My ice cream castle in the sky

by Malin Wallenius

Let me be clear, I believe ice cream castles in the sky exist. It’s not whether ice cream castles will melt or vanish, it’s how and why they even exist. Though obviously impossible, it’s my own belief that makes them both possible and real.

A restarted career with a surprising head start

My education was retail, my expertise was people and I learned something new from my everyday-interactions with both consumers and colleagues. There is really nothing that gives me more satisfaction than human interaction; to study people’s way of being and to learn pivotal communication to connect with every type of individual. The essential goal is to find the core need and to see every person for who they really are.

I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.

Bill

I begun working within retail at the early age of 14, without any knowledge in the industry. Every customer walking through the door was a new challenge with unique needs and expectations. Some people would call it service, but I like to think of  it as intuition. It’s the innate ability to read a person. To give them an overall pleasant experience requires sensitivity, determination and a humble mindset. I eventually begun studying media and communication. And I soon realized that my past experience provided me with a clear advantage when it comes to basic communication skills. My years in the service industry had obviously given me a great deal of experience when it comes to understanding your counterpart. To build relationships and trust, to identify both desires and solutions. Things you can teach in classes but only master after years of practice.  The best lessons learned were all from times when I was thrown into a situation and only had myself to rely on.

People that have communication as a gift and a quest

It’s a striking situation working with people that have both talent and training for communication at an even higher level than I do. It’s inspiring, stimulating and makes me want to learn even more. To understand their way of communicating, to challenge myself to be the best project manager I can be, to develop a team with a shared agenda and to build bridges between creativity and productivity, is just a glance into the everyday run of things.

To manage a team as a united force is the most rewarding experience, but to keep moving forward and succeeding in communication is the ultimate goal. I’ve learned to spot possibilities, and the fact that no one will do your work for you. I’ve also learned that people within all industries will have expectations on you that can either push you forward or hold you back. But it’s up to you to decide which way you want to go.

A team is never stronger than its weakest link; success is when everybody in the team helps each other to evolve and grow, to see the individual and recognize that friction and contrasts lead to greatness.

So the bottom line of this is, selling overpriced t-shirts and socks was my starting point. It gave me the experience to be a part of  River, and my ice cream castle is as grand as a cathedral.

Malin Wallenius
Account Executive
malin.wallenius@river.se