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Laura-Maija Hero

Born December 1, 1970, Helsinki

Master of Arts (aesthetics), University of Helsinki
PhD student 2015–, University of Turku (educational science)
Career change studies 2008–09 (pedagogy, art education)

Lecturer (cultural production) and innovation coach 2009–, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Director of marketing 1997–08 (visual mobile services, smartphones, campaigns, brand leadership) Nokia Oyj
Exhibition secretary, the Artists’ Association of Finland, Finnish Painters’ Union and Kunsthalle
Teacher 1996–97, School of Arts and Design, Aalto University

Thesis Competition (best supervisor 2011 and 2012)
Enterprises in Helsinki Thesis Competition (best supervisor 2013 and 2014)
Nokia Achievement Award (for the innovation and productisation of full length films on mobile phones)

Written by Laura-Maija Hero (Kaija Hartikainen ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

Creativity, innovativeness and a multidisciplinary approach

Humanities graduates have unlimited possibilities in their choice of career path. I understand this only now, when I have already pursued many small careers. When I had submitted my master’s thesis, I searched in the telephone directory for the names of employers starting with art. I called by the Artists’ Association of Finland and announced that I had arrived for work. That was fine as long as there was no need to pay me a salary. Nevertheless, they soon noticed that I was worth paying, and that the girl was able to do goodness knows what. With happiness and enthusiasm I efficiently learned something new every day about practical work; I was capable of independent study. Soon, however, I needed a permanent job. Nokia answered to one of my numerous job applications. The company needed a graphic design specialist and expert in visual culture when planning its ‘camera phones’ and the launch of connected services.

10 years went by at Nokia in various posts as marketing director in the European region. The aim was to produce innovative new marketing solutions together with creative agencies and representatives from different fields. It was multidisciplinary creative development work where the sky was the limit.

Life should feel like life. Photo: Laura-Maija Hero.

Nevertheless, mere ideas and creativity were insufficient; rather it was necessary to take action and bring new binding solutions to the market. Experience was at the core of it all. We were not “selling lipstick but hope.”

Experience also plays a central role in aesthetics. It is important to understand holistically experience and a person’s concrete way of being in the world.

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