Career Stories

Antti Hoikkala
Harri Suistio
Riina Maksimainen
Teemu Mäkinen

Antti Hoikkala, Interior designer

An Advocate of Challenges and Diverse Work Tasks

“I am a marine engineer by training. My career began at the marine services company Alfons Håkans. After my kid was born, I returned to Rauma, and Rauma Marine Constructions was the natural next step of my career. I joined the shipbuilding company in autumn 2016.

I work as an interior designer at Rauma Marine Constructions. The design of the ships’ doors, locks and windows are my area of responsibility, among other matters. My tasks also include the drawing of general arrangements. The greatest reward in my work comes from seeing my input as part of the finished ship and its concept.

I am involved in the design of all RMC projects. Each project and vessel has its own requirements and details. As a result, the work stays diverse and challenging.

At Rauma Marine Constructions, I am able to direct my career path according to my personal development and interests. The team spirit here is remarkable. Thanks to the small work community, it is easy to get to know everyone and have open discussions. We are able to implement our own ideas, and everyone has the opportunity to influence their job description and tasks.

The diversity of tasks is also one of the best aspects of the job. As part of the design process, I interact daily with experts from other teams. The fact that I am able to participate in projects with their own challenges and requirements increases the diversity of my work and improves motivation”.


Harri Suistio, Project Engineer

A Shipbuilder Following in His Father’s Footsteps

One of the youngest team members at Rauma Marine Constructions, Harri Suistio, 29, feels he has found his place in the diverse world of shipbuilding. Describing his work environment as a melting pot of ideas and experiences, Suistio also assists the company with its search for promising new talent.

“I would say that I had a typical upbringing in Rauma. I was raised and schooled in town and played hockey on the local junior team. I left Rauma to attend university and graduated with both an MSc Eng. in Naval Architecture from Otaniemi in Espoo and an MSc Econ. from Vaasa but decided to return home after my studies.

I began working at Rauma Marine Constructions in January 2016. The choice of industry was not exactly a coincidence, as I am a second-generation shipbuilder. My father worked for 25 years in various shipbuilding tasks at the Rauma Shipyard. His guidance has helped familiarise me with the industry faster and more broadly.

At Rauma Marine Constructions, I design vessel concepts and technical solutions for the clients’ various needs and adapt the technology to suit their budget. Besides the design, I take part in discussing the construction methods for the ship together with our production planner. My current projects include, for example, the new construction project Molslinjen ferry, as well as several sales projects.

Work tasks that involve interaction with clients are often competition-oriented and at times require the ability to handle stress well. The job description can be summed up as solving the clients’ problems under serious pressure and having many things on one’s plate simultaneously. A general interest in the marine industry as well as a customer-oriented manner of thinking and the ability to solve problems are all assets in my work.

I have personally witnessed the astounding growth of Rauma Marine Constructions, from a start-up company of some 30 people to one of the leading names in the industry, with some 80 employees. Over at design, growth has also been significant. When I started, I was one of three designers, and now there are more than 20 of us.

Thanks to the versatility of work tasks, I have gained a broad and comprehensive understanding of the shipbuilding process. The best part of the job is that you have the chance to see through the complete process and develop your expertise in all aspects of the industry.

The work environment at Rauma Marine Constructions is instructive and flexible, especially for a young shipbuilder. Know-how and skills are not kept secret, but shared with new employees in order to help them develop professionally”.

Read more about Harri in his LinkedIn profile.

Riina Maksimainen, Interior Designer

A ship is built with people

“I originally graduated as a Master of Science in Material Technology, but since then I have also studied ship design transformation studies. I started at Rauma Marine Constructions as a trainee in January 2018, and I’m still here.

I design ship interiors. The design team’s job is basically everything inside of the ship’s steel cover. I’m in charge of designing windows and signs. In addition to that, I participate in designing the crew areas. Even though my job title is interior designer, in practice I’m an engineer. I don’t work with colour schemes or material selections. I mainly do office-work, though it is important that when needed I get to visit the ship while it is a work in progress. This is necessary, for example, when inspecting a ship’s signs with the officials. This is easy as the ships are being built right next to our offices.

Because there’s an entire ship being built to surround our windows, I must have a good knowledge of the whole ship, as well as more specialised knowledge of things like insulation, for example. It is definitely one of my strengths and it makes my job interesting. I am curious and interested in how and why things are done. That’s also one of the reasons I like improving the work processes. I think I’ve been successful in standardising our methods, for example.

With RMC, I have learned a lot about ships, of course. I’ve also learned universal skills. Even though we build ships the work is ultimately done with people. My team skills have improved significantly during these last few years.

We have a really good team spirit. It’s great that you can always ask if you don’t know something. Our work community is not very big yet so there’s not a lot of bureaucracy. There are also good opportunities at RMC to widen your competences horizontally. You can improve yourself, and different training opportunities are actively offered to you. I haven’t yet had time to attend any trainings myself, but I’m sure I will make use of them in the future.”

Teemu Mäkinen, Project Manager

Respecting traditions, but going forward

“When I first came to work at the Rauma shipyard in 2005, it was still owned by Aker. I then moved on to work at the Turku shipyard for a couple of years but came back to Rauma in 2015 – and this time to work for RMC. RMC is still a young company, but as an employer it is very flexible. Here people trust in each other’s expertise.

I graduated in 2003 as a Master of Science in Technology from Lappeenranta University of Technology. I specialised in mechanical engineering. Right after graduation I worked for a year and a half at a machine shop, but since then I’ve always worked in shipbuilding. I don’t have an actual education in shipbuilding, but my degree prepared me well for different roles in manufacturing. I have actually had the chance to work with tasks that match my education. At RMC, I’ve worked as a project manager in steel construction. With ships, I have overseen steel and section manufacturing.

Section manufacturing takes place in halls, but most of my time is spent in the office and conference rooms. Of course, I also visit production sites, but with 15 years of experience I can read the situation quite well from reports and numbers. There’s a lot of experienced people working for RMC who have been at the shipyard for a long time. I think it is important to respect the traditions of shipbuilding, but also to look ahead because the work environment is constantly evolving.

Depending on how you count them, I have dozens of subordinates. I strive to lead with common sense and facts instead of by mere gut feeling. As a manager, I want to treat everyone equally and with rectitude. When I started at RMC, I got mentoring from people who were more experienced than me. The manufacturing process itself is familiar to me but I received help, for example, with project management and the financial side of projects. My mentors knew which things should be paid more attention to, and I was able to turn to them when I needed help. These days, I too try to share my knowledge with younger employees and act as a mentor when needed.”