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Jorma Kaimio

Jorma Juhani Kaimio
Born July 13, 1946, Helsinki

Master of Arts (1967) (Roman literature), Licentiate of Philosophy (1969) and Doctor of Philosophy (1972), University of Helsinki
Secretary, Matriculation Examination Board (1969-72)
Acting Associate Professor of Roman literature (1977)
Managing Director of the Akateeminen bookshop (1980-90)
Literary Director and Vice President at WSOY (1990-2000), President (2000-06)

Publications, research projects and other academic activities

Research interests:
What became of the Etruscans and their language under Rome’s tightening grip?
Latin and Greek as languages of the Roman Empire
The publication of Greek-language papyrus rolls

Awards and special achievements:
University of Helsinki, Senior of the Year 1997

Photo: WSOY:n kuva-arkisto
Written by Jorma Kaimio
Translated by John Calton, Kaisla Kajava and Johanna Spoof
Revised by John Calton.

My best memories from the University

When I went into business life I kept in contact with the University mostly through delivering docent lectures. In the spring term of 1989, in my capacity as docent, I gave a lecture series for the Arts Faculty entitled ‘Humanistit liikkeenjohtajiksi’ (‘Arts graduates to business managers’). Based on experience, I had come to the conclusion that the day-to-day work of a company boss required the skills of someone with an arts background even more than a facility with accountancy. More than anything else it required self-expression (in several languages, spoken and written), the ability to persuade others, so that the whole organisation remained progressive, and the resolution of indistinct problems–indistinct simply because they had to do with the future, and the future can’t be reduced to numbers.

The first part of the course consisted of lectures open to all; these were attended by over a hundred arts students. Based on their applications, 24 graduand students were then selected for the seminar part. I managed to organise three-month internships for each of them in various companies.

Over the course of a two-day concluding seminar at the Suitia estate in southern Finland (earlier managed by the University’s Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry), these two dozen individuals really forged a solid, and spirited, network. At the end of the internships, they shared their experiences, established a date for a follow-up seminar, and in so doing set up a tradition that has, for most of them, lasted over 25 years.

Now it’s fair to say that business life wasn’t exactly transformed into an enclave of the humanities with this course. Nor have any of participants become top CEO’s, as anticipated in the songs sung in Suitia. However, roughly half of those taking part still occupy executive positions in business life.



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