I’m Leo Raatikainen and I was born in 1966 in Keitele, Central Finland. I spent my childhood there and attended primary and secondary school.
In 1982, I moved to Viitasaari for high school. For three years, I studied there during weekdays and spent weekends at home in Keitele. I graduated from high school in 1985. Immediately after that, I volunteered for military service in Kajaani, in the transportation company of Kainuu Brigade. I also obtained a truck driving license there and worked summer jobs driving a truck for my friend’s transport company.
After my military service, I spent some time working at a car tire factory in Sweden. Around the same time, I applied to study machine automation engineering in Kuopio. Three years later, I graduated as a machine automation engineering technician.
One of my classmate was from Lahti, and he convinced me to apply for jobs in that area. I got a position and started working as a mechanical designer at Raute Precision. During the recession in the early 1990s, orders decreased and there were lot off layoffs. My distant dream had been to apply for the UN forces and now the time had gone. I spent a year in Lebanon as a peacekeeper. That year was a great and enlightening experience.
After returning from Lebanon, I continued my career at Raute Precision (now LGT). I have been involved in mechanical design, installations, and commissioning. I did installations and supervisions for several years. In the early 2000s, I shifted towards the quotation side, sales, and quotation calculations in the glass industry.
During the economic downturn in 2008, I switched to another company for a couple of years, but the passion brought me back, and I returned to LGT. Currently, I work as a Head of tendering department. I feel like an architect. I design most of the layouts of batch plants and cullet return systems. Pricing is also part of my responsibilities.
I have been here for a total of about 30 years. The colleagues I work with are truly amazing. We work as a team here. Someone always makes the final decisions, but we largely discuss these matters together. It depends on the individual to a great extent, what kind of career path one can create at LGT. There are opportunities in any direction.