What attracted you to working at Concirrus?
I was working with a company who were partners with Concirrus, so I got to see the exciting work they were doing from a distance. It sparked my interest, and dealing with big data and machine learning was not new to me at the time. I also liked the culture at Concirrus and saw myself fitting into the team well. I used to work remotely, and while I have that option at Concirrus, I really enjoy the hustle and bustle of our office here in London. Seeing as I’d never worked in insurance before, learning about the industry with all its terms was like learning a foreign language!
How did you get involved in the marine industry?
I studied Business Technology at university in Helsinki and worked with several different companies on projects as part of my degree. During my studies I was sent to a marine technology company which offered me a full time position upon graduating. It allowed me to work with shipowners and their teams across marketing, project management, operations and sales. It gave me a deep understanding of the marine industry as I took part in almost everything except coding!
What does your typical day look like as a Customer Engagement Manager?
I am basically the middleman between our clients and the Concirrus product team. I make sure that our clients’ interests are heard and that their needs are supported by someone within the business. Every day is different and you will usually find me running from meeting to meeting while checking my emails. Multitasking on the move can be hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get to collaborate with almost everyone in every team.
How do you approach challenges at work?
My job is purely about challenges and solving issues that arise, it’s about 90% of my day. My approach is to analyse the situation and try to find a resolution as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s important that everybody is aligned and working towards the same goal with a degree of flexibility. If there’s a particularly tough issue, I make sure to communicate it clearly to the customer and outline the steps to a solution which ensures they always have visibility. As long as they are on board, they are quite understanding. The most important part about facing a challenge is to see it as an opportunity to improve and discover more effective ways of working.
What would you say to someone looking to get into the InsurTech industry?
You must have an open, forward thinking mindset to work within the world of InsurTech. Be comfortable with change and embrace it, we’re trying to enhance a global industry. InsurTech is very fast paced and Concirrus is growing rapidly. It’s very exciting to be at the forefront of what we’re doing, it encourages you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and grow as an individual.
What is it about technology that inspires you?
Technology enables change, our focus should be on the capabilities innovation provides, not just product functions. I use Transferwise quite often as an example. They have cracked the code of how to make something high quality, fast and cost effective. It’s hard to innovate and retain those three traits combined.
What is your career highlight?
I’ve previously led a team that piloted a new, customer focussed way of working. I learnt a lot, and it was tough at times, but the results showed that we were able to deliver a profit and retain customers effectively. It was then implemented throughout the entire organisation, which was very rewarding to see.
What gives you the most confidence?
Don’t be afraid of what people think of you. I’ve always tried to stay true to myself and believe that being able to listen to yourself is important. If you feel like you’re a bit weird, go out there and be weird! Don’t be over-critical or demanding on yourself. Work hard but take care of your health and give yourself time, there’s no rush.
How do you ensure a good work/life balance?
I have always had the mindset of ‘it’s not how many hours you do that’s important, it’s what you do in those hours that determines how effective you are.’ I am naturally results orientated, so I went through a phase in my life where I worked a lot and didn’t prioritise much else. I am now more selfish with my free time. I cycle before and after work which helps clear my mind. I am also part of a Finnish theatre group which is different from everything else in my life. Theatre for me is a place where you can drop all of life's roles, excuse the irony! It’s where you can let go of your inhibitions, be silly and express yourself. Returning to the prior question, the experience of performing has really given me more confidence, which is empowering. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I can get up on stage, be out of my comfort zone and perform in front of people!
What would you say to your 18-year-old self?
You can do more than you think, don’t wait for anyone or anything. I have learnt throughout my career to listen to your instincts and trust yourself. I would say however don’t force it; you don’t have to fake it till you make it. If you feel insecure, embrace it and ride with it. Remember to accept who you’re and don’t change too much about yourself!