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Aino Jalkanen

International Relations Coordinator
Uniarts Helsinki Sibelius Academy

I was born in Jyväskylä (Central Finland) into a family with two music students and an older sister. When I was still a child, my family moved to Lapland where my parents got work as music teachers. Music has been a great part of my life since early age, and I studied classical guitar until adolescence. Later on, we moved to Kokkola/Karleby, Western Coast of Finland, where I had more opportunities to play and sing in different choirs, and even take part in various theatre productions. Singing is still my dearest hobby, and I have had the opportunity to be part of many excellent choirs and vocal ensembles - the variety in Helsinki seems endless, but contemporary and early music are my favorite genres. Now the love for music is passed on to my 5-year old daughter, who started her music education at the age of 6 months (!) and is now playing the kantele.

After Music College I studied at the Nordiska Konstskolan i Karleby, and started to dream about becoming a scenographer / set designer.  As I never was accepted to the University of Art and Design, I studied to become a carpenter instead. After my trip to the world of art and carpentry, I moved to Helsinki and got a temporary post at the Sibelius Academy Library, and that sealed my destiny for the next couple of decades (at least)! I loved working at the library, and managed to combine work and studies to get the qualification to work as an information specialist. After fifteen years at the library, I felt I was ready to move on, and was lucky enough to be selected for my current position as an IRC. These past two and a half years at the International Office with my wonderful colleagues Tuovi and Leena have passed unbelievably fast!

I love the fact that there is a big variety of tasks on my desk, and there is always something happening. I am fortunate to get to work with so many great people at the Academy, and have the big international community of IRCs worldwide! It has been great to travel and meet colleagues (even if travelling is now on hold). The greatest thing about my job is that I can help students fulfil their dreams. Whenever I feel down or frustrated with work for some reason, just going to a concert by our students reminds me of the reason why we are doing what we are doing.