Kati Pöllänen, 2M-IT

Kati Pöllänen, Business Director, Application Services

"If something interests you, even if it is a bit scary, it is worth taking up the challenge."

Kati Pöllänen
Kati Pöllänen, 2M-IT

What have you studied and how did you choose this option?

I first studied chemical engineering at LUT University to become a DI and then went on to get a PhD in technology. I am also a nurse by training. Alongside my work, I have studied a wide range of management-related subjects.

How did you become a Business Director?

After graduating in 2001, I stayed on as a researcher at LUT and wrote my thesis, after which I joined UPM Group in 2008 as Innovation Development Manager. At UPM I also worked as Business Development Manager and Technology Manager in the biochemicals business. Then I thought that a change of field might not be a bad thing and inspired by my second degree I got into healthcare IT in 2016. At my current employer, I started as a service manager, then managed a couple of different service delivery units until the opportunity arose to lead the entire 300-person application services department.

What have been the highlights and most important lessons of your career?

Leading a big change has been a career highlight every time. Most recently, a major organisational change in my own department, a change in the welfare sector to support our clients, and previously, a merger of two companies to align processes and operating models have been quite demanding on the one hand, but the biggest highlights when successful. At UPM, working on the innovation strategy was a reall learning experience. One of the most important lessons has been that you can learn anything, you can cope with anything and good cooperation is a prerequisite for success. If something interests you, even if it is a bit scary, it is worth taking up the challenge.

What are your expectations for the future?

I have only been in my current role for less than a year. With the recent organisational change, I expect to be able to focus more on making and implementing future development plans, while the skilled managers and supervisors in my organisation are mainly responsible for operational activities. I also hope that our department will distinguish itself as an enthusiastic and cooperative team, both inside and outside the company. Those are the things I work for.

For whom is this a suitable career option?

There's a lot of different kinds of people that are certainly suited to the sote-IT sector, in fact, I would see that in every sector you need different kinds of people. Certainly in a management role, determination, the courage to act, the ability to understand people and the desire to make things work are traits that will help you succeed.

What greetings would you like to send to a young person considering a career choice?

When I was young, I didn't even know very much about the different career options and my thinking was fairly narrow. You don't need to know immediately what you're going to end up doing and where you're going to end up. Rather, I would encourage you to be brave enough to take up different opportunities, to be open-minded and try it out to see if it's your thing, and if you feel it's not, don't worry - there are options and you can even change careers. All learning and working is useful!

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