Marko Avikainen – On the road and back again
Marko’s journey with Valmet started in the summer of 1998 as a measurement development trainee in Rautpohja’s Process Analyses Department. Since then he has moved and grown within and around Valmet in R&D, paper technology and mill improvements, crossing business lines and borders along the way. Marko describes his latest move to as a natural next step in his career, one that builds on his cultural understanding, internal network, and services background.
People. Pace. Cultural understanding.
Throughout my career I’ve actively looked for opportunities to challenge myself and learn new things. Early on, I developed a strong technical background through various roles in our paper business, first as a summer student, part time worker, then as a thesis worker and finally as a full-time Valmet employee. In 2001, I spent 19 months in Vancouver working on a paper structure measurement project. Since then, I have worked in paper analyses method development, paper process analysis, and paper technology before transferring to Valmet in Thailand, where I started to see how culture shapes business and the fast-paced world of services.
I moved to Thailand in 2011 to work as a paper technology manager for our Asia-Pacific team. I learned that to break through culture you need to share experiences, give examples and spend a lot of time talking and convincing people. Then, after a few years, I took a position with the services business in Thailand taking care of the South East Asian mill improvement business. It was my first time working in services, which is much faster paced and has a lot more projects than in capital.
During the summer of 2015, I returned to the EMEA organization (and my roots) as a paper technology manager. By then I had developed a great network of colleagues and had worked on a huge variety of projects. In this role, I began to see how powerful experiences and networks can be. I was able to add value by relating my experiences from Asia-Pacific to current challenges, especially between southern European and Asian countries.
In March of this year, I accepted my first global role leading the paper and finishing technology unit for services. It builds on my previous experience and is a logical next step in my career. Looking back at the past 20 years, I appreciate being given the responsibilities to grow – and a path to develop within the company.