My life at Nokia
When I started as a co-op student at Nokia only 9 months ago, I did not know exactly where my path would lead me, but because I immediately felt welcomed and appreciated by everyone, I knew I was on the right track. And now, with the first full-time permanent job after two internships, I feel like I’ve come home.
My path to get here certainly wasn’t linear by any means. I emigrated from Europe half a lifetime ago when I followed my then-husband to the United States. After we moved across the U.S. to Illinois, I raised and still am raising three children, and I also built two businesses that I saw come and go. And while the second one, my organic German artisan bread bakery was very successful, the end of 2018 brought on tumultuous times in my personal life that ultimately led to the end of my bakery about 6 months later.
After much soul searching, I made my way back to school to pursue my dream of becoming a technical writer, and in June 2020, I walked across the stage to accept my diploma after having earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with a marketing minor. During my last semester, the connections made at Northern Illinois University allowed me to participate in a project that offered ten hand-picked students to work on a rapid prototyping program with Nokia subject-matter experts. The setup was quite unique in that the Naperville team came out to the campus instead of us students driving to Naperville. And even though later we switched to working remotely, this offered me the opportunity to go to school, get back into the business world, and still be there for my children whenever they needed me.
Despite the reorg during my first few months with the company, both, my manager as well as my mentor, encouraged me to think about my possible future with Nokia, and I very much liked the idea of working for an innovative and modern global company with high ethical standards. And, being originally from Europe, I very much identify with Nokia’s philosophy overall.
I have worked with some amazing teams. Among them, the CNS communications team where I was given the opportunity to work on the Build-Up initiative for interns. There, I saw first-hand that we were not “only” interns, but that our suggestions and ideas were heard, our opinions valued, and that we were taken seriously regardless of age or “rank” within the company. And this continues to be true with the new team that I am now part of in NI. No matter what questions or thoughts I have, I am being listened to, helped, and supported without judgment. Being surrounded by all this positivity, I feel empowered, and I can easily build confidence in what I do.
I am very grateful that Nokia actively encourages every one of us to pursue career and personal growth by offering an abundance of learning opportunities that allow us to stay current on the ever-changing landscape of telco and related topics. For me as an information-collector and someone who loves to learn, this is as close to heaven on earth as I can get.
What really appeals to me is that Nokia is a company that strives to not only be transparent but also to be inclusive and to listen. We can participate in internal surveys, attend regular town hall meetings and all-hands calls as well as other special learning days. This gives us a better understanding of the direction the company is heading in. It also allows us to be heard company-wide because we can ask questions or bring up topics that may not be part of the big picture just yet. Communication like this is so important. Without feedback neither the company nor the employee really knows where they stand. I compare it to voting: if you don’t participate, you won’t be heard, and you can’t make a difference.
Nokia is so much more than “just” a company with a corporate structure and rules. It is made up of individuals who care about each other and who help each other every single day. It is a way of life. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of #TeamNokia and to be able to make new friends across the globe. I am forever grateful to have been given a helping hand from so many people along the way. Without those who had and still have my back, I would not be here today being able to start my new career.