Connecting People has always been one of my favorite slogans. So when I got a job at Nokia, first as contractor and a year later as full time employee, those two words became part of my daily practice, part of my life. As an extreme extrovert, the first time I saw Nokia San Diego campus, aka The Club Med, I felt like a kid in a candy store: tons of phones (sorry, I should say devices!) to play with and to…
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It was the summer of 2009, just a few weeks after the launch of “Ovi Store”, on which I’d been working on for months. I was working on a presentation for an MT (management team) meeting the next day when I started to get phone calls from my husband about our oldest daughter – he was home with her because she wasn’t feeling well. She was getting worse and worse and he was taking her to the doctor, the doctor sent them to the hospital for more tests. At the end of the day I went straight to the hospital from the office.
Nokia – it’s the company name with an almost magical tone to it. When Finland was suffering the terrible depression and record unemployment of the 90’s, Nokia came up with one of the company’s greatest success stories, 2110, and started rocketing towards stardom. The mobile business lifted not only the company – which only a few years earlier had struggled to stay in business – but an entire Northern nation to economic success and a brand of its own. The reliable, effective, hard-working Finns; “Japan of the North” and their mysterious
My first phone was Nokia N73 music edition, black. My father’s and everyone else’s phone in my family was a Nokia as well. The reason I insist on capitalizing the brand name in the middle of my sentences however, goes beyond that.
My phone meant way more to me (and still does) way more than its technical features. This might sound like an emo teenager’s rant but then that’s what Nokia is to me, an emotion. Being an insomniac, I used stay up all night long and it was only the glowing screen of my phone that stayed awake with me, playing songs or reading up something. It had so many sophisticated features I can write lines on. There were times when I would be down and out and being an introvert would turn to phone. My N73 was always there with me, through my toughest times.
I had joined a company that, although it was still the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, was struggling to find its place in a market where it now had to compete against Apple and Google. The infamous burning platform memo had been published and leaked, and the decision to move to Windows Phone had been made.
It was a tough time for many,
I worked for Nokia for years and recently for Microsoft in the Mobile Devices business. I was a passionate employee and always loyal to my company in every single situation. When iPhone became popular, my youngsters were very keen on getting their own iPhones, but I always told them that my kids would use Nokia phones and no other phones would be considered. I was so strict that I even said: “Other phone brands would be allowed – only over my dead body!”
Occasionally, my youngsters tested me again whether I had changed my mind, like when they complained about apps not available in the Windows app store. But no way, I was firm and was like I was not hearing what they said: “My darlings, you know what my answer is: only over my dead body.“
A year ago, I suddenly found out
I worked for Nokia between 1998-2013 in different roles in the networks business. It was a transformational learning experience, like a second business university after the first one. There were so many things I was able to experience but perhaps the most significant was observing how Nokia approached the emerging markets: with respect.
The idea that you could make good money by selling to poor people in emerging markets while not ripping them off but actually improving their lives was a crucially important motivator for me. Even though I wasn’t personally involved in that business, I was really proud of Nokia doing this when no-one else among the big players in the sector was.
Even in general, I have always liked the fact that the telecommunications sector is improving people’s lives by
Five years ago, I adopted an Australian Shepherd from Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline (a national rescue group) and shortly after adopting, I started fostering for them. When we bring in a new foster dog, they always get a new name. Dogs don’t have any special affinity for their names and they can easily learn to respond to a new one. In the past, most of my foster dogs have been named after places I have lived. Seneca, Slater, Manhattan, Verona, etc. But sometimes, a special foster dog deserves a special name. A name that really fits.
I joined Nokia in Australia in 1994. This was when there were only around 13,000 employees globally at the time. I had been working with an engineer from one of the local operators and he was testing Mobile Originated SMS using the only phone at the time that supported it, the 2110. He gave a couple of us within the office access to the system and he said just go for it and they will monitor the results.
During my first trip to Finland for a sales conference, I decided to see if SMS roaming would work so I sent my colleague who was visiting Auckland at the time a text message. Lo and behold, I got a reply and the conversation carried on for around 40 minutes especially after the 2110 product manager saw what I was doing and grabbed a couple more guys to witness what could have been the first global SMS conversation by 2110.
Nokia showed me the good in people, allowed and engouraged me to learn and challenge myself, and trusted me to do well.
I got to meet and know amazing people, see the world and be part of an amazing Nokia family. No matter where you landed, for a year or just for couple of days, you were among friends. It really was a mother ship with it´s own