My life at Nokia: Namita Tendolkar

When recent or soon-to-be graduates are asked about their dream job, you can bet most of the answers would sound like this: “Good pay. A good work/life balance. And a fun environment with no large corporate leech culture.” Since starting my college career, looking for opportunities was a constant struggle between my university promoting internships at large corporations, and my peers looking for the laid-back, “drink beer at work” experience. 

Within my first two years at university, I had the opportunity to experience the marketing industry at a small company that aligned more with what my peers were seeking. This was my first taste of a 9-5 job which provided me the opportunity to dabble in many things - marketing, sales, operations, accounting, and even event planning. The skills I acquired were based on small-scale business, and extremely valuable. Yet, I felt there was still a large gap in my understanding of how a larger global enterprise functions. The nuances and greater complexity that lies in the workings of a global corporation was still a realm unknown to me; and I decided it was one I needed to explore. 

My first day as a marketing summer intern at Nokia was the first day of their new consolidated office opening at Cypress Waters (a Dallas-area corporate office park). It was not your daily grind of office undertakings, but rather a rally of employees celebrating a brand-new workspace perfectly designed for innovation and collaboration. Immediately, my fear of working within an “unhealthy corporate culture” was replaced with my experience of engaging in a friendly open European-like culture that had made its way to the heart of Texas. Under the supervision of the head of North America marketing, my first assignment was to create a presentation comparing external communications of Nokia’s biggest North American 5G (5th generation mobile technology) competitors. Not only was this an exciting first assignment, but working with my manager made me quickly realize that with her mentoring nothing was off limits regarding the scope of what I could learn and deliver. If there was a resource needed, it was acquired. If I had a specific tech question, she pointed me to the experts. If there was a team I wanted to shadow, arrangements were made. Everything I wanted to explore was supported and the limits I had inadvertently put on myself about how much I could possibly learn during a summer internship were broken. 

Throughout my summer at Nokia, I was also involved in the activities of internal communications and field marketing. I assisted in everything from supporting a North America-wide “Why 5G?” employee campaign to producing internal webinars, compiling competitive intelligence, organizing a second quarter employee meetup, wiring blogs, promoting videos, and presenting 5G demos. My 9 weeks here at Nokia have been an invaluable experience.

This month, I began my final semester in school with plans to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing. I have enjoyed my experience so much here at Nokia that I am staying on part-time throughout the duration of this final undergraduate semester. I am excited to remain a part of the Nokia family, and I look forward to expanding my marketing expertise with such a reputable and highly respected company.

During my time at Nokia, I experienced more than just how marketing and communications at a global firm functions, I also realize what I still need to learn. I hope to fill these gaps with my last semester of coursework and the continuation of my internship with Nokia.

Lastly, I learned that Nokia is not just another large, stereotypical corporation. Creativity, innovation, collaboration, and diversity are encouraged and applauded. Employees are happy to teach, learn, share, and connect with one another.  Looking back, it was ridiculous of me to think otherwise, because at Nokia, we create the technology to connect the world.