Katja Saarinen – Finnish Paralympic Alpine Skier – and Development Manager with the Finnish Paralympic Committee
Finding the right route is the key to any successful journey and that is how the ACP helped Paralympic Alpine Skier Katja Saarinen get on the right career path. After practical support from the ACP, ranging from career counseling, CV and interview preparation, she landed her dream job as Development Officer at the Finnish Paralympic Committee.
Her determination to succeed and her organizational ability - developed through over a decade of combining Paralympic competition, studying for a master degree in education and work experience in teaching – has proven to be of real value in the workplace. Whilst still training and competing at the very top, with the Paralympic Games 2014 in-sight, she is making a real contribution to the NPC’s activities, applying her indomitable, positive spirit to her role.
Katja, says: “The ACP gave me access to the professional expertise to identify and articulate my transferable skills. It was a great step towards finding an inspiring job with the flexibility to also train for my next international competition.” When asked about whether other athletes should participate in the ACP, her response was: “Ending an elite sports career is a tough decision for every athlete. The most valuable experience to me was their understanding on what it means to be a Paralympian. The ACP team knew exactly how to put down in words the skills us as Paralympic athletes have acquired and can further benefit from in the working world.”
“Having an athlete as a team member in our office is just great! Athletes, like Katja, are always very effective and committed to their tasks! It is not always easy to combine work and hard practising. You have to be very good in two things: concentrating and scheduling. Katja is a positive role model to all of us and she brings indomitable and positive spirit to our work atmosphere.”
- Tiina Kivisaari, Secretary General Finnish Paralympic Committee