patrick aico

Sampo Laakkonen

Aico’s buddy system – creating pirates or explorers? 

The Aiconauts’ blog section is dedicated to shedding light on what it’s like to work at Aico, what our purpose is, and how we work towards the shared vision of becoming the leading financial close automation software provider in Europe. In this blog post, we have Sampo Laakkonen sharing his experience of what it’s like to be a buddy to a new Aiconaut. The buddy system was implemented as part of our onboarding process to ensure a smooth way of getting acquainted with the ways of working and the culture we nurture at Aico. 

Nowadays in IT, it is typical that all new employees get a nominated buddy when they start their role. However, getting a designated contact at the beginning of your adventure in a new company is not a new thing, calling it a buddy is.  

The term buddy is quite old. According to Wiktionary, the word comes from butty, which is associated with coal mining. And butty is derived from booty fellow, which is a partner who shares booty or loot with you1

However, the typical IT person is not a dreadful pirate!  

Most of us are trying to get booty from the company. We just call it a bonus. And the real loot is found when we learn new technologies and skills, which are worth their weight in gold. To make this analogy more accurate, we should not forget that headhunters are trying to catch our attention all the time, similar to the bounty hunters who chased those notorious sea pirates. 

Before you arrive at Aico  

I was nominated as a buddy to guide my new buddy through her first few weeks without her getting an eye patch or a wooden leg!  

Before her first day, she had already selected what kind of phone and laptop she wanted and ordered some screens and other supplies for her home office. In the office, we first checked that all her stuff had arrived and was working properly. 

Buddy system: Always start with coffee 

Old pirates started their day with a mug of grog. Nowadays drinking strong alcohol first thing after arriving at the office is not recommended, so we fill our mugs with coffee. So, two of my first tasks as a buddy were demonstrating how the coffee machine works and where the nearest places to eat lunch are.  

We also went through basic safety policies, like where you can find the first aid kit, and who our health and safety representative is. During our first lunch, we discussed recycling, parking space guidance, and the long, warm Finnish summer. 

In addition to the buddy, the newcomer also had a team leader and HR to help her, so I didn’t have to talk about salaries, holidays, perks or other benefits.  

The first few days and weeks are critical 

During the first few days, I had to forward emails related to upcoming info meetings, virtual coffee breaks, summer parties, etc. Our IT-Admin had also added her to all kinds of internal mailing lists. Some of the existing invitations were sent before she joined Aico and I needed to make sure she knew what they were all about and why she was receiving them. 

Daily contact is crucial during the onboarding process. We met face to face during the first day and then we had at least one chat per day, so she had the chance to ask questions and talk about how she felt in her new role. I mainly work remotely because I live almost 200km from the office. So, we had only a few in-person sessions. 

As a buddy, my responsibilities go beyond a few weeks. In the future, we will still have unofficial meetings and discussions whenever she needs to. 

Exploring the future together 

In Aico, all new employees get an excellent introduction period, so you don’t have to be Monkey Island’s2 Guybrush Threepwood3 walking aimlessly around Mêlée Island.  

Instead of being pirates, we Aiconauts want to boldly go where no man has gone before. This means the creation of a great financial product that helps our customers enhance and streamline their financial closing process.  

The buddy system is just one way we support our new Aiconauts to make this possible. You can experience it first-hand if you decide to become one of us. Check out our open positions:


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