Hi Eeva, thanks for taking the time to chat with me! Firstly, can you describe your path at Helsinki Think Company? How did you end up at your current position?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for several years. A little over two years ago I had begun studying at the University of Helsinki, and my company was about to go bankrupt. I applied for Helsinki Think Company because I wanted to meet and work with like-minded, entrepreneurially oriented people. I was originally hired as the Head of Entrepreneurship - to develop the services and to spar business founders of all experience levels. I found that in this job, I was able to utilize the skills I had gained from being an entrepreneur myself, and I put them to good use in various projects such as HELSEED workshops.
I had a strong desire to develop my work and to do more, and that’s what drove me to apply for the position of the CEO. The working community has become increasingly important for me, and I feel like as the CEO I have a fantastic opportunity to learn more and to help move the company forward.
How did it feel to step into this new, more responsible role? Were you nervous?
I was nervous at the beginning, but it also felt like a natural step. I had previously gotten to work a lot together with the former CEO Rosa, and she’s still around to help. All of our collaborators, coworkers and team members have given me an extremely warm welcome, and that has been really important for me. Thanks to everyone, I feel confident and excited to take on this new role.
I’m sure many people are curious about this, myself included: What exactly does the CEO of Think Company do?
Wow, that’s such a broad question! I’d say the most important thing is to take care of the team and the community, and to be the enabler of the work we do.
What I do in practice includes all things HR: recruiting, contracts, paying salaries… These I do together with the COO. I also handle the funding negotiations, contacting our most important collaborators and leading the Think Company’s operational team. In addition I act as the representative of the company in the larger entrepreneurial and academic ecosystem.
If a two-year-old asked me this question, I’d say I sit in meetings and take A LOT of phone calls!
Which theme or task are you the most excited to work with?
I’m really excited about our team, and continuing to help them wherever and however needed. I’m also inspired by the themes of impactful entrepreneurship - how to better measure and communicate our operations and the impact we make. Thirdly, I’m enthusiastic about Think Company being in a more significant role within the university and its wider strategy regarding innovation and entrepreneurship, for example with our coworking spaces at each campus.
Is there a theme or an aspect of your job that feels the most challenging for you?
I sometimes worry whether I have enough time for the things I’d personally like to do. I work a lot with others, and that takes up most of my time. There’s plenty of self-development and re-education I’d like to get done, but it’s hard to find time for those things.
An eventful year is coming to an end. What will 2023 look like for Helsinki Think Company?
We will continue creating high-quality entrepreneurial content and producing different programs and events - 4UNI will come again next spring for example! I’d also like to advance the themes of impactful entrepreneurship as I mentioned before. In 2023 we’ll keep up the good work we’re already doing, while forwarding and establishing Think Company’s place within the University’s community.
What do you think is the best thing about the Think Company team?
Definitely the diversity and the multifaceted backgrounds of the team members. Our team is truly unique and the variety is a gift.
Lastly, something very current. What are your hot tips for defeating the November blues?
A high-quality daylight lamp is a must! I also try to be merciful to myself - it’s not fair to expect yourself to be as energetic in November as you would be during summer. It definitely helps to think of nice things you can look forward to, too.
Thank you so much Eeva! We look forward to seeing what the upcoming year brings.
Photography: Sanna Kujala