Jenni Järvelä graduated from JYU with organisational communication and public relations as her major. She has gained extensive professional experience in the field of communication. Her career was never a carefully planned one but she has always longed for something new to learn and new challenges. Now she feels she has the job of her dreams. Järvelä started as the CEO of Economy and Youth (TAT) in January 2020.
Jyväskylä was not familiar to Järvelä before her university studies. The University of Jyväskylä interested her because it was then the only university in Finland to offer a study programme in speech communication alongside organisational communication and public relations. Jenni decided to apply for both of these after the upper secondary school, and she was also admitted to both on her first try. Jenni chose organisational communication and PR as her major and studied political science and economic history as her minors.
Jenni has fond memories of her study years in Jyväskylä, especially because of the students’ good team spirit. However, she spent only two years as a full-time student. Working life started to entice the young student at an early phase and along with this her pace of studies slowed down. Now in hindsight Jenni finds that it would have been worthwhile to complete the studies on pace with the other students in her programme:
“It would have been more fun and much quicker. Travelling to exams during the following years was rather exhausting, and it took me finally nine and a half years to complete the first degree. Not to speak of the fact that the unfinished studies were always bothering me somewhere in the background.”
Järvelä’s career has followed a steep upward trajectory. She has worked as the editor-in-chief in the newspaper Kymen Sanomat, and in Etelä-Suomen Sanomat as a managing editor, news editor and reporter. She has also worked as a communications officer for the Academy of Finland. As a young news editor, she got good lessons in management.
The field of communications has undergone great changes during Järvelä’s career. The biggest of these relate to digitalisation and multi-channelling. These phenomena do not concern the media only, of course, but have become an integral part of the world of work in general. The volume of existing information has increased exponentially. Jenni finds that her studies have equipped her well for responding to this challenge:
“In view of my work, the most important skill I learned during my study years is related to figuring out larger entities, finding and selecting relevant information as well evaluating its quality. In my opinion, my university education provided good competencies for this.”
In her job as the editor-in-chief of a newspaper, Järvelä closely followed the societal debate. She switched to the role of communications manager of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) specifically because of the societal significance of this job. “The activities of EK integrate business life interests with societal policymaking. It was important to me,” Järvelä says. She served in that position for four years.
At the beginning of this year, Jenni started as the CEO of Economy and Youth (TAT). TAT seeks to improve young people’s economic, working life and entrepreneurial skills. “An important task of TAT is to give young people the skills they need in working life, but also to tell them about a future full of opportunities,” Jenni says.
Järvelä is a staunch advocate of continuous learning. In TAT’s annual “When school ends” surveys, young people also view continuous learning as a normal condition. More than 70 percent of the respondents from the upper secondary level report that they are going to keep developing their competences throughout their careers. This makes Järvelä happy.
“Continuous learning is not an alternative; for me it is self-evident. A chance to learn something new has always been the most important motivational factor for myself a
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