Siiri Sinko & Krista Karppinen - The New Campus Correspondents of HC Helsinki

The new year is upon us and so are the changes at our lovely Her Campus Helsinki. We are glad to welcome our new Campus Correspondents (CCs), Siiri Sinko and Krista Karppinen, on board. We met up for a chat to get to know them better and here is what they shared with us.  

Hi! Tell us about yourself and your studies?

Siiri: I have been studying Political History in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Helsinki University for some time now, and the name of my candidate’s program has recently switched to that of Societal Change. I would say my studies include a wide variety of social topics, not only history. I take my schoolwork seriously, but whenever there is time, I immerse myself in drawing, theater, listening and playing music. My interests include history, fine arts, food culture and different national symbols such as national flags and their applications - which means that I also enjoy traveling (even though I kind of hate airplanes).

Krista: Hello! My name is Krista Karppinen. I started my studies at Helsinki University in 2016. In upper secondary school, I was very interested in religion, especially monasteries. That was why I ended up applying to the Faculty of Theology and got in. I have been enjoying my studies ever since.

I am really interested in humans and their beliefs. Religion is such a complex and intimate part of human life. Even though religious behavior has declined in Europe, it is still present but just changed its shape and appearance. I want to keep learning and discovering new thoughts and ways of thinking about life and the unknown, the spiritual world.

Are you excited to be new CCs and how did your journey with HCH start?

Siiri: My journey with HC Helsinki started more than a year ago while I was searching for good opportunities to improve my English and writing skills. For me, the great thing about HCH is that you can basically write about any of your interests in a supportive atmosphere! I am excited but also a bit nervous about the upcoming semester. Obviously, we are still learning and there are many mistakes to be made, but I truly hope that I will learn a lot and have a great experience with our team!

                                                               Image credit: Elisa Aarnio 

Krista: I first got to know HC when I went to uni campus. The HC team members were handing out discount flyers to their bakery sale and I got one in my hands. I got interested in the team and started to follow them on Instagram. That was before I graduated from upper secondary school. When I got in the uni, I messaged the team and have been enjoying writing ever since. I think HC is a great platform to learn to write and discover your interests.

Your articles cover different topics, how do you choose them and are they somehow related to your hobbies or studies?

Siiri: I think I quite rarely write about something we have actually discussed in class, but I get a lot of inspiration from my accumulated knowledge of history. Last spring, I really enjoyed writing about the influential historical women. Those kinds of articles take a lot of effort and some research too, so I also write about my other interests, such as music and (vegan) food. There are a lot of things around oneself to draw inspiration from, I think that most people have more stories to tell than they actually realize.

Krista: I have been writing about various topics, but the subject close to my heart is self-help and self-love. I always get inspired by the people I meet, books, music and experiences. I practise meditation and journaling and keep getting ideas from those as well.

                                                                Image credit: Krista Karppinen

We know you both went for an exchange last semester. How was the experience and do you think it will be handy while running HCH?

Siiri: My interest in different cultures and languages also led me to spend an exchange period in Kyoto, Japan. The experience has been excellent, one definitely learns a lot by adapting oneself into a different culture and environment. I have had such a good time that returning to Finland feels almost sad! It should be mentioned, though, that Japan is not a country to come to and simply relax – everyone studies a lot and often that is also expected from the exchange students. I have already written a couple of articles about studying abroad in general, but from now on I might be interested in writing a couple of sneak peeks into the peculiarities of Japanese culture or how I have experienced them. By studying abroad, one also gets to hone one’s language skills and gains more insight and courage, which will certainly come in handy in any type of commitments.

Krista: I got to spend the most eventful and life-changing five months in Taiwan. The country and culture, people are very welcoming and kind, even though they may appear as shy first. Experiencing a totally different environment (earthquakes and palm trees here and there), culture (mix of Chinese craziness and overall helpfulness and kindness) and climate (summery weather all year long as well as heavy unexpected rain) was both challenging and rewarding. Taiwan has a very special place in my heart and I am sure I will go back there many times. I really encourage students to go for an exchange. I think even five months, even if it is a short time, it is still enough to have valuable experience and get you introduced to the culture and society there.

What are your expectations regarding HC this semester?

Siiri: I am not expecting this to be easy, but I think I have relatively lots of time to dedicate for the cause, so I am expecting us to pull through with some great, joint effort. I hope we will be able to recruit some new members and keep up the good work and quality of the articles!

Krista: I am super duper excited to have this opportunity to be one of the CCs. I hope to build a team that feels more like friends gathering together and working towards the best content than simply writing. HCH has been a small but sweet team of talented women and I want to keep continuing that path, but I hope we get even more people interested in our content. I am committed to learn and keep evolving to make the best quality articles, teamwork and environment in HCH.

On that note, we wholeheartedly wish you this year to be a great one!