Manager for Latvia, Kristine Kolsar, has lived in Estonia for eight years. She was thrilled when she heard about the opportunity to work in Holm’s Tallinn office in her native tongue – Latvian.
“The idea of starting a new career in finance seemed challenging, but also really interesting,” she says. “The chance to work in Estonia but getting to speak Latvian every day with colleagues in Riga and our Latvian customers was too good to let any doubts I initially had stop me.”
Having now spent almost seven years at Holm, she is certain that it was the right decision. Kristine started her career with the company as a Debt Collection Specialist, but today she is the Country Manager for Latvia and her work consists of leading the Latvian team both within Latvia itself and in the Latvian department in Tallinn.
Be open to learning
When Kristine started her journey in Holm, she had to invest a lot of time and energy in getting to know the field and understanding our business processes.
“I’m proud that I managed to master such a complex new subject and that I’ve earned the trust of my colleagues,” she says. “I’ve gained valuable experience, grown professionally and made lots of new friends. The Holm family is truly supportive and has taught me that there’s no need to be afraid of what you don’t know or have no experience of. If you find joy in what you do, if you’re willing to try and are prepared to learn, anything’s possible.”
Kristine adds that she feels lucky to have such great colleagues who make her professional life both interesting and rewarding.
“My work family are helpful and sincere and share a number of qualities I consider vital in the perfect colleague,” she explains. “We all feel that the company we work for is like our own enterprise and we’re devoted to seeing it succeed.”
The joy and challenges of working abroad
Working in Estonia while being responsible for the entire Latvian team has its benefits but can also be quite challenging.
“Being surrounded by Holm’s international team means that I don’t feel any division between my work and the ‘group level’ – I see how our teamwork with Holm Bank Latvia has an impact on results and is equally valued and recognised across the organisation,” she says. “But just like all companies that had to adapt to remote work during the pandemic, I also wish I’d had more face-to-face interaction instead of digital meetings. I’m grateful that my work keeps me linked to my homeland, but it would be great to actually see the team in our Riga office more often.”
When asked about the type of person that would be a perfect fit for the Holm family, Kristine points out that a common characteristic among her colleagues is their great sense of purpose. “I truly believe that everyone at Holm is really devoted to our mission to offer personal and flexible financial services to our customers,” she says. “I’m proud to be able to say that there’s no one who comes in just to do their hours and get paid for the time they spend in the office. Everyone has a clear understanding of our goals and contributes in every way they can to delivering our mutual results.” Another common characteristic that Kristine has noted in both the Latvian and Estonian teams is their great sense of humour. “Working in finance is anything but dull,” she smiles, “but all the people around me make my working life even more fun!”
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