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Oct 18, 2021 9:12:13 PM

New Roadie arrivals 09/21

Olivia Helle

Consultant, Full Stack Marketing

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Thumbnail_NewRoadie_2Roosa Meriläinen | Consultant, Data Engineering

roosa-merilainen

Hi Roosa, how did you get good at what you do?

My road to software development started from a fascination with the magic of computers – my parents might claim the magic was video games and they would not be wrong – and it eventually led me to study Computational Linguistics at the University of Helsinki. Through a minor subject in Computer Science, I eventually got so submerged in CS and programming that I ended up changing my major to CS for my master’s degree. During the last few years of my studies, I worked as an in-house software developer, and after graduation as a consultant, hence I’ve got quite a wide set of skills in the area of software development.

Why Columbia Road?

By joining Columbia Road I wanted to get a different angle on the work I do; while I am a tech person, I also have a background in humanities and softer, human-centred values which resonate well with Columbia Road’s culture. The flat organisation hierarchy at Columbia Road is a positive challenge that allows for both more independence and more responsibility in all decision making at work.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

I love to draw and paint, although the faster heartbeat during that hobby is mostly due to frustration at the results. In my free time, I enjoy good food, culture and the company of my friends.

I am not particularly sporty, that being an understatement in the least, but I do enjoy going to the gym or out for a jog, and listening to podcasts while pretending to exercise. Podcasts about information security are among my favourites at the moment.


Viljo Valovirta | Managing Consultant, Full Stack Marketing

Viljo_ValovirtaHi Viljo, how did you get good at what you do?

I’ve always been curious about new things and have been lucky enough to work with brilliant people to learn from.

I’ve worked in the financial sector in Finland for over a decade. I started with writing content and quickly I got into working with various tools and projects in the digital space. I have built quite many digital services as well as launched CRO, growth and marketing automation initiatives. My last job was running a marketing team and digitalising MarComms in a mid-sized life insurance and wealth management company.

More than anything, I’m a generalist. I get excited easily and deep-dive eagerly, so I guess that helps me to learn constantly. My experience thus far has been everything from creating content and technical specifications to strategy and building new businesses. Those are all things I still enjoy doing and helping customers with.

Why Columbia Road?

I was familiar with the company through their persistent sales work over the years. Finally it paid dividends but in an unexpected way. I’ve seen the company grow and have been impressed by the cross-practice and goal-oriented approach, so I was really thrilled with the opportunity.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

I’m generally enthusiastic out of office, as well. My enthusiasm about nice things (e.g. clothing, homeware) has sent me into all kinds of online shopping experiences from using Google Translate to buy from peculiar Japanese websites to having regular clothing suppliers in northeastern US thrift shops.

Generally I enjoy culture, all beautiful things, playing with my kids, hiking, insightful talks and having great food and drinks. Last week I enjoyed a nice (wooden and handcrafted) cup of champagne with my friends in a remote cottage somewhere in Lapland after days of walking; I guess that moment pretty well sums it up.


Pablo Núñez | Senior Consultant, Technology

Pablo_NunezHi Pablo, how did you get good at what you do?

I have been interested in computers and programming since I started high school. As a self-taught programmer I always found it really interesting to learn how to make computers do different things, for fun and profit. That's how I started making my own personal projects, started selling my own apps, and learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.

Later I was able to get a more “formal” education in university and gain more experience working with great people in different work environments, in my native Uruguay, the United States and now in Sweden.

Why Columbia Road?

My main interest in software development has always been digital commerce. When I was looking for a company to continue my journey in Stockholm, Columbia Road seemed like the perfect fit for me, and now I know it was the right choice. The icing on the cake was The Good Impact program.

Being able to work with a lot of talented people – not only in software development but in other interesting areas to me, like growth hacking – makes this company really unique. You have the opportunity to not only focus on your main area, but you learn to see projects as a whole.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

As the son of a musician, music has been an important part of my life. I enjoy going to music concerts and just listening to a lot of music. I also enjoy learning languages (currently Swedish 😊) and going to the gym.


Johanna Laitila | Consultant, Technology

Johanna_LaitilaHi Johanna, how did you get good at what you do?

Curiosity, trial and error, some sleepless nights and a lot of Google searches. I’ve been very interested in technology all my life and at some point I found myself programming video games as a hobby. That path led me to study computer science at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. I then worked as a software developer alongside my studies writing C# and JavaScript programs, attended a lot of hackathons and game jams and kept learning about new things to sharpen my skills as a developer.

Why Columbia Road?

I knew I wanted to work in consulting after graduation – to work with customers directly and to see my code and work put into real-world use. From all the companies Columbia Road stood out to me the most not only for the pretty flower branding but they seemed to really care about me and my ambitions and not just the technologies I’m familiar with, even though technical knowledge is still very important.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

I’m really into music – everything from indie to technical death metal to hyperpop! I’m often writing new songs during my spare time, playing the guitar or bass or even a little bit of piano. Besides music, hanging out with my cats or playing some video games are always good options.


Janne Pirttiniemi | Consultant, Full Stack Marketing

Janne_PirttiniemiHi Janne, How did you get good at what you do?

My study background is in technology and marketing (kudos to the University of Jyväskylä and TAMK). In recent years, I have had various roles, from setting up ecom operations in an SME to running and developing marketing automation operations in a large-scale global organisation. I have never had a particular plan in mind when it comes to my career, but I have more or less navigated on the basis of where I find my passion. My unique skill is to combine data, content, and technology to deliver business value.

Why Columbia Road?

I have always had a development mindset, and I like to help others to solve problems. This led me to consider whether to make a career move to consultancy. Columbia Road had popped up in my network here and there, which prompted me to investigate the company further, and here we are! I can say that Columbia Road really lives up to its promises when it comes to taking care of people, having a clear vision, and getting interesting and exciting customers to work with.

What makes your heart beat a little faster?

I love being outdoors. With a family of three (and soon four), there is very little time to spare, but the little I have, I try to spend in the great wild. When it is the correct season, I also try to bring food to the table for my family. My other hobbies include cycling, video gaming, and bass playing. And when I get excited about a new hobby, I am an all-in kind of a guy. In that sense, I am also insufferable to my significant other (and bank account)!


How would you fancy working alongside Roosa, Viljo, Pablo, Johanna and Janne at Columbia Road? We're constantly looking for new talented and nice people to join our crew! Take a peek at our open positions 👇

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