Without revealing how old I am, let’s just say that in my childhood technology was not such an integral part of everyday life as it is now.
I clearly remember when we got our first microwave oven (a chance to make hot chocolate without parental advisory!) and when my dad bought a wireless telephone from a business trip in the US (the possibility of talking on the phone in the privacy of my room!)
I have always been excited about the possibilities different technologies offer but never really that interested in exactly how they work.
Similarly, at school I always had an aptitude for languages, but instead of delving deep into their theory I wanted to use them as vehicles and tools to do something tangible. Thus, I ended up studying at Helsinki School of Economics, nowadays known as Aalto University.
I chose logistics as my major because it felt most pragmatic and practical. It also appealed to my common sense and my desire to do things “the smart way”. I chose information science as my minor simply because I felt like it could help in my doing something tangible – maybe my sweet memories about wireless phones and other childhood gadgets also played a role in this choice.
Kaisa Korri at EY x WiT Finland Breakfast Date event
Following my aspiration of doing something tangible and hands-on, I also applied for and started my career in the field of technology–enabled consultancy. Contrary to the popular business consulting-oriented jobs other logistics majors seemed to prefer, my first job was as an SAP consultant at Logisware (and then later, due to an acquisition, IBM). Back then, I felt like business consulting was a bit too theoretical and fluffy – now I know better.
My purpose hasn’t always been as clear as it is nowadays. Once I discovered what I truly wanted, I have been incredibly lucky to be able to fulfil my purpose also at work. I feel like my job makes a real positive difference in people around me, specifically clients but also increasingly my team members ever since managerial roles and leadership have entered the picture.
During my career, I have also been privileged to witness technology enabling proper business transformations. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like SAP might not be the sexiest emerging technologies in the world, but they are still very much technology with which you can make the world work better.
I mean, if a CFO can nowadays check, in real time, the temperature in her sauna while jogging or the contents of her fridge while grocery shopping, wouldn’t it be fair for her to be able to check (even close to real time) the situation of her company? That’s where modern ERPs can help.
“What I find exceptional, though, is that I have had men as my direct superiors for less than a third of my career spanning over 15 years.
I believe this has affected my career: it has been good to have women as role models and to feel safe discussing the difficulties of being a mom and having a successful career at the same time, knowing that your superior can genuinely relate to it. “
I have also been lucky to evolve into a mature professional in the presence of great and supportive leaders – both men and women – who have believed in me. What I find exceptional, though, is that I have had men as my direct superiors for less than a third of my career spanning over 15 years. I believe this has affected my career: it has been good to have women as role models and to feel safe discussing the difficulties of being a mom and having a successful career at the same time, knowing that your superior can genuinely relate to it.
My efforts during my career have been recognized since I am writing this blog post as an EY partner, a “big four” company position that has traditionally been the ultimate goal for young consultants. Times have changed and there is equal prestige in other career paths, but I am still very proud of myself for what I’ve achieved. Even if this is only the beginning of hard work, I wish to inspire young women in tech with my story and show them that it is possible to become a partner in a big four company as a woman with a background in technology consulting.
Kaisa Korri, Partner, Technology Consulting Lead, EY