It was such a big luck! I started my current position in November 2019. The PhD studies started this autumn, and now I am also a doctoral student at Aalto University.
What are the main responsibilities of your current role?
In my current position, there is always something to learn – new equipment to test, new analytical method to use, new reactions to study. I truly enjoy this continuous learning, and I believe that it is something I was looking for. Of course, sometimes it can be frustrating if the things do not work out as you expected, but a bit of patience eventually brings good results.
The main responsibilities in my current position include test work planning, doing tests both in the laboratory and on-site as well as processing the results. Sometimes we need to think of new equipment concepts and make drafts for those, which is actually a lot of fun! Also, since I started doctoral studies, I have one more duty now – writing scientific papers, and at the moment I am working on my first article. The work week includes working in the lab and at the desk, which I think is a great combination and helps to maintain balance between my responsibilities.
What is it you most like about your job? What is the best thing, working at Metso Outotec?
I definitely like the environment in the company the most, as well as plenty of freedom and opportunities. It is very nice to have lab buddies at work to have coffee or ice-cream breaks with. And of course, it is great to have supportive team mates and the supervisor. I am happy to be onboard also because of Metso Outotec’s values, which I share. The ones I value the most are "Getting it done – together" and sustainability. Our people are really performing as a team when working towards a sustainable future. Sustainability is very important for me, and I am proud to be part of the company which marks it as an important goal. I believe sustainability targets can be achieved in mining and metals industry, and we are the ones who help companies do it. This year, we ranked 8th on the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies!
What are your biggest career achievements?
So far, I am happy to be able to manage doctoral studies and work at the same time. Additionally, I am proud that I stuck to the idea of doing a PhD and started it after I had been already working in the company for more than a year.
What do you do in your spare time?
Depends on the time of the year. In summer, I spend plenty of time outside biking, hiking, sitting in sauna and just walking. I am not that good with winter sports so in winter it’s mostly just walking. And walking quite a lot, as I got a really active dog. Staying at home and watching movies, reading and painting is a good option any time of the year, too.
What is your motto?
Never stop learning! Be active and brave and follow your goals.