Interview with Tina Tharaldsen

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Interview with Tina Tharaldsen

During the last 19 years I have been working as a senior PR and marketing communication advisor in three different agencies, one of which I help establish.

I’m 46 years old, born and raised in Oslo, but lived a year in Nice, two years in Perth (AUS) and a year in London. Single, no children or pets, and moved to Sofiemyr last year, which conveniently is just a 15-20 min drive from NFM HQ in Ski.

I have a bachelor’s in communication and PR from Høgskolen i Hedmark at Rena, which is the coldest place I have ever lived. To defrost I continued with two years at Edith Cowen University in Perth, Australia, specialising in marketing, journalism and strategic communications.

During the last 19 years I have been working as a senior PR and marketing communication advisor in three different agencies, one of which I help establish.

Why NFM?

Unlike most of the staff at NFM, I do not have a military background. When the recruiter called me about the position at NFM, I honestly have to say that I had never heard about the company. Evidently, I have never been in our target group either. However, I have a friend who works in the Norwegian defence, so I asked him if he had heard about NFM. He answered my question with a new question: “Have you heard about Gucci”? That I can relate to!

But seriously, I started researching NFM and was impressed with what I uncovered. Not only is this a Norwegian corporation with a fascinating history and impressive growth into international markets. It is also a corporation striving to be a world industry leader within protection solutions for soldiers and law enforcement personnel on the modern battlefield. Developing the full spectrum of protection to those who protect us. This was really appealing to me, and something I would very much like to be a part of.

What skills can you bring to your new role?

My background is initially within PR and communication, but after working at Iteo for 12 years I have also developed a unique competence across PR, communication and marketing which I believe will be useful in my new role. My agency background also allows me to see things from the outside making sure that the activities we initiate has a clear purpose, gets across the key messages and always supports the overall goals.

Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced and how you handled it.

The biggest challenge in my life so far was to survive cancer. In 2008 I was diagnosed with acute leukaemia, just as I was starting a new job as global project manager in San Francisco. I was 33 years old, had no symptoms and it came as a shock to the young immortal career hunter that I was.

Instead of checking into a boutique hotel in San Francisco I checked into a hospital and was told that left untreated I had less than three months to live. A chemo treatment was immediately initiated with a 50/50 chance for it to work. It did not.

Exactly a year after the first diagnosis I was told that cancer had returned and that I had two options; pain-relieving treatment until I died or a very complicated and risky stem cell transplantation.

13 years ago, on 29th of August 2009, I received my second chance to live. Thanks to an incredibly generous person I do not know, who donated the stem cells that saved my life. The biggest gift I will ever receive.

I believe in positive thinking and that it influences your body – if you give up in your mind, your body will follow. So, I stayed positive.

What is your greatest achievement?

Definitively establishing Iteo in 2011 with Andreas Thue and Brit Ingvild Holmem. Building up a company from scratch is hard work, but also the most rewarding when it pays off. The process of going from 3 to 30 employees has been the greatest learning experience I have had. Being a completely unknown agency one day and winning Agency of the year five consecutive years. This is the greatest achievement in my career. So far.

Building up a company from scratch is hard work, but also the most rewarding when it pays off. The process of going from 3 to 30 employees has been the greatest learning experience I have had.

Tina Tharaldsen, NFM Group

FUN FACTS

Advice you would give to a younger you?

I would probably do the exact same things again. We learn from everything we do. Even when it is a less fortunate decision. However, I have no regrets!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Up until last year, I had a beautiful horse who occupied most of my spare time. I have been riding since I was five years old, but having a horse is a lifestyle and a full-time commitment. Therefore, I have decided that there will not be a new horse, as I would rather use my spare time doing all the other things I love, such as working out, ice baths all year round (hopefully – this is a new challenge!), sailing, hiking in the mountains, paddling, snowboarding, gardening, renovating the house, hanging with friends, organising dinner parties and being social. Most importantly, since I love travelling and exploring new places, cultures and food, I look forward to planning new adventures.



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