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AD & Communications Coordinator's blog
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March 13, 2024

AD & Communications Coordinator's blog


Mirka's blog

“Oh boy, does this person know what she’s getting into?”

Apparently, this was the first thought my future colleague had after interviewing me for the position of Art Director a year ago. Of course, for someone who hasn’t studied at the School of Business, there’s really no way to prepare oneself for what’s in store when working at KY. And, in case it wasn’t clear, that’s a compliment. No place I’ve worked at has been as flexible or fun, while still employing committed and ambitious people who do their best every day to live up to KY’s ambitious goals regarding student life.

When it comes to the work itself, a relevant cliché is that a modern graphic designer needs to be a Swiss Army knife: to know a little bit about a lot of things. This, I think, perfectly describes the AD role at KY. Each work day, you’re whatever you need to be: Art Director, sure, but also Illustrator, Editorial Designer, Identity Designer, Photographer, Photo Editor, Printer–Laminator, and General Visual Knowledge Bank.

Some of the previous ADs have studied design, but some have learned on the job. It’s definitely beneficial to have experience with illustration, layout, and photography, but even if you’re not proficient at all of these things, you can learn to be. As long as you have a strong visual eye, this is a great place to develop your design skills. Even for someone like me, who has two relevant degrees and years of work experience with graphic design, this job has offered an opportunity for experimentation and growth. A concrete example: I’d never illustrated anything for embroidery before, and now have a much better grasp of what that requires from a technical standpoint. Whatever your design strengths or interests may be, there are ways to fit those into your job description.

In my opinion, the most important qualities for an AD at KY are:

  • The capacity to plan and stick to project schedules, to supervise one’s own work, and to work on many projects in parallel
  • The ability to communicate clearly and work closely with others, yet to make decisions independently when necessary
  • The courage to face design challenges head-on even if they’re outside one’s comfort zone; to ask oneself “how can I learn to do this?”

The most challenging part about this job is that you’re fully in charge of KY’s visual output: there’s nobody there to hold your hand when you’d want it. But the most rewarding part is exactly the same. With nobody next to you telling you what to do, you’re free to challenge yourself however you see fit, and to try new things. You’re forced to learn to trust your instincts, which is one of the most valuable skills any professional—visual or otherwise—can have.

In addition to interesting design projects, KY also offers a jovial office atmosphere. None of my colleagues knew me from before, but as soon as they met me, they made sure I felt included and welcome. Each year, KY and its volunteers organize more events than any reasonable human could possibly attend, but you’ll always have company for the ones you do wish to go to. It really is a great place to work.So, to recap: No, I absolutely didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I’m very glad I got myself into it. And I have no doubt you will be too, should you apply and be chosen for the position. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have about the job, I’d love to answer them! :)
TG: @mirkalarjomaa

Saara's blog

There is no typical day while working at KY as a Communications Coordinator – workdays can consist of creative brainstorming ranging from finding trending memes on TikTok to more strategic communications meetings and planning as well as implementing the upcoming day-to-day activities in KY’s comms sector.

Great team spirit within the KY office and, naturally, the team spirit within our lovely comms sector makes the job so unique. We’ve had so much fun with our weekly “comms coffee” meetings and ideating different posts with the KY Board Comms responsible – one of my closest colleagues.

I see my job as a mix of fun and an opportunity to learn something – you get experience in day-to-day communications and learn about strategic communications. One of the best things about my job has been the freedom that comes with the responsibility. You feel that your ideas are valid and respected – and, especially in communications, you have room to explore new interests and ideas.

What makes communications so interesting is that it is inherently part of every sector – I, quite subjectively may I say, see it as the essence of all. You can have great ideas, projects and event concepts, but without communications, no one would know about them… ;)

I would say the most important quality for the next Communications Coordinator would be true passion for developing KY’s communications along with great visual eye. I happened to have previous experience in working with communications, and experience in creating content in this role comes in handy. Yet, tools, such as Canva, Illustrator and Photoshop, can always be learnt with the help of tutorials if one only has the passion for it.

In this role, you’ll also get to be the Vice Chair of Masters’ Committee (MC) – leading the committee alongside the board member responsible for master’s students. This type of committee work brings you amazing memories and a lovely tight-knit community!

Being a part of the KY office is a unique experience itself, with additionally the workplace’s social atmosphere being a lovely addition to the job. With the KY office, we’ve had all kinds of internal fun happenings such as cottage trips and apartment crawls that have given me some happy memories from my time here so far.

If you have any questions or thoughts, be it about this role, my own experiences or anything else you have in mind, feel free to message me – I’m always happy to answer your questions! <3
TG: @kycomms / @saarasavolainen

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