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Hartwall Career Story: Aapeli Helkkula, Junior Brand Manager

After finishing my bachelor’s degree majoring in Business and Administration at Aalto University Mikkeli campus, I explored the B2B environment for a bit, but always felt a stronger attraction towards consumer marketing. That attraction then became my goal when completing my studies at Aalto M.Sc. program in marketing. Eventually, Hartwall felt like the right fit due to its large selection of excellent brands that are developed, tested and managed right here in Finland. For me, it’s important that I can truly stand behind the products I’m representing. I have been working at Hartwall for a year now and I find my work very diverse with limitless opportunities for self-actualization.

During the year, I haven’t had any identical workdays. Whether I’m executing a Novelle mocktail bar for Flow Festival or developing new product concepts, this job excites me in a new way every day. I get to push different projects forward, have meetings with our affiliates and compose brand new ideas together with our team. Though Hartwall is a big company, we get to determine many things independently instead of receiving ready layouts from the headquarters. One of the best things at Hartwall is that you can develop your expertise widely and not just in one division – for example, it is possible to make a transfer between different departments within the company.

From January 2018 I will take on new responsibilities as Junior Brand Manager for beer brands Heineken and Sol, which is super exciting. In marketing we base our decisions into research and data. My master’s studies helped me to improve my understanding towards data collection methods and analyzing the information that I need in my everyday job. Also, after having worked in smaller startups and B2B companies, I had gained experience and understanding in many fields of expertise and different roles. The working environment at Hartwall is diligent with not much idle time so I have to be able to manage many projects simultaneously and co-operate with several people both inside and outside the organization.

Thus, excellent communication skills and being able to be systematic are essential at my job. The best thing you can do is to find something you enjoy and invest in it. By focusing on your strengths, building your own USP (unique selling point) and showing that you’re willing to develop your skillset, you will stand out and land a job you genuinely like. After my last interview at Hartwall, I sent the interviewers a presentation introducing the concept of a new brand extension I had come up with. Going the extra mile might pay off, it sure guaranteed me my job.

Originally published in the Career Catalogue of KY – Aalto University Business Students Association: https://issuu.com/ky_1911/docs/career_catalogue_2017_final_web_edi