Project Description

Mikko Ryömä career story

From a trainee to Development Director – Mikko’s impressive career growth has required courage

Who: Mikko Ryömä, Development Director, Global Accounting & Software Solutions

When I came to Staria in 2012 as a trainee, I didn’t know much about accounting and didn’t have any experience on the field. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, but my studies focused on leadership and communication, so I only learned the basics of accounting. My previous job before Staria was on sales, which was quite hectic, so when I decided to switch towards accounting, I imagined I’d be doing slow-paced work full of routines. Oh how wrong I was, but luckily in a positive way! What got me hooked was realizing how interesting the world of accounting is and how complex topics there is that needs to be solved. It’s a work for your brain and the feeling when you fix or solve something is amazing.

The decision to change career paid off

I joined Staria via training program held by Saranen. The program lasted for 6 months and in 2013, by the end of the training, Staria hired me as an accountant. Right from the beginning I’ve been given responsibilities. I had a role in a team that worked for some bigger clients, but I also had a client of my own as well. I got to do group consolidation for my customer at a quite early stage, so my learning curve was great as I had to learn how to do that myself - with the help of colleagues and my supervisor, of course.

In 2016 an opportunity to work as Finance Business Partner opened. I took the opportunity, but the role ended up being quite different from what was planned. After few weeks of working as Finance Business Partner a new opportunity emerged and I got to work as an interim Controller for a customer.

"It was an interesting path to work as a customer's Controller because I got to see what happens on customer's side of the table in terms of accounting services. Later on, this has helped me to understand how our services and processes effect our clients and what are their daily struggles."

I was Controller at the customer for 6 months and after that I transferred to our Global Accounting team since there was a need for a team lead that could develop service’s financial processes. I worked in Global Accounting for couple of years and learned a lot about global processes and other countries. In 2020 I started in my current role as Development Director and took responsibility of developing our processes and software solutions. My responsibilities also include the process of onboarding new clients and arranging payroll transfers in all the countries we provide services to (currently over 40). So, I still have a lot to learn!

Now that I’m also more involved in developing software that we use, I’m working on more technical side than ever before. It has been interesting switch from finance processes to learning more about systems.

"All in all, I have had quite a few different positions during my time at Staria. Something new has been happening all the time, and both me and the company have changed and developed a lot – who knows where we’ll be in couple of years! Luckily Staria has been there to support me since the very first days of my training program."

Growth is all about mindset

What has helped me with my personal growth? First of all, of course, great colleagues and supervisors that not only give but also ask for help. Giving help boosts your learning as you need to explain things on your own words and really think about the matter thoroughly. Interacting with others rather than trying to solve things on your own gives you also perspective. We have a lot of expertise in house and by leaning to each other we can overcome anything.

"Second thing is being open to new things. At Staria something new always comes up so jumping towards it even though you might not know much about the topic yet opens tremendous growth opportunities."

For example, when we open services to new countries, we open them based on our clients’ needs, so open mindset is crucial. Nowadays we have experts in countries that no one believed we'd have services in. It's important to remember that nobody knows everything and when you learn new things, you can use that knowledge on seeing obstacles as opportunities.

Mikko’s tips for career growth

I base my tips on Staria's values as I think they are valid for growing in your career.

Collaboration: Work together to learn new skills and share your own knowledge. I’ve been privileged to work with many people, they've given a lot of information and knowledge on many topics, and I’ve also gotten to share my knowledge. Teamwork gives broader perspective on topics, as an individual you can't see the whole big picture.

Courage: Be open to new things and you'll quickly find yourself with a new set of skills. Fail and recover, not everything goes perfectly but rely on others when that happens. Trust yourself, you have the ability to learn many things. I have been drifting from roles and worlds to another. Be courageous on what comes in front of you!

Commitment: Make a short term and long-term plans for your career, but don’t make them too strict as the world changes rapidly around you. Set some high-level goals, they help you to move you towards correct direction and when opportunities open, you are already on the right mindset.


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