How did you start working at UniSport?
I had a few-month internship at first, but I decided to stay. At first, I worked only on some days for some hours. At some point, I worked as a massage therapist for five days a week. Currently, I provide massage services three days a week at UniSport and two days a week at home. I am a full-time entrepreneur.
Are you studying or working elsewhere?
I am taking courses. We have a group that is participating in training in Porvoo, but during the Covid-19 crisis, the courses haven't really been organised. Fortunately, the association for trained massage therapists (Koulutettujen hierojien liitto) has published online material. The best way to learn is by doing. Another person shows you how to do something, and when they do it to you, you understand what it should feel like. Then you can try it yourself. Now that I have reduced my working hours, I am better at combining studies, work and rest. Earlier I could work six days a week and still study one day a week, and I noticed that I couldn’t keep that up for long. Recovery is very important.
What do you like best about UniSport? What makes UniSport a good employer?
There are a lot of things I like about Unisport, and I enjoy working here. Colleagues and the work community and wonderful customers. I've met and made friends here with such nice, smart and great people. It's such a big plus. You are also constantly learning as you meet people who are experts in fields that you don’t know anything about. Many people like to talk and meeting people is fun. UniSport's customers include a wide variety of people of all ages People often like massage therapists with who remind them of themselves. So there is a need for all kinds of massage therapists in all ages, which is nice. I can’t complain. I really like my work and UniSport.
I'm proud to be part of UniSport. We are a tight-knit group that pulls together as a team. For me, it's important that my workplace shares my values. UniSport’s goal and concept of bringing wellbeing to everyone, especially to university students, is great and something I support. I believe in wellbeing services. The need for our services will not decrease, especially during these times.
Everything works here as it should, and things are being developed all the time. Today, massage therapists are taken into account even more than before. We are an integral part of UniSport and have our own contact person. You always know who to contact. The facilities are also excellent. Currently, I work at Kluuvi where the working conditions are great. You can trust that you will have all the supplies you need and that everything works as agreed. If something is wrong and you ask for help, someone will help you. For example, I once had a broken table that moved by itself, and it was repaired immediately. Everything that you request and need is delivered immediately.
UniSport's customer promise is "We help you make good choices". How is it reflected in your work with the customers?
My work also includes giving guidance and advice, and I help clients to live their daily lives better. I encourage my customers whenever necessary. Forcing things isn’t good, but if someone has made a positive change, I try to encourage them to continue with it. For example, if they have joined a new group exercise class, I will say that it’s a great thing! How I talk to people also depends on what they are like. I would talk differently to a top athlete than someone who has little experience with exercise. When you meet thousands and thousands of people, you learn how to do this.
Sometimes I encounter a problem that I can't help with, which is sad. I'd cure all people if I could, but I can't always do that. If i don’t have a solution for the problem, I recommend another professional and guide the customer to the right direction. If the customer has not yet visited the doctor, I often recommend they see one. I also recommend physiotherapy and osteopathy as well as voice massage. Today, bite problems are more a rule than an exception. I am delighted to see that customers follow my advice quite often. We can influence soft tissue problems, but if the problem is somewhere else, I advise customers to consult other experts.
What is your typical day at work like and what do you like best in your work?
Many massage therapists work during the evenings because customers typically book a massage after work. At UniSport I have always been able to work during the day. My first massage starts at 9:45 a.m. and the last massage ends on at 4:15 p.m. When working at home, I work mostly during the evenings. I take five customers each for a one-hour massage. This also leaves time to spend with my family.
My working day also includes doing laundry, cleaning and disinfection. I always try look at the room from the customer’s perspective and might even wipe the floor. It is important that the room is clean. Cleanliness is something I appreciate when I go to a massage myself. I also record information on the customer, which is a legal requirement. The entries must be made carefully, including personal data and what has been performed. The next massage therapist will then be able to see the information as well.
My customers are the best thing about my job. I like to focus on one person at a time and try to be present and listen to the customer. But I also very much like the actual work, giving massage therapy. It's well suited for me and my body. I have had some strain injuries at times, but they have been small. It's a great job, and I’m happy as a massage therapist. I really love my job.
How does UniSport support your work?
As a staff benefit, we are able to use the massage services at an affordable price and receive the Training Card free of charge. I receive thanks for my work mainly from my customers as my supervisor naturally doesn’t me when I am working, though I am sure customers also give feedback to the management.
Participation in training is also encouraged. Training has also been organised often in connection with the UniSport Conventions. They have been very nice. Sometimes, I have received a day off, and the training has been paid on my behalf. Massage therapists work in private rooms, which means that we don’t see much of other people and often only in the hallway. In the trainings, we get to see each other and share our thoughts and learn from each other. We all have our own areas of expertise. Many young people study physiotherapy or osteopathy, which is a completely different area of expertise. It's nice to listen and share this expertise.
What should someone applying for a job as a massage therapist at UniSport know in advance? For whom is UniSport a suitable place to work?
UniSport is a great place to work. Everyone is welcome to work at UniSport! We need more women as massage therapists even though our male employees are really good at their work. The university has a lot of women studying and working, and many of them want a female massage therapist