Stories Of Women in Engineering - Maija Saarman - ALTEN Group

Stories Of Women in Engineering – Maija Saarman

Interview with Maija Saarman

I come from Nurmijärvi and I am working as an HR Specialist at ALTEN in Finland.
I have completed my master’s degree in hospitality management, where I specialised in service development and HR. 

Can you tell us more about your passion for ultra running and what it means to you? 

My passion is ultra running, which involves running longer distances than a marathon. For me, it means pushing myself physically and mentally to the absolute limits. Surpassing myself in this sport is a personal challenge that drives me to excel. 

Could you share a specific experience from your ultra-running journey that was particularly challenging but rewarding? 

One of the toughest challenges I have faced was during an 86-kilometre trail race in Lapland, Finland. I encountered several problems throughout this run, but overcoming them felt incredible. The sense of accomplishment after pushing through the setbacks was truly rewarding. 

How do you see similarities between problem-solving in your ultra-running activities and your job? 

Both ultra running and my job require efficient problem-solving skills. While racing, I often encounter unexpected obstacles that I must navigate, similar to the challenges I may face in my professional life. The ability to think critically and find solutions is crucial in both scenarios. 

What has been your most significant achievement in ultra running so far? 

My greatest achievement to date is the completion of a twelve-hour track race in Finland, where I managed to run 102 km within that time frame. The extreme nature of this sport is what attracts me the most, as it offers a unique feeling of accomplishment that is hard to replicate elsewhere. 

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