In Conversation with Kati Kuvaja-Liimatainen
This series of career stories is built on conversations, ideas and the Lindström community. With a mission to celebrate our colleagues and draw inspiration, this series is dedicated to shedding light on the stories of Lindströmers around the world, in various positions, teams and countries, celebrating the diversity of our people. At Lindström, everyone is valued and supported in their aspiration to become the best they can be.
Today, we bring you our conversation with Kati Kuvaja-Liimatainen, Team Manager, Centralized Order to Cash (Eastern Europe, Russia, Baltics & Non-CCF Countries), Finland.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I began as a customer service consultant in 2009 at Lindström, so it has been nearly a 13-year sprint. I live in central Finland, in the countryside, with my husband, three hunting dogs and our cat. The nearest office is Vaajakoski, but you can also find me in the Helsinki office from time to time. I am in charge of the centralised order for the cash team, which ensures that our customers receive correct invoices in a timely manner and pay them according to the agreement, in order to ensure uninterrupted incoming cash flow.
My hobbies include kayaking, cycling, running, going to the gym and hiking. This summer, I was hiking in Lapland’s Hammastunturi wilderness. We hiked for 6 days and 63 kilometers. It was an amazing trip. While I have been on short winter hiking trips, my eyes are set on a longer winter hiking trip in Halti (a Fell in Northern Finland) next. I also enjoy reading, watching movies and travelling.
How would you describe your path to Lindström and the journey so far?
Looking back, when I started working for Lindström, I didn’t have the faintest idea that I would spend a decade working for the organisation (and counting!). This naturally speaks volumes about what a great experience it has been to work here. I have had enough opportunities to take on roles and profiles in my areas of interest. Over the years, I shifted between many teams but kept in touch with the wonderful co-workers I had a chance to get to know. I surely have not forgotten that I have had the best kind of managers there are: the kind who trusted me and enabled me to explore new possibilities and responsibilities.
What is your favourite part of the job?
The best part of being here is the great work environment and career opportunities. I learnt from the best managers at Lindström that mistakes need to be seen as a chance to learn and improve. Today as a team lead, I want to ensure that I offer the same safety to my team members by focusing not on who made the mistake but on what should be done in the future to prevent the same mistakes from happening again.
Tell us about a recent challenging experience or a learning challenge.
I lead a multicultural team of eight members from seven distinct cultural backgrounds. We have the most interesting conversations. At the same time, I need to embrace the differences and fully comprehend the development needs of the team members and help them succeed in their endeavours. I am always looking to expand my knowledge and understanding of financial concepts for my individual learning.
What would be the one thing you would like to share about Lindström with people who may not know the company so well?
I want to share with the new Lindströmers that this organisation lets you steer your career path in the direction you want. The only thing it demands is courage and persistence. You can think about what kind of knowledge, training or study options can help you get into roles that interest you. Also, consider open positions and reach out to the right people. Someone is always available to mentor you or point you in the right direction if you are seeking a change or a growth opportunity.