ORGANIZING THE INTERNATIONAL WEEK:
Interviewing Fanni Niemi-Junkola and Anastasia Kozina
A happening just happens, right? Wrong. Most happenings, like our yearly International Week, take lots of organizing and coordinating beforehand and during the happening.
Last Friday 29.4.2016, during the complimentary dinner for all IWeek contributors, I chatted with Fanni Niemi-Junkola and Anastasia Kozina, who were the main organizers for this fabulous week full of interesting programme.
|Fanni Niemi-Junkola, Timo Kivikangas and Anastasia Kozina at the 4 Saisons |
restaurant in Tampere market hall (Kauppahalli Neljä Vuodenaikaa)
|At the Tampere Market Hall|
According to Anastasia, the hardest thing in making the IWeek work was making people to actually reply to emails. For Fanni, it was challenging to crystallize the focus point of the programme, in other words to decide the final content of the week.
|Asparagus at the 4 Saisons|
Working together was also challenging at times, as it often is when schedules are tight and tempers flare as stress levels rise, but mostly Fanni and Anastasia got along very well. Fanni said she likes to give direct and honest feedback, and she also gave Anastasia a lot of responsibility and freedom. Anastasia took the whole as a learning experience, and listened to Fanni's experiences. Fanni was happy to combine her visions with Anastasia´s experience of last years iWeek.
|Tommi Moilanen and Howell Istance & students at Thursday's sauna party|
The best thing Anastasia experienced with making the IWeek happen was to see how people - students, teachers, other staff members - were enjoying themselves in the events and workshops. Fanni agreed with this, and added that at some point you just had to trust that all would go okay in the end.
Moreover, Fanni emphasized that she enjoyed watching people from various disciplines coming together and co-creating things. Students from other universities came too, as well as professionals and top names of their discipline. Anastasia added that you never knew who would turn up - maybe a big music publisher would meet a talented young artist, for instance.
Unexpected problems came up all the time. For example, there was a student who had come from abroad with the guest lecturer and their group, who had a citrus allergy. She then accidentally ate an orange cookie (provided in the tutoring students' room) and got an allergic reaction. There was no allergy medicine in the TAMK teachers' room medicine cabinet, so the girl had to be taken to her hotel room, where she had her own allergy pills.
For Fanni, it was important to trust your people. There were points when she thought, "oh no, how did I not take this into account?" - but things still worked out in the end.
Thank you, Fanni and Anastasia, for making our International Week happen!
Text & images: Carita Forsgren 2016