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  • Writer's pictureIWF Finland

Member Story of Nina Hyvärinen

1. What is your educational background?

My background is in social sciences and international relations. There were times when I wondered if I should have chosen something more concrete like law or business. Now looking back, it has been interesting to see that it all made sense. International relations has also played a big part in my career.

I have basically three main pillars or parts in my career path: international, EU-affairs and business. In my current job, all those parts have come nicely together. When I decided to join a company I was wondering if I had to give up international politics as part of my job. But luckily not in cybersecurity where global politics play a big part.

I am also back in EU-affairs after having had a break from Brussels. As the main part of my career has been in the public sector, it has been interesting to work in the private sector. It is always useful to change the perspective and look at things from a different angle.

2. What is the most important trait of a leader?

I am really interested in leadership. That is also one of the reasons why I joined IWF Finland. I think one of the most important traits is to lead by example. Leaders also need to understand that we are all different and we value different things.

For me trust is one of my key values. It is important that I am trusted and that I can trust others to do their part. To the list I would also add Thinking Time. We have too little time to just sit and think. We should schedule thinking time, or as Spanx founder Sara Blakely is doing, take thinking trips - like driving with a car or bus without a destination, just to think.

3. What inspires you at work?

I am inspired by the opportunity to learn something new every day. I was new to cyber security when I joined F-Secure. It has been amazing to work with some of the world’s best cyber security experts and learn from them. Again, learning opportunities are one of the things I love about IWF as well.

4. How do you take care of your well-being in every-day life?

Doing all I love and am interested in requires energy. Hence, I try to take good care of myself, and at the same time enjoy the ride. For me, it means healthy food (most of the time), exercise (that I enjoy), rest and sleep (focus area at the moment), and seeing friends (fun and laughter). There is no silver bullet for well-being.

5. Could you recommend a book to our members? Why do you recommend this book specifically?

One that I was impressed by was Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow on how we make decisions. This book changed the way I think about decision-making and the factors that impact our choices. We are not always as rational as we think we are.


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