A product specialist. A plant lover. And a bilingual traveler with a beating heart for a home she never lived in. Meet Nathalie Pace in an interview about working at Northmill, how to eat the best pasta and the mix of two cultures from different parts of the world.
If you take a walk from Stockholm to Sicily, it will take a little over 500 hours to reach the charming part of Italy where our product specialist Nathalie Pace has her roots. Partly because you’ll get kind of tired, but also due to the pandemic, you might prefer to join us when asking here about that place rather than walking there.
- My father is from Sicily, I have a big family and an important part of my life there, even though I have never lived there. The culture is special to me.
Let’s say we are hungry. What do we eat there?
- Pasta alla Norma is my absolute favorite. Typical for Italian food, it is simple, yet the taste is lovely. It contains the Italian cheese ricotta, red tomatoes and aubergines. Together with fresh pasta, it’s just amazing.
"Working at Northmill means being able to create modern unique financial services."
Nathalie Pace has been working at Northmill for three years. As a product specialist in one of the Product Teams, PFM (Personal Financial Management), she basically provides users the tools to be in control of their personal finances by evening out highs and lows of monthly cash flows.
- Working at Northmill means being able to create modern unique financial services. We do that by working in autonomous product teams, utilizing new technology and data to support customer centric initiatives. Being able to contribute to this development motivates me.
How are you keeping the balance between creating something new and still creating something that the customer recognizes?
- New does not necessarily mean the customer will not recognize it. I think recognition is based on a feeling that something is known, controllable and secure. We don't compromise on these keystones, but on top of it, we add new values. This allows us to develop creative products that bring value, but do not compromise on the customers’ needs.
Currently, Nathalie’s team consists of her as a product specialist, a product manager and a fullstack developer. The team is one of the reasons that she enjoys working at Northmill.
- I like the people, the teams we create and the way we work together. We put high standards on what we produce but still have fun along the way. The teamspirit is great and we value the expertise of every single person working a team.
So if you could describe Northmill in three words…?
- A second family. Creative. High-performing.
"I’m a bit more Italian in Sweden and a bit more Swede in Italy."
Speaking of high-performing, the pandemic has kind of forced Nathalie to explore different parts of herself since she didn’t have the possibility and pleasure to travel.
- I have realized that I like to grow plants and spend time on handicrafts. Last summer I had tomato plants on my balcony, they gave me amazing tomatoes. I also enjoy building things, such as the IKEA-drawer I hacked to hide my workstation when working from home during the pandemic. It's totally hidden now except for when I choose to open the drawer, pull out the shelf with my keyboard and start using the screen. It turned out great!
Let’s say that you could travel to any place in the world without bringing your camera…
- I would go to Sicily. It has such a special place in my heart. You will have so much to see and make memories that you can’t even capture on camera as you meet the people, eat the food and enjoy the beautiful environment.
When you are in Sweden - do you feel more Italian or more Swede?
- Here, people around me see me as more of an Italian, but when I’m in Italy, they tell me that I am the Swede in the group. I’m a bit in between - a bit more Italian here and a bit more Swede there.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
- The mixture is always good. I can bring different parts of my personality in different situations and I think that’s positive.
"At Northmill, there are many people from different cultures and parts of the world."
This summer, Nathalie will graduate with a master degree in Computer and Systems Sciences from Stockholm University, along with being an important piece of the Northmill-puzzle. And as a person speaking Swedish, Italian and English, she believes that a company can thrive thanks to diversity.
- At Northmill, there are many people from different cultures and parts of the world. I don’t know how many nationalities we have here, but I have learned so much about the world just by sitting in the kitchen and speaking with my colleagues. It’s not a homogeneous group of people.
Does this sort of stimulate the creativity at Northmill?
- Definitely. We bring ideas from our personal lives, backgrounds and experiences. It is important to merge different people to ensure that we create diverse products, since the customer is not a homogeneous person. This is particularly valuable if we aim to grow internationally, which we do.
It might be far from Stockholm to Sicily, but nothing unites two parts of the world more than a person being able to capture them, balance them - and share them. There is no need to walk more than 500 hours. Nathalie Pace can teach us instead, before rounding up with some quick answers to quick questions.
Pizza or pasta?
Catch me if you can.
As I am a student, I unfortunately don’t have much spare time to spend on reading books. But a really interesting report that enlightened me recently was the ”Banking on Climate Change - Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020”.
A movie or a book?
Coffee or tea?
The forest or the beach?
Messi or Ronaldo?
Al Pacino or Robert De Niro?
Favorite team in sports?
Italy on an international level, Catania as a club.
Would you rather look in the future or change the past?
Change the past. Humanity has made some really messy mistakes when it comes to the environment. By changing them, we would be in a better place now. Also, looking into the future is a sad concept. That means I have nothing to look forward to, nothing that I am able to affect with my actions. Now I feel that I can change what is to come. If I could look into the future, I would just sit here and wait for it to happen. So - I would rather change the past and know that the present would be a bit better than what it is today.