Maria Kivistö, M.Sc. in engineering, studied bioinformation technology at the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering. The training focused on how to obtain measured information about the human body and how that information is processed into information and products that help with the challenges of the bio and health sector. So, it is no wonder that Maria now works at Sooma Ltd, which develops neuromodulation therapies.
“My path at Sooma has been multi-stage,” Maria says. She started at Sooma already during her studies as a summer worker. “I already had a strong knowledge of the health technology industry, since for the past two and a half years during my studies I was working at another company in the MRI product development team. In my studies, I was already a little familiar with the function of the brain and then my innate enthusiasm for the subject made me interested in Sooma.”
Steady growth of responsibilities
In the beginning, Maria made measurements, literature reviews and various models related to Sooma's product development. “As the summer turned towards the end, we agreed that I will do my master’s thesis for Sooma and that’s how I got to properly focus on brain activity,” Maria recalls. Immediately after graduating, Maria started working as a permanent employee at Sooma, in production and product development. From that time, Maria remembers how great it felt when, after a lot of preparatory work, chronic pain was added to the treatment method used by Sooma.
Over the years, Maria’s responsibilities have grown at a steady pace and she is now responsible for production and product development. Although there is really a lot of work at times - it is needed to increase production capacity rapidly as sales volumes increase - she has kept up the pace. She sees the increase in responsibilities as a sign of the employer’s confidence in her ability to do the job. “The recent feeling of success came when, in early 2020, I completed our production relocation project, solved the challenges of the availability of raw materials due to Covid-19 and, above all, introduced new employees to operations.”
Involved in pioneering work
Maria appreciates Sooma and the company's goal. “We operate in a really narrow sector, and we have done pioneering work in that. We have worked long-term to develop a new method of treatment. The goal is to have an effective treatment option that is easily available to patients. Sometimes our path is winding, but we do not take shortcuts that jeopardise the goal.”
Maria is motivated at work by a common goal, for which work is done as a team. “We always get to work with a brisk approach, helping others. It’s also great that we don't stick to old habits, but we are constantly renewing the ways of working. Because there are few players in this field, we don’t have a ready-made model of how things should be done, we create our own models. And if the model doesn’t work, it won’t be repeated, but always done depending on the situation so that it suits the team best.”