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Why am I here? Julia Harmange

I believe I am where I am due to a fusion of my qualities, and my qualities have been formed throughout my life by my experiences. I have listed some of the most influential ones here in order to tell you why am I actually here. Hello! My name is Julia and this is my story.

I come from the country of life hacks

My story began in Russia, Moscow region, where I was raised by my mother and grandmother. Growing in the ’90’s in Russia, in time of restrictions, limited resources and uncertainty, taught me how to be emotionally resilient and creative. There is an opportunity in every crisis! This has been one of the most helpful skills in my life.

Discipline, persistence and taste of victory came with sport

I played volleyball for about 8 years when I was studying at school. It was not just a hobby, it was my passion, that taught me a lot about persistence and teamwork. My first trip abroad was to Finland. I came here as the captain of our team to Power Cup 2001, that was held in Tampere. I got rock-solid basis of discipline & persistence from playing volleyball.

I’ve been lucky to meet great and right people along the way

Once upon a time, when I was 16, I received a phone call from the founder of the Language Study Center, I ‘d graduated from, asking whether I was interested in taking entrance exams to JAMK University of Applied Sciences. Less than a year later I lived in Jyväskylä. I have plenty of stories like that! I would not be where I am now, if I haven’t encountered the great people I have in my life. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and that good brings more good.

I am not afraid of getting my hands “dirty” with work

“Looking for an under-aged university student, who does not speak a word in a local language” said no Finnish employer ever. That is why my first four years in Finland were quite a struggle. In order to be able to support myself and continue studying, I was ready to take almost any job. I was delivering newspapers, making pizzas, working as a waitress, cleaning hotel rooms. There was a moment when I had four active employment contracts simultaneously aside from the university.

What about now?

Why strategic & financial consulting services?

I always use this quote: “Errors become opportunities and limitations stimulate creativity.” That is, in fact, a direct quote from a strategy book by Cunningham & Harney, which I read when I was doing my MBA. One of my favourite teachers in Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences was Dr. Gerard L. Danford, who was teaching us strategy-related courses. His lectures really inspired me. I remember imagining strategy as clock mechanism that simultaneously triggers everything, that matters. 🙂 I guess, this is when the subconscious decision of working with strategy has been made.

What was the moment you knew you’d made the right decision to work here?

I applied for my current position, because I was genuinely interested in what the company was doing. When I started “screening” the company for financial history and image, I got a bit confused. There was no such information, since Aamu Partners was under a year old at that point. What really impressed me were the backgrounds of the founding group. It left me with no doubts, I had to participate in the recruitment process. Let’s see what happens, I thought.

On my second job interview I got to meet most of the founders of Aamu in one room – I loved the dynamics they had there! Less than an hour after the interview, Tuomas called me and said it was unanimously decided, they were willing to hire me. I thought that if those guys think I can do it, I really should be able to do it! 🙂 It felt great!

What was your best day at work?

We don’t have titles here – at this point of growth we actively keep our hand on the pulse of what’s going on around. Whenever a need comes up, we figure out who is the most equipped to deal with it. That is why at Aamu Partners I am responsible for everything that has to do with sales, a bit of marketing, a bit of sales-related consulting, a bit of business development. Those who know me will tell you, I am not much of a routine person. I have many awesome days at work, because every day here is different.

What’s something that happened that can only happen here?

Well, we do have an office plant that has a name. Her name is Laquisha. 🙂

What are you most proud of here?

I love the moments, when we look back into “how things were done a year ago” and notice how much everything has gone forward. We are a team of four on the operations side at the moment, that’s why when you notice that something works smoothly, you realize that it’s actually us who’ve made it happen. That makes me very proud.

What colleagues say about Julia?

  • “Julia is one of the most adventurous, open-minded and persistent people I have ever met in my life. Go-getter isn’t enough to describe her!”
  • “It is not only one, two or three of our clients who have complimented Julia on her understanding, persistence and positive attitude during and after the sales phase. I think that is the best feedback a sales wizard can receive. Besides, the same values perfectly apply on the company parties’ dance floor. 🙂 “
  • “Julia is a very courageous and positive person who will tackle any challenge with her incredible stamina demonstrated both in sales and dancing.”

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