Our associate Erika Kostiainen brings a unique combination of graphic design, biosciences, and marketing skills to the MSC team. She has been a colorful addition to the team since December 2019. Erika has lots of energy and is always up to different activities, from a board game night to bungy jumping. She introduced the ‘daily challenge’, one-minute workout challenges during the workday to keep everyone awake and active – something we look forward to continuing once we get back to the regular office routines!
My name is Erika Kostiainen, and I joined the MSC team in December 2019 as a communication intern while I was doing the first year of my master’s studies at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. In March 2020, I joined the team full-time and moved to Gothenburg, and I must admit the west coast has stolen my heart. I’m originally from Finland, so moving to another Nordic country wasn’t really a big culture shock for me. However, it never occurred to me that we have jellyfish in the Nordics, as we don’t see those in Helsinki!
I’ve always been passionate about arts and science, and it was a hard decision between these two when choosing what to study after secondary school. The first time around arts won and I started studies in graphic design and moved away from home already at age 16. My journey in the life science field actually started in New Zealand with a bachelor’s double degree in nutrition and genetics at Massey University after a gap year of au pairing. I didn’t finish that degree, however, as I wanted to pursue biomedicine to learn more about disease mechanisms and focus on the areas of biology and chemistry that are relevant to healthcare. So, I moved back to Finland where I started and graduated with a bachelor’s in biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland.
”I’m fortunate that I get to combine and develop my unique mix of skills every day at work and that there is room for more than just hard facts in the world of science.”
I enjoyed the science studies and thought the occasional lab work was fun, but I didn’t feel that being a researcher was something I’d like to do after graduation. So, when I heard that combining business and life sciences was a possibility through the Bioentrepreneurship master’s program at Karolinska Institutet, I realized I had found the path I wanted to follow.
I started working in marketing at a fast-growing Finnish biotech startup in Helsinki already during the second year of my bachelor’s degree, during which I learned a lot and what I really enjoyed, and decided to seek out a similar role here at MSC. I’m fortunate that I get to combine and develop my unique mix of skills every day at work and that there is room for more than just hard facts in the world of science. I’m passionate about building bridges between life science and business by helping biopharmaceutical growth companies create more visually and verbally effective investor communications.
It’s now been a year since I started at MSC and I’m glad I chose to join this team. During this time, I’ve found myself working on everything from branding guidelines, financial reports, our own marketing initiatives, and even drawn science-related artwork for our office walls. I find it inspiring to work with such a variety of clients and learn more about the life science field every day; and at the same time, being part of impacting society.
Associate at MSC