Portland Profile: Vilma Nurmela

Portland Profile: Vilma Nurmela

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career so far?

I’ve been told that you often know more than you think you do so it’s important to share ideas. It’s easy to think that someone else knows better but the best ideas can come from anyone, regardless of seniority or experience. Also, ultimately everything is based on relationships so being understanding of others, sharing positive feedback and treating everyone with respect will take you a long way.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

The best thing about the job is getting to devise genuinely impactful campaigns based on the insights we derive through research, rather than doing research for the sake of doing it. I also love how no day is the same – I get to work with experts across the business and learn about countless interesting, topical (and at times random) issues on daily basis.

What has been your favourite experience at Portland to date?

For me, it has to be the various shared experiences with the team, including the likes of the long-awaited return of in-person focus groups that has allowed us to meet people in various towns across the country, or social events like escape rooms that have brought out everyone’s silly side.

What advice would you give someone entering this field of work?

Do get out of your comfort zone and get exposure to a mixture of things outside of your day-to-day role – it’s great to build a varied skillset before (potentially) finding your niche. Being thrown into the deep end can be daunting but it helps build skills like resilience and adaptability which will come in handy later in this line of work. Also, ask questions and proactively seek feedback as that will help you pick things up quickly!

What do you do to switch off from work?

I always prioritise making time for close friends, whether it’s us eating at new London restaurants, testing different natural wines or going on a day trip to the seaside. I find that a walk along the beautiful coastline helps to unwind and put things into perspective!

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