Heli Koskimäki, Oura
"The best thing about technology is that it really doesn't matter if you don't know what you want from your career path. Even in our field, no one knows what technology will make possible in five years' time".
What have you studied and how did you choose this option?
Mathematics has been easy and rewarding for me, it's a subject I've always enjoyed. When you can solve something, it's a nice feeling. I was able to study maths directly from my matriculation exam results. I always said that I wasn't interested in further studies, but it just so happened that I went on to do a postgraduate degree in computer science and work at a university.
How did you end up working for Oura?
Of course, the university had and still has a wide range of research projects with different companies. One of them was Polar, and it was there that I met Hannu Kinnunen, who later became the research director at Oura. About five years ago, Hannu and I were talking in other project circles and he asked me if I would like to work for them. I couldn't say no to that!
What is the best thing about your job?
Leading a forward-looking team. We're working on what kind of features could be found in a smart ring in the near future. What aspects of human physiology could be explored or brought into the Oura product portfolio? The ring has huge potential. The best thing is that when new features are released, they immediately have half a million users who could benefit from them. The work really matters.
What have been the highlights and most important lessons learned in your career?
When I started at Oura, we were still a small startup, with two people in the research department. Now there are about 20 of us in research alone. The startup era is an uncertain time, and no one really knows if you will succeed. It brings its own kind of spirit of working together for a common goal. We've even laughed that the start-up years are like dog years, they go by faster than years in a stable, bigger company because you're working so hard. It's not for everyone, but for me it was the best years of my life.
What are your expectations for the future?
I feel like we're just at the beginning. A lot of the things we've dreamed about from the beginning have now come to fruition. Before they were just visions and now they are real! Technology is developing at such a rapid pace that it's hard to imagine what the technological world will look like in five years' time.
For whom is this a suitable career option?
Many people are suited for engineering. If you want to solve problems mathematically, this is a dream job. It's also a field where you don't have to stay stuck in one place, but can constantly develop and reinvent yourself. It's a field for someone who wants to learn new things and find new and meaningful things in data. Even though the work is social, I would say that you have to love numbers and laptops.
What greetings would you like to send to a young person considering a career choice?
You don't need to know yet what you want to do when you grow up. I didn't know either. On the other hand, I didn't know that wearable technology like this was even a possible job. The best thing about technology is that it really doesn't matter if you don't know what you want from your career path. Even in our field, no one knows what technology will make possible in five years' time. The important thing is to be open and keep your eyes and ears open.