My career in Finance – Stina Byre
Read about Stina's career in finance.
Tell us briefly about the job you do and in which company
I am Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of Pierre Robert Group. I’m a member of the company’s management team and have overall responsibility for finance and IT, with three employees reporting to me.
What is your educational background?
I have a Master of Science in Business from BI Norwegian Business School, with a specialisation in finance.
Tell us a little about yourself
I think my friends would have described me as (a tiny bit too) effective, structured, determined and reliable. I like to exercise and usually ride my bike to and from work, although preferably on a sunny day. Apart from that, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, a good book, and I wouldn’t say no to sitting on my couch watching a movie and nibbling on sweets.
Tell us about your career at Orkla, from day 1 to where you are today
I started out in the central Analysis and Reporting Group, in what was Orkla’s branded consumer goods area at the time, and was head of a three-person team. After that, I was leant out to Lilleborg Profesjonell as Financial Manager for a year while the Financial Manager at the time was on maternity leave. My next step was to join Pierre Robert Group as CFO.
I’ve always worked in financial positions at Orkla and have been very happy there. When new possibilities and challenges have arisen, I have seized the opportunity and sought to further develop my skills, both in my profession and as a leader.
Why did you choose this career direction?
I’ve been interested in numbers as far back as I can remember, and math was my favourite subject from day 1. I like the quantitative subjects best and knew early on that I wanted to work in a business-related job. When you work in a financial position, your day is very varied and you’re involved in many different parts of the business. It’s important to keep track of details, while also thinking strategically for the future. My job is very varied, and I have to deal with a multitude of different problems.
Why did you want to work at Orkla?
I thought consumer goods was an exciting field, and Orkla seemed to be a strong player. The fact that the Group offered internal career opportunities also appealed to me. I have stayed at Orkla because of the good development opportunities and the great co-workers and managers that I have been so privileged to have around me.
What is a typical working day for you?
On the whole, the workload in financial departments is predictable, and you know well in advance when there will be a lot to do. Every month we have the period-end closing/monthly reporting process, which consists of both routine procedures and analyses that help us understand the company’s performance. In the autumn, there is the budget and strategy process and some interaction with the auditor. I generally sit at my PC, but also attend business meetings with other functions in Pierre Robert Group as well as interacting with Orkla’s central Finance and IT departments.
What does it take to succeed in your job?
In order to succeed, I think you have to be committed and really like what you’re doing, which I guess is the case in most jobs. You probably have to like to be a little busy and not be afraid to make an extra effort. Good analytical skills and the ability to collaborate with others are also important.
What’s the best thing about your profession, and what, if anything, do you dislike?
The best part is all the capable, inspiring people that I’m so lucky to be able to work with and learn from. People are very open and always make themselves available if you have something you want to discuss. I enjoy working with numbers and analyses, and it’s very gratifying when you gain an insight into something which in turn leads to measures that are good for the company. The most tiresome part is the fact that you are bound by monthly deadlines, which is a disadvantage in terms of when you can take your holidays and the like.
Orkla’s new vision is “Your friend in everyday life”, supported by the values “Brave”, “Trustworthy” and “Inspiring”. How do you relate to the new vision and values in your job?
A responsible company must have its finances in order, have clearly defined reporting procedures and abide by the law. It’s important for employees, consumers, investors and society as a whole to be able to be confident that the company’s finances are well managed, and it’s my job to make sure of that. The values and vision can also be linked to my own working day and relationship with my colleagues, in terms of how the way we treat each other, collaborate and promote each other’s personal development.
Are there any special requirements for working in your profession (personality, academic qualifications, fields of study, etc.)?
There are no absolute requirements for working in a financial position, but good academic results in quantitative subjects in particular are probably an advantage. If you’re analytically inclined and easy to work with, those traits will also help you go far. It’s important to be able both to see the details and be meticulous, and to step back and see the big picture.