From Film Industry to Oulu: Nai­da’s Adven­tu­re of New Begin­nings

Naida Valencia

In a world whe­re indi­vi­duals seek to expe­rience new begin­nings, Nai­da Valencia’s sto­ry moti­va­tes the power of step­ping out of one’s com­fort zone and welco­ming the unk­nown. Ori­gi­nal­ly moving from Seatt­le, Was­hing­ton, Nai­da’s jour­ney led her to Oulu, Fin­land, whe­re she found a new sen­se of belon­ging.

From the acting divi­sion at UCLA to the res­tau­rant industry and final­ly to the role as a Mar­ke­ting Mana­ger. Nai­da Valencia’s sto­ry beau­ti­ful­ly illustra­tes that a career jour­ney need not fol­low a linear path.

Ins­tead, it’s a col­lec­tion of expe­riences that deve­lops our skill set, broa­dens our pers­pec­ti­ve, and reminds us that success thri­ves in our pas­sions.

Nai­da’s con­nec­tion with Oulu was not just coinci­den­tal; it was a result of her per­sis­tent pur­suit of oppor­tu­ni­ties. With a strong background in the film industry and crea­ti­vi­ty, she found her­self wor­king for the film pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny in Oulu known as “Wha­te­vergroup” as a Mar­ke­ting Mana­ger. This oppor­tu­ni­ty didn’t just pro­vi­de her with a new job; it beca­me the rea­son for a new begin­ning.

Naida Valencia

Can you desc­ri­be your first impres­sions about Oulu?

“Never been in a place that nee­ded so litt­le atten­tion, the people and the cul­tu­re are real­ly fasci­na­ting to me because they refuse the spot­light. I have never seen someo­ne refuse the spot­light and I don’t know if it’s because I am in the film industry but I love the idea of being able to cap­tu­re people’s sto­ries. When I con­nect with someo­ne, I real­ly like to know who they are. The type of human seduc­ti­ve­ness nee­ded to get a Finn to open up, if it’s not alco­hol then it takes qui­te a lot of brain work because it takes them time. But once they do, it is abso­lu­te­ly precious.”

Having spent a year in Oulu, Nai­da reflects on the series of events that led her here. Struggling to find her place and sen­se of com­fort in the Uni­ted Sta­tes and facing obs­tacles in Ger­ma­ny due to Covid, Nai­da’s path ulti­ma­te­ly gui­ded her to Fin­land. It was here that she disco­ve­red a new world, both cul­tu­ral­ly and pro­fes­sio­nal­ly.

”I notice Oulu is teac­hing me and I didn’t expect that.”

Is the­re anyt­hing surpri­sing about living in Oulu?

“I think very few times in life you stop and say ‘I’m lear­ning’, other than at school. I am now in the obser­va­tion room: I notice Oulu is teac­hing me and I didn’t expect that.”

Naida Valencia

Other than wor­king, Nai­da enjo­ys dancing, music, and spen­ding time con­nec­ting with others. She spends her free time by socia­lizing, having drinks, and trying dif­fe­rent types of food and wine. Dancing and music are also big pas­sions for her. She’s still get­ting used to her new sur­roun­dings, taking time to obser­ve, and lear­ning about the Oulu cul­tu­re.

Nai­da’s sto­ry teac­hes us that true growth often ari­ses from step­ping into the unk­nown, that a place as see­mingly oppo­si­te as Oulu can hold a special oppor­tu­ni­ty, and that eve­ry cor­ner of the world has the poten­tial to beco­me a can­vas for new expe­riences and con­nec­tions.

Do you have any tips for someo­ne who has been thin­king about moving and wor­king in Oulu?

“Del­ve into the Oulu world, I did a lot of research befo­re I came here. I loo­ked at pic­tu­res and got into the mood of Oulu befo­re I came. The­re is no way you know exact­ly what it is befo­re you come but pre­tend it is a vaca­tion. Look up what’s cool to do the­re, look up what are some of the fes­ti­vals they have, what kind of music they lis­ten to. Get your­self into the cul­tu­ral mind­set of the world you’re going to and give it a shot!”

Text: Nada Abass

Naida Valencia