With extensive experience operating in international communications, media and nonprofits, I am a doer with a hands-on mentality. I have a track record of achievements in digital communications, content and project management.
Experience, education, personality
Writing is my passion. I research, write and edit. I strongly identify with my profession and my skills. More than 30 years of my working life I spent in text crafting—in different forms and formats, genres and languages, most often in English as well as in Russian and Latvian. My other side is management. In my portfolio of professional experience, I have been managing projects, building own business and a personal branding platform, website upgrade and relaunch, building new products and procedures, streamlining the production process, designing and implementing training programmes.
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In December 2019, I finished my second MBA study programme at Quadriga University in Berlin. The course that began in June 2018 had a special focus on public affairs and strategic communications. Besides the intense studies at the university, I committed my time to build a business platform as a freelance communications consultant.
The first MBA, earned in 2006 at Riga Business School of Riga Technical University, I completed with a thesis that addressed marketing communications of an international bank. Always fascinated by the fabrics and mechanisms of societal development, in the mid-1990s, I used a chance to complete a non-degree course in political science at Copenhagen University. This happened soon after I graduated from St. Petersburg State University in Russia with a diploma of a teacher and translator of English and Nordic languages.
MBA in Public Affairs
I took on my second MBA in the hunt for new ideas, inspiration and opportunities for my professional growth. The study programme at the Quadriga University focused on strategic and political communication, public affairs and as part organisations’ ecosystems, building relationships with diverse stakeholder groups. The new knowledge builds further on the experience and skills in communications I have been developing over many years. This was an effective kickstart to a new chapter of my career.
Here are some areas of research I did as part of the education programme that build on my previous experience and complement it a great deal:
- A strategic communications action plan for resolving a crisis.
- An outline of a digital public affairs strategy for an international organisation.
- An analysis of symmetric communications in an organisation’s practices.
- A content analysis of hashtag bearing messages.
- Performance management in public relations.
- Artificial Intelligence in the management of information and knowledge.
Since public affairs are closely related to political decision-making, legislation and regulations, and interaction between stakeholders in a policy cycle, much attention in the course was given to examining the decision-making mechanism in the EU institutions.
Of the 20 years of professional experience in communications and journalism, thirteen, 2005–2018, were spent in an in-house communications team of the Nordic Investment Bank, an international financial institution headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Supporting the organisation’s leadership in delivering external communication was an essential part of my job. I facilitated networking with journalists, prepared interviews, and case scenarios.
Content development strategies
As a generalist communications professional, I was designing and implementing content strategies across platforms to boost the organisation’s visibility and public awareness about it: press releases, news items, featured articles and interviews. I was in charge of digital channels and social media activities, the content production value chain from ideation to publishing and promotion. This included the creation and management of the content of the website and newsletter, the coordination of content assignment and networking with external contributors. Before moving to Finland, I worked as a journalist generated content enough to fill eighteen pages of a bi-weekly English-language business publication covering economic and political news from Latvia.
Management of digital communications channels
In the areas of managing and developing digital channels, I designed and oversaw the upgrade and automation of many back-end functions to save an editor’s time necessary for posting an item online. Front-end upgrades and facelifts were also frequently implemented, including two major renewals of the website, the most recent one in 2018.
Project management, financial and contract management
Leading, coordinating and mentoring teams
The supervision and coordination of task teams composed of both staff members and representatives of external service providers were frequently part of my day while managing communications projects at NIB. Content management, too, included the coordination of writing assignments and mentoring. The mentoring part most often came into play with a new colleague joining the team and seeking support in practical matters, such as content production, social media accounts, and web publishing. At an earlier stage of my career, I gained experience of managing a production team at a media monitoring agency, when my primary objective was to implement a change and improve the work environment and the quality of the end-product. Leading teams was integral to the civil society training programmes I was managing in a role of a consultant and project manager at an NGO support centre and, later, as co-founder of a trainers association.
The pursuit of diversity in professional life has led me to climb steep learning curves in book publishing and graphic design in recent years. My book publishing imprint Dayreads offers a comprehensive service package from editing and production to listing on KDP and building the author’s newsletter. Dayreads has produced and published both commercial fiction titles and giveaway books, advertised and promoted books on competitive markets worldwide, and attracted thousands of subscribers to its newsletters.
My geographical expertise covers the Baltic and Nordic countries, as well as the former USSR. I have lived in five countries, Latvia, Russia, Denmark, Finland and Germany, and use every opportunity to visit and explore new places, no matter how close or far away. I attended universities in all of these five countries and worked in three. I speak four languages and have intermediate knowledge of two more. Being open-minded and always eager to learn, I find it fascinating to immerse in an international cultural environment, discover the diversity and take in, as a gift, new ways of thinking of experiences and interpreting them.
I believe that self-awareness not only helps us discover our own strengths and deficiencies, but it also opens our eyes on the diversity of human personalities. The diversity is an important lesson to learn, and difference in people can only be accepted and respected. With that said, I will surely do my very best to let you see my strength as I perceive them:
- a doer with a hands-on mentality: creative and reliable service provider
- a confident, purpose-oriented self-starter with strong skills in self-motivation, and time and priority management
- a supportive team member, facilitator and mentor
- a good planner and passionate system designer
I take pride in my stamina and persistence. I am driven by the purpose of creating and adding value and the opportunity to support others and contribute to their success.