“It’s a very educational experience where you learn what real hard work is but can also enjoy a special kind of freedom. I got a lot of responsibility at the farm; I was driving some big machines considering my age! It was all so much fun and I was proud that someone would trust me with such big machines, which taught me that by doing well you earn trust and responsibility.”
Today, Marco lives in Copenhagen with his wife, Pernille, and their two-year-old son, August. However, the family is soon to become bigger. “August will become a big brother in June as we are expecting a baby girl,” explains Marco and the excitement is clear in his voice.
After finishing high school, Marco studied at Aarhus School of Business. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2011, followed by a master’s degree from the same school a few years later. When asked about his motivation and the path he took to becoming a finance expert, he says:
“I have always been curious about how things work. So, helping people finding solutions and solving complex problems is a great motivator for me. Of course, the human body is one of the most complex things there is, so I actually wanted to become a doctor. So, I went through high school planning to become a doctor, focusing on physics, chemistry, math and the whole deal necessary to prepare for medical school. But after high school I realized I wasn’t ready for another seven years of sitting on the bench.”
He adds that he was tired of theory and reading. Not being the type to sit still, he wanted to get some real-life work experience — and study something complex with multiple options. That’s why he enrolled in business school.
“FIB was the most popular masters at Aarhus Business School, but the focus of the program is divided so it’s 50% finance, 25% strategy and 25% marketing. It’s a broad education where I expected to learn a bit of everything and by doing so open many doors for the future,” he says, adding that the program lived up to his expectations and has proven useful in his role as a senior finance business partner for Milestone’s sales and marketing division.
But what does Marco actually do at work?
“It’s a bit funny, but when talking to people outside finance I have the impression that they think we sit on top of a big pile of cash and do nothing other than count and ensure all the numbers add up,” Marco answers with a laugh.
“My days are usually very theme-based. I listen to the needs of my colleagues in sales and marketing and try to tailor-make solutions that fit those needs. A tailor-made solution could, for example, be making some straightforward overviews together with an analysis supporting complex strategic decision-making or some other data-driven, objective insights to solve the issues the business is facing,” he explains and adds: “So, depending on the needs of each day, my schedule can change very quickly!”
But he feels his role is also flexible: “A part of the role is to invent my own role. I need to find out what it is that the business needs to know, so I depend a lot on relations and listening to the business to find opportunities.
“I joined Milestone right before the pandemic and everything suddenly went online, which naturally made it harder to pick up on stakeholders’ challenges. But I couldn’t just sit on my hands, so I started looking into where we could expand the business, using new metrics for decision-making that Milestone hadn’t used before.”
Marco explains how Milestone’s focus on not becoming too bureaucratic allowed him to do the analysis he thought was best for the company. He presented his findings to the executive management team, and his ideas became the basis for the Milestone’s current geo-expansion.
However, that has not been the case at Milestone.
“I can honestly say that I’ve only been happy with what I’ve seen at Milestone. There are no big surprises — maybe that’s the biggest surprise!”
When asked what he thinks is the reason for this positive experience he says: “During these tough times, I really appreciate that Milestone has introduced many good initiatives to keep us all safe and happy — there is a strong focus on making sure my colleagues and I are happy.”
“Milestone is a global company, so we work in different time zones, but we make it work. Sometimes you are very busy, but then you are also allowed to cool off during less busy periods. It’s of course a business environment but with time for family and a focus on personal balance. At Milestone we simply have inspiring leaders, great colleagues and a great culture!”