Meet Customer Center Team Manager Waltteri Ahokas
Waltteri Ahokas, Customer Center Team Manager at Northmill Finland, has lots of experience from the daily work at our credit department in Finland. Earlier this year, he started working as Team Manager of the customer center. Now he shares his thoughts about the new role and team development with us.
Hi Waltteri, tell us something about yourself!
Originally, I come from a municipality called Tuusula, which is located near Helsinki, but now I live in Helsinki and work as Customer Center Team Manager at Northmill. My interest towards finance and the urge for self-development keep me curious about different kind of things. I have studied business administration and management at the university and feel very lucky to be able to pursue my interest towards financial services by working at Northmill.
How did you end up working at Northmill?
I started my career at Northmill as Credit Controller in October 2017. Before starting at Northmill, I worked in different types of places part-time and during summers. At the time I applied to Northmill, I was doing online studies about Business Administration and Management at The University of Northampton. It felt like a good idea to get a part-time job as a side for the bachelor studies. I am very interested in finance and after graduating from university I wanted to continue working at Northmill and got the chance to keep working full time.
Which kind of strengths does Northmill have, in your opinion?
Northmill is an agile and flexible organisation that uses technology to simplify everyone’s financial life. For me, that is a core factor of fintech. Financial services are something that I have been keen on working with from early on, and at Northmill I get the chance to do exactly that. Northmill’s perspective on building innovative financial services is very interesting and I am glad to be part of the team.
From the very beginning, I have felt that the atmosphere at the Finnish office is exceptionally warm and encouraging – I got this feeling already when I came to the job interview and it has only grown during the time I have worked at Northmill. The people I work with are driven, warm and kind, and my team’s absolute strength is the way we communicate with each other about everything.
"In order to help our customers the best possible way, we need to keep having a good flow in the team – meaning positive mindset, involvement and focus."
You recently started working as the Team Manager at our Customer Center in Finland. How do you feel about your new role?
I feel great! Adjusting to my new role has gone in a smooth way, thanks to all the support I have gotten from the team and managers at the Finnish office. Especially I think that the support I have received from Ville Kymäläinen, Country Manager Finland, and Tuomas Hirvonen, Business Controller, has been valuable. My background at our credit department provides me the advantage of being close to my team members and know what the work as Credit Controller is all about.
When I was applying to this position, there were some insecurities at my end since I was the youngest member in my team at the time and generally see myself as a reserved, and in some situations even a shy person. However, I have received support from different people inside the company and gotten the feeling that I am trusted to do a good job managing the team. I find this position extremely interesting and have gained tons of self-confidence since I started.
As a manager, what kind of things do you want to bring to your team?
In my opinion, one of the key tasks I have is to handle the communication between the management team and my own team, and to represent my team to the management. I want to support and inspire my team members and help them to succeed in their daily work with our customers. I also have lots of responsibility when it comes to recruiting and on-boarding our new team members and coordinating the daily work tasks inside the team. However, I am sharing the responsibility with my team members what comes to recruitment and on-boarding.
Above all, it is necessary that the internal communication inside the credit department works. If any problems occur in the way we communicate with each other, in the end it can be seen in the feedback we get from our customers. In order to help our customers the best possible way, we need to keep having a good flow in the team. With flow I mean positive mindset, involvement and focus on our processes. That is what I see as the key factor on our way to success in customer service.
What do you think, what kind of things are the strengths of your team?
The inspiring and warm atmosphere and mindset we share here at Northmill is definitely our greatest asset. The members of my team are all very different kinds of personalities, but we play well together and have a great team spirit. We have also managed to keep up with the good team spirit when we have welcomed new colleagues to the team. One of my most important responsibilities is to make sure that everyone in the team feels included, heard and seen. It is also crucial to keep developing the team dynamic and see it is an on-going process.
"One of my most important responsibilities is to make sure that everyone in the team feels included, heard and seen."
What expectations do you have regarding Northmill’s future? What about your own future?
What keeps me going and what I am interested in, is the future development that we will see in the financial sector. Northmill is creating modern financial services by using technology and I am really keen on being part of this journey. As a manager, I aim to go forward and develop my leadership skills. At the moment, it is tricky to predict what I will be doing in the future, but I know for sure that I want to keep working in the field of finance.
How do you spend your spare time? What kind of plans do you have for summer vacation?
I am into learning new things and keeping up with what is happening in the world which means that I tend to keep my ears and eyes open. The idea of always moving forward is meaningful for me and has an impact on my spare time activities. I read a lot and do sports, such as running, basketball with friends and football in a local team called AC Hyrylä, but I do spend plenty of time on the couch too. I also listen to music a lot and the preferred genre for me is definitely rap. What comes to summer plans, I am going to take it easy, travel and spend time with friends and family.
Thank you for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us! Would you like to say something more at the end of this interview?
Yes! I want to send Bamba regards to my team. This is our inside joke that I know my team truly appreciates.
Are you the next Northmillian? We are constantly searching for new talents to our functions in Sweden, Finland and Poland. Take a look at our career opportunities and apply already today!