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Five Questions with Anu Niemonen
We are delighted to announce Anu Niemonen as the winner of the 2017 ‘The One Club Scholarship’ for our global Executive MBA program. Passion and a determiniation to defy the status quo are two vital qualities of creative leadership, and Anu displayed these in abundance in her winning application. Anu Niemonen is one of the most awarded creatives in Finland. Throughout her career she has had an extremely ‘media-agnostic’ take on the art of marketing communication. Her passion is to create integrated campaigns with an innovative use of media that stretches the conventional setup. As well as creating award-winning work, Anu has also been a frequent jury member in major award shows around the world. Get to know a little more about our latest Berlin School candidate below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I work in the best Finnish agency where I’ve been for the last 15 years, and I am one of the partners. I’m passionate in my work and I have always believed in walking the extra mile for the things I love. And now, when I’m ready for the next big step in my career, the Berlin School is a natural move. My life has two important things: this industry and my two adult girls. And I do walk a lot.
Can you tell us your earliest inspiring moment of witnessing great adverting or creativity?
I was around twelve when a Finnish gas station that was known for its great service quality launched automatic stations. They had posters beside the machines saying: “We are still the friendliest gas station in the country. Please smile while you fuel up.” The copywriter later became my mentor and creative director.
What trait do you feel is the mark of a great creative leader?
I guess great creative leaders should be a nice mix of coach, great intuition and endless positivity combined with stubbornness and, especially, a big heart.
As technology, business structures, media consumption, and brand offerings are changing to become more fluid and responsive, how do you feel the role of creative leaders is evolving in 2017?
The need to differentiate, be relevant for both brand and consumers, and to know more and more about consumer behavior and different technological possibilities etc. is evolving at speed. And at the same time, the core of the work hasn’t changed. It’s all about engaging and entertaining people with stories.
What attracted you to the Executive MBA program and how do you hope it will affect your career?
Awesome news! A lot of the marketing communication in my country mainly sucks. So, every little really helps and takes us to the next level. I want to change the mindset of certain stubborn Finns who still doesn’t trust in marketing, who think that imitating and copying others is our work, and that cheaper price is an awesome idea. As we all know, it takes time to develop and learn. I can’t wait for the school to speed up my personal learning curve.
This is going to be a fantastic ride.