Mika Huovinen
Humanist of the day

Mika Huovinen

Mika Huovinen swore that his 30-year history of a student organisation would be the last deadline of his life. But that was not the case since his graphic design company currently has over one hundred deadlines a year. Huovinen’s success in business was made possible by his expertise and experience, as well as the friends he made in his university days.

Mika Huovinen

Mika Ensio Huovinen
Born 1969, Sipoo

MA 1996 (Finnish and Scandinavian History), University of Helsinki

CEO of Graaf, 2006-
Freelance graphic designer, 2003–2006
Photo editor, layout artist, graphic designer at Edita Publishing Ltd., 1996–2002
Design and editing of the Sodankylä Film Festival programme book, 1995–1996
Archive work for the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, 1990–1993
Member of the Board of Directors on the Helsinki Society, 2003–2009
Secretary of the Swedish Historical Society in Finland, 1996–1997
Chair of the University of Helsinki subject organisation Historicus, 1992

‘Runebergs två hem’ (‘Runeberg’s two homes’) article for Matti Klinge’s 60th Festschrift, 1996
‘Hundra år i Träskolan’ (‘One hundred years of Träskolan’) history book, 1996
‘Kerhosta edunvalvojaksi – Vantaan Invalidit ry 1970–1995’ (‘From a club to a caretaker – Vantaa Disabled Association 1970–1995’) history book, 1995
‘Vilken funktion har Runebergskulten?’ (‘What is the function of the Runeberg cult?’) article, Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper, February 5, 1994
‘Den tredje faran: Kvinnor’ (‘The third danger: Women’) article, Studentbladet issue 12 (1993)
Editor-in-chief of the subject organisation paper Papyruksen, 1990–1991

State Award for Public Information for the reference book Kalevalan kulttuurihistoria (‘The cultural history of the Kalevala’), for which I did the layout, 2009
Finnish Association of Non-fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Award for the textbook Odysseia – matka filosofiaan (‘The Odyssey – Journey into philosophy’), for which I did photo editing, 2001
Student Union of the University of Helsinki’s Award for the Best Subject Organisation, 1991

Photo: Jouko Keski-Säntti
Written by Mika Huovinen (Kaija Hartikainen, ed.)
Translated by
Joe McVeigh

After receiving my MA, I had a number of short jobs in history projects, and I edited, among other things, a couple of film festival programmes. Technically, I was a doctoral student at the university, but my never-ending lack of money forced me to look for work. The Edita publishing house was working on a new history textbook series in the mid-1990s and was looking for a photojournalist. Some of my study mates had worked for Edita and recommended me, and I received a brief introduction to the work from the photographic researcher Jukka Kukkonen.

Read more

I had always gone to Swedish-speaking schools, so it was natural that I would apply for a Swedish-speaking subject at the university. My history grades had been good, thanks to Sibbo upper secondary school’s excellent history teacher, Magnus Perret, so I applied for the Swedish language subject of Finnish and Scandinavian History at the University of Helsinki.

Read more

An active student life lifted my weight to three digits. I decided that I would either lose 20 kilos, 20 cm from my waist or run a marathon. The marathon turned out to be the easiest of these to do. I realised that having a regular training and running programme suited me. I have run ten marathons and plenty of shorter races. At best, running can put you into a state of flow where you forget about the physical motion itself and go on as if in a tunnel, where your breathing, the rhythm of your steps and the landscape become one.

Read more

To become a chef and a running instructor, to move to Spain and found a restaurant that serves blinis and organises trail running trips.