My path

I have always been a very ambitious person. As a child from entrepreneur family I have understood the value of money pretty early in my life as well as the way of work. My first job ever might have been at our family business where I did inventory as a school girl (best thing ever!!!) and helped out during Christmas time wrapping gifts. I always loved to watch my parents work. They were so talented handling everything, it seemed so wonderful to be a grown up and be able to work! I remember how I wished to be an adult and able to work instead of being a child who’s work was to go to school!


Work has become one of the biggest parts of my personality very early. I have always (officially since I was 15 years old, my first actual job was in a coffeeshop) worked and I have understood it’s importance. As a work oriented person I have always valued the job I was currently doing. Of course younger it was not about the work it self but more about the money and getting along. Since then the work has become more important.


Working during studies


I moved away from my parents house after I graduated from high school in 2002. It was always obvious to me that I want to move away early and take care of myself. I had worked during my studies in high school but after that I continued full time at a kiosk.
I loved to work at a kiosk. I loved Saturdays when it was The Lottery Day and when there was a jackpot, it was even more thrilling! The line was enormous but people were happy and the atmosphere was high and cheerful.
After graduation I applied to Helsinki University to study Finnish language and that time I thought I was going to be a teacher (thank god that didn’t happen!). I didn’t get in (lucky me!), but it was very close, I lost with only few points. This was of course terrible for a 19 year old, but quickly I thought it was for the best. I had learned early, that everything happens for a reason.


I took a year off and worked. During that year it became more clear that even though the Finnish language is the biggest interest of mine maybe the teaching wasn’t. Next year I applied to Tampere University to study journalism. I didn’t get in there either. At the time it wasn’t that big thing anymore – for some reason. Instead I got in to an institute (Seurakuntaopisto) in Järvenpää. It was a year long studies about communications and I got the chance to do an examination for university (Viestinnän appro) and this worked for me during that time perfectly. At the institute I got to learn basics from graphic design and learned how to use Indesign and Photoshop at some level. I use these programs weekly nowadays so it was very useful in longterm as well! During the studies I got an opportunity to work in a newspaper first as an intern but then as a temp, and later on also for summer full time. I worked in Keski-Uusimaa and local paper Viikkouutiset.


During the studies and work in the papers it became more and more clear, that my interests are not so much in journalism but more in communication. I applied to Laurea University of Applied Sciences and got in to study Business and Administration and my specialization was business communications. During my studies I worked in Hesburger and in supermarkets meat and fish-stands. In Laurea I also got to work as an intern there at the University in marketing and in administration. I got heavily involved with Student Union activities and became quickly part of the Union in roles of Chairman of the Board and later of the whole Union.


When I was about to graduate from Laurea I didn’t yet quite know what I wanted to do, to study more or what. I didn’t have any specific idea of what I wanted to be when I crew up. Then an opportunity opened up and I went to sister Student Union so to say, to Haaga-Helia Student Union Helga where I started as a General Secretary in August 2008. This job did teach me a lot about book keeping, accounting and handling companies (well association, but same same but different!) assets. I learned a great deal about supervision and for all of those skills I am still happy and grateful today!


My way to film industry


I have been involved in theatre since 1998. I have done some acting since then and theatre have always been a great love of mine; an art form that is very dear to me. Somewhere around 2009-2010 I begin to wonder would it be possible to combine my two passions: work and theatre. The idea became a goal and in 2010 I applied to Humak University of Applied Sciences to study Cultural Management and got in. I had left Student Union work earlier and went back to business world and I worked in a store that sold toners and other printing related products. It was very nice place for a nerd like me! It also made me realize how customer work is not what I want to do for a living. It was clear that it would be a part of any job I would do in my life in some form, but it was equally clear that it is not The Thing for me (even though I have to say I am pretty good at it!).


My studies went on pretty fast, because of my history I didn’t have to take all courses – for example book keeping or budgeting. I was determined becoming a theatre producer after graduation. I did my internship at my own home theatre Järvenpään teatteri. That production was very educational and mind opening in many ways. In autumn 2012 I saw this advert in our school intra: a production company was looking for an intern for a tv series. I applied, I had a meeting and – yes, you guessed it: I got it! I didn’t need the internship to finish my studies but as I had only thesis and 9 courses for the autumn time so I thought: what the hell! And, as my mother always says: the rest is history.
(Hey! I suddenly remember where I also worked back then: I went to present a venue for people to rent for parties and events! I was kind of ”door opening person” – if that is a word!)


I graduated from Humak in December 2012. I didn’t become a theatre producer. You know what I became. I haven’t considered theatre even for a second anymore. I always love to tell the story of my first day on set when I got a walkie talkie to my hand. The powerful feeling went through me and I knew I was where I wanted to be. This is what I wanna do.


The present


From every job, from every school or course I have learned something. I wouldn’t be here without those experiences. I always like to think how every step and every decision have brought me here and how I wouldn’t be here without all of these things. This is something I also value when I’m recruiting people; I give a huge weight and respect for both life experience as well as work experience and by that I mean any work experience! Because if something, I have learned that every job teaches us something and every event of our lives prepares us for future.


I am now in a very good place professionally. I have been fortunate and privileged and have been working on amazing productions, with professional people around me. I have learned from every supervisor and from every colleague and hopefully I have been giving something back to them as well. I like to consider myself as an open minded and ambitious person. I am always looking forward, seeking new things and areas of experience. I want to keep on educating myself, there is always so much to learn. Some things I won’t ever give up: 

  1. I always want to know everyone on my set by name
  2. I always want to have a walkie talkie (but someone else needs to be in charge of charging it!)
  3. I never wanna miss the first call time of a production

Someday Salmenoja Films could be a production company. What kind of productions? Who knows! Films, documents, series, shorts… what ever! As long as those three things listed there above come true, all is good!

Take care!

Julia

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