On our 10th Anniversary, we wrote an employee spotlight interview of our first and sweetest hired employee – Helena Lodenius
A lot has changed since MediSapiens was established in 2009 – from the size and the location of our offices to the style of work. Throughout the life of MediSapiens we’ve managed to keep a marvellous team of employees, and our company’s culture is the driving force behind all our work. With this in mind and it being our 10th year anniversary we decided to interview our very first employee to get her take on how our company has evolved over time. It’s been 10 years now and we’re glad that she is still with us.
Let’s hear thoughts on this by Helena herself.
MediSapiens is celebrating its 10th anniversary, what thoughts and emotions does it bring to your mind?
Wow! Ten years! What a ride it has been. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it. Seeing the company grow has been the most amazing experience, and I have also grown and evolved with the company. I have had the privilege to work with so many wonderful colleagues and customers during the last 10 years. That is the reason why I am still here.
When did you join, how did you feel when you got the interview call and joining the startup company?
I was still finishing my Master’s Thesis in genetics at the University of Helsinki when I saw a job ad on the student organization’s mailing list, that a company called MediSapiens was looking for a data curator. For some reason I immediately felt that this would be something for me. I had not heard about the company before and looked it up online. There was not that much information available back then, but I was still very excited.
I had received a job offer from another company at the same time, but I had already decided that if I would get an offer from MediSapiens, I would definitely accept it. Of course it also felt a bit intimidating as it was a startup company, but I just felt that this is something I wanted to be a part of.
What was your first project in the company?
Apart from finding furniture to the new office? My first project was curating more data to IST Online, which is the world’s largest expression database and the project from which MediSapiens took its first steps. I was super excited and found it all very interesting. I was working with the current COO of MediSapiens Kalle Ojala, who introduced me to the world of annotation. Back then, MediSapiens was a startup so we didn’t have many employees; we were only 3-4 people who used to do almost everything.
As the first employee at MediSapiens, you have seen the development of the company. How has the company changed in the past decade?
I feel very lucky that I have had the chance to see the company grow from only a few employees to over 30.
When a company is small, you basically know everything that is going on, every project the company is working on and so on. When a company grows, more structures are needed. Now we have several teams, and everybody also has their own specific tasks and responsibilities. In the beginning, almost everyone wore more than one hat when it came to job functions. In other words, we were all involved in a variety of assignments, and had our hands in for example administration and marketing in addition to our own assigned tasks.
Today there are a lot of new challenges and projects, but the only thing that has not changed is our goal to create innovative solutions to improve health.
What is the most interesting part of your work?
No two days are ever the same. There are always new projects, and new customers keep on coming. I feel so lucky that I got the opportunity to see the company grow and have learned so much and keep learning every day. I really enjoy my work. It has given me so many wonderful opportunities.
Is the healthcare industry different now than when you started 10 years ago?
The healthcare industry is evolving all the time as the technology advances. For example nowadays there are so many health related apps, which allow us to monitor different aspects of our health, and we get more and more data all the time. Now there is a need for tools that can store and analyze this huge amount of data.
Nowadays also more and more doctors and other healthcare professionals are actually starting to use this data in order to get new insights about their patients. We get smarter diagnoses and treatments, as well as faster research and development.
In the past decade, which has been your favorite project?
I would have to say Accurate, our data curation solution, since that is after all the result of the work from the last decade curating data manually. But I have genuinely enjoyed all projects that I have been a part of!
What do you like the most about working at MediSapiens?
The fantastic people I get to work with every day, and the fact that still after 10 years, I keep learning new things every day. I am always excited to come to work. I truly value the people and different personalities that make up the office. We try to support each other not only professionally, but personally as well.
We have several different types of projects, both in-house and customer projects, leading to a lot of variety and interesting tasks. Solving different challenges in the industry keeps the work interesting.
Do you have some valuable lessons learned that you could share?
Having a strong team spirit and a good atmosphere at work is so important. We are always helping and supporting each other. When you enjoy your work and feel comfortable and satisfied, you will perform better and ultimately it helps with thriving in business.
What are your most memorable moments from your time here?
I have happy memories of every time we have delivered a solution to a satisfied customer and successfully finished a project. I also have a lot of great memories from all the fun activities we have had throughout the years, such as karting, movie nights, beer tastings, dance classes and board game nights to name a few.
How would you describe our company culture?
We have a very enthusiastic and dedicated team. It is easy and effortless to discuss even difficult matters in our working environment, and the company encourages open communication. We also laugh a lot, genuinely enjoy each other’s company and we arrange plenty of fun activities outside working hours. Not only are we colleagues, but we are also friends.
Pooja Kumari, Head of Digital Marketing & Software Quality