In the beginning of her studies at the Helsinki University of Technology, Erika Kavén thought she would become a biomechanical engineer designing for example robotic arms. Now, she works as a Management Consultant at Marketing Clinic, helping clients to identify their unique assets and use them to build differentiated brand strategies. Read on, as Erika shares her inspiring career story.
Erika Kavén always enjoyed solving a good puzzle. That is why she began her studies with a major in electrical engineering and a minor in marketing. However, by the time she finished her Bachelor’s degree, she realized she wanted to focus more on marketing. And so, for her Master’s studies, Erika changed her major to marketing with a minor in mathematics.
“I first got a taste of consulting as a part-time marketing assistant in construction consulting during my studies. Later, I advanced to the company’s management consulting division offering services to the public sector. The work was interesting, but I realized I wanted a job where I could better combine my desire to work with brands while maintaining my mathematical and engineering skills. I came across Marketing Clinic’s open position offering just that, applied and got it”, Erika recalls.
“I truly enjoy almost every day at work. The best part of my job is that every project is like a complex mathematical puzzle I get to dive into. The feeling you get after you’ve solved a client’s problem and see the result in practice is priceless” – Erika
She first started as a Trainee at Marketing Clinic in the spring of 2013, when she was finishing her Master’s Thesis. Since her Trainee period, Erika has advanced through multiple positions and now works as a Consultant. In addition to earning new titles, the work itself has also developed, and Erika has gained a lot more responsibility.
“During the four and a half years I’ve been at Marketing Clinic, my responsibilities have developed from being a project team member instructed mainly by others to the point where I’m actually the one leading the project teams and also managing others’ work. Here, you really can get as much responsibility as you’re willing to take”, she explains.
Proactivity, flexibility and excellent organizing skills enable success
It might be more of a rule than an exception nowadays, but in Erika’s job, no two days truly are alike.
“Mainly, my workdays consist of a combination of client meetings, internal project team meetings and independent project work. Typically, I work simultaneously on 2–4 projects. Sales is also a big part of my job, and we also get to participate in internal work the way we like — for example, I do HR and offering development. It has been super interesting to develop my HR skills”, Erika says.
Managing multiple large projects at once demands many talents, but especially proactivity, organizing skills and flexibility.
“We have low hierarchy, and everybody gets a lot of responsibility. Therefore, everyone needs to be in charge of their own work and make sure everything gets done. Moreover, you have to be able to balance between being organized and flexible. As projects go along, things change and new ideas emerge — you need to be able to adjust the project plan while making sure you’re still progressing towards the goal”, Erika explains.
Pro tip for young professionals: seize every opportunity
Erika has never had any five-year career plans or a specific path she follows, and that’s also her advice for young professionals at the start of their careers:
“I think one shouldn’t overanalyse and overthink everything. Study the things you’re interested in and work in positions and companies you’re interested in, no matter what your initial plan might have been, because you will never know unless you try. Even if you work on something that’s not totally your thing, you’ll at least learn what you don’t want to do. When opportunities arise, seize them.”
Even without having a strict plan, Erika feels that now she is right where she should be.
“I truly enjoy almost every day at work. The best part of my job is that every project is like a complex mathematical puzzle I get to dive into. The feeling you get after you’ve solved a client’s problem and see the result in practice — e.g. the implementation of a new brand — is priceless”, she explains enthusiastically.
At Marketing Clinic Partners, you learn something new every day
In addition to her colleagues at Marketing Clinic, Erika sometimes works with people from the other three Marketing Clinic Partners companies as well. According to her, that is also one of the best parts of working at this company: being surrounded by so many different people who possess expertise in various fields. Another great benefit is the positive and open corporate culture, where you can ask for ideas or sparring from anyone — even the CEOs — and everyone is always willing to help. Indeed, together the four companies — Marketing Clinic, Kopla, Okimo Clinic and P+SBD — possess quite an impressive body of expertise.
“Here, you truly learn new things and skills every day”, Erika concludes.