My “exchange year” making KY look great

It’s impossible to describe an average day of KY’s Art Director because there is no such thing. There isn’t even an average week. For me that’s one of the best things about this job. I work from one project to another (but usually there are several of them going on at the same time) and that makes the days and weeks variable.

During my time at KY I have worked on three issues of Kylteri magazine, Career Catalogue 2018 -publication, several event visualizations, KY’s official print materials, redesigned a whole new layout for the Kylteri magazine, took official photos of people for different purposes, photographed for Kylteri magazine and been part of many other projects. I have also had the chance to teach studio photography, Photoshop and Illustrator to KY’s volunteers. Graphic design, layout and photography skills are necessary in Art Director’s work, but also the ability to do illustration, understanding of journalism, the grammar and correct spelling of the Finnish language are much needed. Some projects take weeks of work while some smaller tasks are done in a few minutes.

Even though AD’s work is very independent, most of the projects require planning, development and other kinds of cooperation with other people at our office. The most important co-workers for AD are the people in KY’s communication sector and the editor-in-chief of Kylteri magazine.

Before starting working as KY’s Art Director I didn’t have any background at KY or Aalto University but during these months KY and Otaniemi have both become familiar to me. I’ve learned a lot about KY as an organization, its history and the community. After work hours I’ve experienced kylteri student culture by taking part of KY’s events. I feel that participating in those events has been important in understanding KY culture – and kind of becoming part of the community myself. So, KY definitely isn’t just a normal work place and my co-workers aren’t just co-workers, they are my friends. Some people go abroad as an exchange student, I left my visual journalism studies for a year to hang around with business students.

I definitely wasn’t a fully trained and experienced Art Director or graphic designer when I started working at KY, but this work has thought me a hell of a lot and I’ve gained plenty of self-confidence to believe in my skills and career dreams.

Renja Nurmi

Art Director, 040 353 8287


The application period for KY Secretariat 2018-19 is open 3.-15.4.2018. Read more here and apply!