Tiina Mac Laverty is an art historian whose working career is largely focused on the development of digital services for the sectors of culture, media and finance. Mac Laverty finds that her university studies in Jyväskylä gave her courage and enabled her to learn new things and integrate her expertise with a broad-minded perspective. These skills have made her diverse work career possible.

Mac Laverty comes originally from Tampere and she dreamed of being an architect. She applied for studies in this field, but was not admitted on her first attempt. Therefore, she turned her focus to art history studies at the University of Jyväskylä, since art has always played an important role in her life.

Psychology became her most important minor: “In psychology, I’m especially interested in organisational and occupational psychology,” says Mac Laverty. Another important minor subject domain was cultural management. Mac Laverty succeeded well in her studies and received a study grant to Barcelona, where she attended a comparative seminar on Baltic and Mediterranean cultures.

“Through my cultural management studies I made many friends with whom I still keep in touch.”

In between her studies, Mac Laverty worked at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere. Because she was acting as maternity leave substitute, the post only lasted for a couple of years, but it helped her finance her university studies and gave her significant experience in exhibition activities as well as in being a guide and making videos about artists for exhibitions. In 1992, the Sara Hildén Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Paris signed an agreement to arrange an Alberto Giacometti exhibition in Tampere. Mac Laverty is very proud of the exhibition and values the international work experience she gained from it.

Mac Laverty graduated from JYU during Finland’s economic recession in the 1990s. She had two alternatives: either register as unemployed or pursue further studies. She chose the latter, and started a one-year training programme for hypermedia designers at the Institute for Extension Studies of the University of Tampere. This programme included designing and making various multimedia installations and webpages. It opened doors to Helsinki’s new contemporary art museum, Kiasma, and Mac Laverty was hired as an online media designer from among more than 100 applicants. She was responsible for the external and internal online media solutions of Kiasma. Kiasma provided a unique opportunity to participate in a societally significant project and in launching its “living-room concept”.

“This meant cutting-edge technology of those days in the museum field: info, touch and plasma screens, intra-implementation and Kiasma’s online visibility. The work was truly interesting and even received international attention.”

Next, thirsty for new challenges, Mac Laverty moved on to work as a project manager first in various development projects of digital services at TietoEnator and after that to Sanoma Ltd to develop their project and portfolio management methodology. Mac Laverty’s customers have included OKO Bank Group, the Bank of Finland, Elisa, UPM-Kymmene and Exhibition Centre WeeGee.

Although Mac Laverty’s work career is filled with interesting projects and development schemes, she has been unemployed at times as well. “I was persistent in looking for a job,” she explains. “In job interviews I often made it into the top two, but was not chosen in the end.” After ending up second in one of these instances, Mac Laverty was offered another job from the same employer.

“You should always believe in new chances.”

Mac Laverty currently works as a development manager at the Population Register Centre, which will become the new Digital and Population Data Services Agency at the beginning of 2020, when the centre, magistrates, and the counselling and development unit for magistrates will be merged. The agency’s mission is to promote digitalisation in society, safeguard access to information, and provide services for customers’ life events. Mac Laverty’s tasks include the implementation of a large reform of development activities and service management, where team-level agility will be scaled to portfolio-level steering of content work. When describing this holistically agile model, Mac Laverty becomes visibly excited. It is clear that she has found the core of her own expertise.

“By combining my service design, business, process and project expertise, I can promote service development that genuinely brings added value to business, customers and employees”.

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