Tallinn University of Technology

Is success a coincidence or the result of continuous work? On the International Women's Day we asked this question from two successful women, our alumni. 

Kai Realo ja Krista Mulenok
Kai Realo and Krista Mulenok

Kai Realo, the CEO of Ragn-Sells Estonia: “Sometimes in life, you should have luck; sometimes, it is helpful to know someone or hear something by chance, which I think is perfectly fine. However, if we talk about success, we should probably start with what can be taken as success.  I have been quite a public figure in recent years, but for me, success lies in the fact that I have been able to do what I like, and I have done it very well for years. And it is both from the business aspect - companies are successful and have a good image - and from the aspect of managing people - people want to come to work and are proud of their company. This success, my definition of success, has undoubtedly come with consistent work. Over time, I have acquired business management skills and experience, and I have also had to upgrade myself through training sessions. Regarding managing people, all kinds of personality tests and internal company surveys have been helpful, providing good input for self-development. And with myself, I constantly work on improving my leadership qualities and skills. We live amid constant changes, and it is unthinkable that one can successfully continue as a leader without thinking through these changes for oneself and taking something from them for development. So - good opportunities have also come by chance but making them work in my favour has always depended on my contribution. 

Krista Mulenok, the Secretary General Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association: “I appreciate and am grateful for what I have been able to experience in life. I believe you cannot rely on chance, but they can significantly contribute to living a more conscious life like in my case. Death threats, surviving air disturbances and evacuations - these incidents and experiences have made me think and contribute to national defence and develop the field of civil defence in Estonia. I work a lot and with passion, I am demanding, both with myself and with others. I celebrate successes with dignity and seize opportunities and do not postpone them. I have learned to listen to my heart. I feel that I am successful and happy when I and my loved ones are healthy, I can do the most interesting work in the world in a peaceful environment, and I have hopes and dreams. Experiences and memories are those that can never be burned or stolen from you."