Our impression regarding the activity of a clerk is strictly related with bureaucracy and public relations with citizens, but nowadays public institutions are organised in the same way private companies are and sometimes they do business together. It is no longer a surprise that a clerk may also travel with business related tasks, have meetings and reply to a multitude of e-mails.
Our member Alise Barvika, Head Representative of Investment and Development Agency of Latvia in Finland, is an embodiment of modern clerk. As the job description requires, Alise deals with the business environment 95% of her time and only for the rest 5% she is a clerk, representing the Latvian state in any type of partnership.
The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia is a public institution under the Latvian Economic Ministry. The main objective of the Agency is to promote business development by facilitating more foreign investment. As Alise stated, their main goal is to help Latvian producers to export more; but bringing foreign investments in the country are welcomed. Back in time, the Agency was one of the biggest administrator of EU Funds, but nowadays, the Agency receives EU money only for projects related with their main objective. The representative department is a small part of the entire organisation, as there is a logistics side of the institution with 200 employees established in Riga. The secret behind their success stories is synergies between public and private organisations, and maintenance of equal relationships between both parties.
Looking at Alise’s professional profile, becoming Head Representative of the Agency in Finland came as a step forward to her development. She started her career in the Italian Embassy in Riga where she had a chance to work in a highly strict, organized and formal environment. That period taught her how to better organize herself and what failure represents. Another step in Alise’s career was being a professional interpreter for the European Parliament. It happened when Latvia joined for EU, when there was an actual need for interpreters.
The most important lesson EU administration gives to anyone that works in the system is to invest in your skills all the time. The job at the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia matched with Alise’s personality. “My job now is my dream job. When I saw the job advertisement, I thought this is just for me”, she says. Alise has been working for the Agency since 2007 and led projects in Southern Europe. When she received a proposal to open headquarters in Finland at the beginning of 2015, she was thrilled as she envisaged great partnerships and projects from the beginning.
Alise’s educational background is very diverse. She did her bachelor’s in Cultural Management and her master’s in Business Administration – two different cultural studies with common point – understanding culture and developing professional relationships. During her studies she had the opportunity to learn about the European context, EU institutions and policies. Switching from Cultural Management towards Business Administration was a step that she always knew she would take. If Cultural Management was a choice of passion and learning, Business Administration was more of choice related with career and professional development.
Alise’s education along with her work experience offered her insights on the Latvian, regional and European contexts which lead to her better understanding of people and cross-cultural relationships. Although she is a professional who makes things happen, she understands the wheels of the system and her important role in it. Alise is an ambassador for her country whoever she meets or whenever she does business.
Alise’s collaboration with HUB13 started when she organised Latvian Days in Finland during January-February this year. One of the events on Latvian literature was held in the HUB 13 event space. To her big surprise, a lot of business people attended the event. Due to the location and the vibrant and active business environment, Alise took into consideration in establishing her office here. “HUB 13 team is defined by openness, efficiency, positivism, and collaborative spirit”, she says. HUB 13 is like an octopus oriented towards new projects and growth.
We are lucky to have Alise as our member as she proved us the importance of the public-private partnership in creating and developing business and we wish her good luck in her professional activity!