My Career in Marketing – Paula Pöntynen

Read about Paula’s career in marketing

What is your current position, and for which company do you work?

My current position is Marketing Manager (Innovation) at Orkla Foods Finland Oy.

What is your educational background?

I have a Master of Business Science from Helsinki School of Economics (currently Aalto University). My main subject was International Marketing.

Give a short introduction of yourself

I am married with three children (1 daughter and 2 sons). I see myself as a positive and easy-going person and enjoy spending time with family and friends. I try to exercise as often as possible, mainly jogging or cycling, tennis is also close to my heart. I am an ice hockey fan, maybe because both of our sons play ice hockey actively. Then there is food and cooking – preparing good dinners on the weekends makes for a relaxing and pleasant time with the family.

What has been your career path at Orkla – from day one to where you are today?

My first job at Orkla (former Felix Abba) was Marketing Assistant, already in 1995. Since then I have had various positions at Orkla, but also in other companies. In Orkla I have been a Junior Product Manager (dilutables), Product Group Manager (biscuits), Category Manager of liquorice at Orkla Confectionery and Snacks (former Panda Oy), Marketing Manager (Seafood) and currently Marketing Manager, responsible for innovations.

Why did you choose this career/profession?

Business, and especially marketing, has interested me since high school, so the decision to study the subject was an easy one to make. Marketing is an interesting mix of creativity, risk-taking and a bit of human psychology.

Why did you choose to work at Orkla?

Working with well-known local and Nordic brands – it is interesting, motivating and rewarding.

What does a typical day at the office look like?

It is difficult to describe a typical day in the office, other than to say it is usually a busy one. The days differ a lot, depending on the projects that are currently at hand. Business planning, briefing, preparing various internal and external materials, meetings, R&D projects, follow-ups etc. The tasks are quite varying, which is something that I enjoy a lot in my current position. In the beginning the days were equally busy, but the work itself was more routine-type of work.

What does it take to succeed in your job?

To start with, you need to be open-minded and have a positive attitude. It is important to discuss and communicate, and to listen to others opinions. You also need to have the courage to argue and defend you own ideas and point of views. To succeed you also need to be able to make decisions, even the difficult ones, and be able to take risks. Finally, be ready to learn more, every day. The world of marketing is ever changing!

What is the best thing about your profession, and is there anything you dislike?

The best thing is the feeling of ‘being on the move’ all the time, and of course the great co-workers. However, there is a lot of last minute deadlines, and the constant feeling of having to hurry to get things done.

Orkla’s new vision is “Your friend in everyday life”, supported by the values “brave,” “trustworthy” and “inspiring”. How do you relate in your job to the new vision and values?

The new vision and values are positive and warm – qualities that we all should aim at in everything we do. I think they give a clear direction to all of us for the future and guide us in our everyday work.

Are there any special traits or requirements needed to work in your profession (personality, academic merits, education, other)?

I believe you need to be positive, open-minded and curious, in order to succeed in this type of work. On the other hand, you need to be business-minded and understand the economic consequences of your actions.