Up close and personal with Helga Torrezan: DPDK’s Head of Strategy
2021 was a busy year at DPDK, and we welcomed a lot of new talents. One of them is Helga Torrezan, our new Head of Strategy who joined us in September. Through the hustle and bustle, I got a chance to have a chat with her to get to know her better.
Before diving into the conversation, let me introduce Helga briefly. She’s originally from Brazil, and has worked across different parts of the world before moving to the Netherlands. Helga is a brand strategy expert and has over 13 years of experience across various industries. Staples, Swiss Re, and most recently Logex were some of the brands lucky to have her in their team. Read on to learn what it’s like to be a strategist and what inspires Helga’s awesome work.
You started last September, I guess saying congrats is a bit too late. I’m curious though, what led you to DPDK?
I was drawn to DPDK because of the portfolio of projects and clients. During the conversations with the team, I was easily convinced I wanted to be part of DPDK. They’re a group of talented professionals who I’m happy to call my colleagues now. People value each other and I love the company culture. Besides the team and clients, the opportunity to build the Strategy department from the ground up was also a big motivation.
Have you always wanted to work in strategy?
In a way, yes. I always enjoyed combining the analytical and creative thinking aspects of strategy. But recognizing strategy as a career choice didn’t happen on day 1, it was a process and matured gradually. And now here we are :)
And what part of strategy do you like best?
What I find the most fascinating part of strategy is the transformation of a complex branding or business scenario into a crystal clear plan that brings new ideas and creative expressions to life. Creative thinking and connecting the dots is what I enjoy a lot.
On the flip side, what do you find the most challenging aspect?
More often than not, we work with tight deadlines and managing the demands of each project sometimes gets challenging. It’s not always easy to manage resources and stress levels, especially when you’re working with multiple departments and teams. That’s why it’s so important to enjoy the work and have fun. Luckily at DPDK we have that plenty. We work hard, but also know how to have fun and celebrate.
Planning a strategic project requires a lot of time, effort, and coordination. How do you manage to stay on top of all your responsibilities?
It sounds simple but to-do lists are lifesavers. I like to use planning tools like Trello and Asana. Crossing off tasks from them also helps me reduce the mental load. It’s important to have clear priorities and a good structure to keep track of what needs to be done.
If you had to define your job in one word, what would it be?
My role as a strategist is to make sure our clients achieve their goals. If I had to pick one word to describe the essence of my job, I’d pick “achieve”.
Can you tell me about a project you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of?
Over the years I worked on multiple projects for different brands from various industries. Each project you work on has its own unique challenges. What I’m most proud of is supporting brands with those challenges and helping them find solutions that are tailored to their wants and needs. I just joined DPDK, so I don’t really have a project I’m most proud of yet. There are some exciting projects happening as we speak. I suggest you come back to me with that question in a few weeks’ time!
What’s exciting you about the digital industry right now?
The wide range of possibilities the digital industry offers is really intriguing. Some brands are at the forefront of the industry, leading the change and setting trends. I’m always curious to see what their next steps will be. Then on the other hand, you have the more traditional brands that are just starting their digital transformation which is a remarkable process and fun to follow. There’s never a dull moment. There’s so much value we can create for brands, customers, and society.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
I love reading and visiting new places. This way I’m always learning something new and getting fresh perspectives. But my lightbulb-moments usually happen during quiet moments when I’m not forcing myself too much, like when I’m out for a run.
Last but not least, what do you enjoy most when you’re not working?
If I’m to name one thing, it’s to spend time with my family and play with my daughter. Exploring the world through her eyes is refreshing. But I also like some me-time, exercising, and socializing with friends. It’s all about that balance.