Here is an extremely short version of the story of my life and how I got into my career path… volume one, please enjoy.
I was born at 7:30 on a snowy Saturday morning on the 9th of February 1980 in the sourthenmost town of Finland, a small harbour town called Hanko about one and a half hours west of the capital of Helsinki. At birth I weighed over 4 kilograms and was called the “big guy” by the nurses at the maternity ward. I was raised by my mom Carita and dad Hans outside Hanko in the small village of Tvärminne.
As a kid I loved crafting and building things. Arts and drawing came natural for me. For a while I actually thought I’d become a carpenter because I really loved making things with my own hands. However, as a teenager I understood the importance of being able to use a computer. I didn’t have a PC but my best friends parents had one which I was “borrowing” quite frequently. Soon my dad bought me my first computer.
At school in 1994 I remember one of my teachers came in all excited and told us about this new thing that was making its way everywhere, into our school and even into our homes. I remember him drawing on the smart board these computers on a globe and drawing lines between them. Little did I know at the time how significant it would be for my life. He was telling us about the Internet.
At the same time a local Internet Service Provider, Surfnet, opened its doors on the opposite side of the street from our school. I went over there and started hanging around in their store and chatting frequently with one of the owners, Tage Malmén. I started experimenting with HTML and graphics at home and together with a good friend of mine Jonathan Nygård we made the first homepage as a school project for the Evangelic Lutheran parish in town.
I was also asked to start working on some website projects at Surfnet. I made a website for the neighbouring town of Karjaa and another website for Manner, the local factory specialising in castor products. Soon together with another great friend of mine Oskar Signell we were also making a new website for Surfnet. I designed the visuals and Oskar worked on the programming and development of the website.
After high school I had to choose what to continue my studies with. Many of my friends went to Turku, the old capital of Finland to study at universities there. I did apply to study telecommunications engineering there but as a second option I had also applied to Arcada in the capitol of Helsinki to study media. I decided that it is exactly the kind of school that I am looking for. So before going to the army I did the entrance exams at Arcada and passed. I remember making an “over the top” funny cat food commercial as one of the assignments and someone must have liked it because I got in.
During my one-year military service at the signals company at the local marines base of Dragsvik I saw an ad that the army headquarters were looking for conscripts to work as website administrators. I applied and surprisingly got an interview in Helsinki and soon I was transferred to the army headquarters where I was working with the army online services for 4 months managing the Finnish Defense Force’s website.
After completion of my army service, I started at Arcada and specialized in interactive medias and video production. During the last year of school I helped a class mate Emmanuel Sagne with this science fiction short film. The day before filming he actually gave up and wanted to cancel the entire thing so I took over his producer’s responsibilities and whatever problems the production team had faced before we quickly fixed and we got to make this funny 20 minute flic. The production values were maybe not that high. We often joke that we know now how Ed Wood felt like, but atleast we gained the experience and had a lot of fun.
I do believe in some kind of divine master plan, maybe a divine screenplay that we are acting out without knowing it? And this was an important part of the plot. I think I am where I am today because of helping my friend finish his film… Because it was the start of my career. Before graduating Emmanuel called me and told me, hey, by the way… I have this friend who is looking for people that are good at designing websites… I called this other person up and went to an interview but wasn’t hired because at the time they were actually looking for a developer. Soon however they called me back and that’s where I landed my job at the marketing department of a Helsinki based magazine company…
After that I have been working on all kinds of interesting projects and not only realizing my dreams but also the dreams of my employers and clients…