Life at Avery Dennison

Katarina Kelam, Solutions Engineer at, Zagreb, Croatia

Years with AD

What attracted you to your chosen work? 

The biggest thing that attracted me are the challenges that I face with every new client and project, and finding the different ways I can come to a solution for them. I was first drawn to engineering by noticing that you can be as creative as you’d like with something that can be so structured and logical, and I found myself liking such an approach to life.

What skills did you develop early that are still useful today?

The first thing I learned would be good communication skills. I was blessed to be raised in a family in which each problem would be discussed, and the way it made us feel would be articulated aloud. This has, in turn, helped me later on in life immensely. Another skill I have picked up during my career would be quick thinking (such as solving issues on the spot), and being creative in any aspect whenever possible. While being on the front line with customers, I’ve been put on the spot with questions a couple of times, and the ability to ideate a solution in my head and quickly summarize the main points to them is something I have been building on for quite some time.

How have you grown in your career at Avery Dennison?

Even though my time at Avery Dennison might be considered short, I have grown immensely from the start. I began my work at Avery Dennison as a Software Developer, helping develop the platform. During the course of time, I was given an opportunity to work more with our clients and to actively try and help solve some of the existing problems with the features that the platform offers. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, and now every day I encounter new challenges and opportunities to continue growing more!

The most enjoyable part of my job is that every new client represents a new challenge which I can tackle.

What's the biggest stretch opportunity you've taken on?

Transferring from a Software Developer role to a Solutions Engineer role was quite challenging for me personally as this was the first time I’ve been introduced to the organized chaos that is the sales process. It is both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity I’ve had so far.

What role has mentorship played in your career?

Without my mentors, I wouldn’t be where I am at this moment. And if I were to talk about mentors, I couldn’t go without mentioning my engineering mentor Renato Jovic, who was also the main reason I decided to join Avery Dennison - with his personable approach, and always being available for advice regarding personal and professional growth, he has helped me become both a better engineer and a better person. Besides Renato, my amazing current mentor is Lindsey Hermes, a person so driven and whose experience I always look up to, and try to become the best version of myself no matter the field I choose to be in.

Life at Avery Dennison

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?

I would say the best career decision I’ve made is definitely joining Avery Dennison. Not only because I enjoy the job I’m doing, with its challenges and opportunities, but also because I was given a choice to move across positions, and explore what career choice suits me the best, without the fear of failure.

As you think about the next steps in your career, what are the most important actions you plan to take?

My career was mostly technically focused up until this point, so I’d still like to explore my options in the position I’m currently at, to see what suits me the best. The most important action I can take is just to continue learning as much as I can, and see where my limit is.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

Being introduced to so many different ways in which people solve the same problems has helped me expand my knowledge and think outside the box.

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