Her Campus at Helsinki proudly presents its new Campus Correspondents, Aino Ahoniemi and Mari Isomäki, who will be taking over as Editor in Chief and President, respectively. In addition to having both been involved with their subject organisations at the University of Helsinki, Aino, an English major, and Mari, a Global Politics major, also share a passion for societal issues and human rights. With experiences in contributing to editorial content as well as being active members of our social media and publicity team, read on to find out why this power duo is perfect for taking HC Helsinki to new heights, and fall in love with their personalities!
What do you do on your free time?
Aino: I spend way too much time on social media, but I also like to cook, read books, and spend quality time with my friends.
Mari: I like to keep myself busy during the semester and my free time is often mixed with school or non-school related activities. When I have the time, though, I love to sleep in, go for a stroll or sit in a cozy café. On weekends, nothing is better than having a big and slow breakfast with a cup of cappuccino in my hand and a newspaper under my nose. I’m addicted to ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ so whenever a new episode appears on YouTube, I have to watch it! I also read the news a lot and try to stay informed about what’s going on around the world.
What do you *wish* you could do?
Aino: I really wish I had the time and money to travel more. Living out of a suitcase, exploring new places and meeting new people is the best thing there is. And I’m not saying university has taught me nothing, but I’ve probably learned more on my travels than I ever could in a classroom.
Mari: I really wish I had the time to read more books! I have a long list of books I would like to read right now but I struggle to find the time to do it. If I had more time, I would definitely read more and exercise more as well.
What are some of the things that move you?
Aino: I famously cry at cute TV commercials and animal videos, so I think it’s safe to say it doesn’t take a lot to move me. All kinds of human rights, animal rights and general tree-hugging activities are really close to my heart.
Mari: Seeing injustices around me really makes me angry and it makes me want to do something, even though oftentimes I don’t necessarily know what it could be. I would love to make a difference in the world somehow and fight for a better place for all of us.
Tell us about a skill few people know you have.
Aino: I can type on my touchscreen phone without looking at the keyboard at all, which is such a millennial skill to have, but it’s very useful!
Mari: I’m not sure there is one that people wouldn’t already know about… I speak some Portuguese, though, so I’m going to go with that.
Who do you look up to for motivation and inspiration?
Aino: My friends are the kindest, smartest and most hardworking people ever and I’m always inspired by them and all the amazing things they are doing. I can’t wait to see which one of them becomes President one day.
Mari: People who do something selfless and who don’t make a massive deal out of it. Also, people who juggle a great deal of things but still remain positive and energetic. I wish I could be more like that! I know a few people who always see the silver lining in any situation and that’s an amazing skill to have. So, in short, positive and generous people!
What’s your role going to be in HC Helsinki and what do you think are its challenges?
Aino: I’m going to be our new Editor in Chief, which is really exciting! Our previous editors in chief have set the bar quite high in terms of publishing really interesting and engaging articles so working with our writing team as well as they have done is definitely going to be a challenge, but it’s something that I also look forward to. General time-keeping and making sure our publishing schedule runs smoothly will also be my responsibility, and with everyone busy with coursework and personal things it will probably take some serious planning skills. But even if it’s going to be a pretty busy year, I can’t wait for all the exciting things it’s going to bring!
Mari: I’m going to be the President of our chapter and I’m super excited about that! This is my first time in a leadership position, so I think making sure that everyone does their job and managing the whole thing will probably be a challenge for me. I’m looking forward to learning more and collaborating with people and I hope to get better at it along the way.
What are some of the strengths of our chapter?
Aino: Our biggest strength is definitely our smart, talented team of writers, photographers and social media managers who are creating such high-quality, diverse content and just being overall great people. That’s something to be very proud of. We’re also, at least for the moment, the only chapter of Her Campus in all of the Nordic countries and I think our Nordic-ness adds a very unique quality to what we do.
Mari: The people who form the chapter. I think all of our team members are doing excellent work and the quality of the articles we publish is very high. Our writers work on interesting topics and aren’t afraid to think outside the box when searching for new things to write about!
What do you hope to achieve in the next year, both personally and with HC Helsinki?
Aino: I’m hoping to finish my BA degree next year and figure out what I want to do after it. Right now there are so many things I’d love to pursue, but I’m still looking for The One to stand out from the rest, I guess. But I’ll start with my BA thesis!
With HC Helsinki, I’m hoping to help our chapter grow and gain even more visibility on campus. I also feel it’s time for us to become an official student organisation under HYY (University of Helsinki’s Student Union), as that would help us reach a wider audience and make the practical side of organising events and doing all kinds of cool things so much easier. On top of that, I’d love to continue in our previous CCs’ footsteps in making HC Helsinki a fun, useful and empowering experience for everyone involved in it.
Mari: Our chapter is quite new, but the foundations that have been laid by previous CCs and team members are strong so it’s great to be able to build on those. I hope to be able to continue the good work and contribute to the chapter as best I can! Together with Aino we aim to recruit more enthusiastic writers to our team and also increase our visibility on campus. Hopefully by the end of next year more people here will know about us and read our articles.
Personally, I hope to do well in my studies and above all learn more. As there will probably be quite a lot of work with HC, I also hope to be able manage my own time so that I can stay on top of things and energetic throughout the year.
Finally, your top 3 pizza toppings.
Aino: Olives, sundried tomatoes and pineapple. I’m also looking forward to trying the much-hyped pulled oats as a pizza topping, I’ve heard it’s great.
Mari: This is the hardest question! I’m going to go with mozzarella, spinach and tomato. Although if you ask me again tomorrow I might pick something else!
All photos copyright of Maija Huitu