Meet the InnoLabbers: Ville Karjalainen


Photo: I am a huge sea lover. I think I was writing my master’s thesis around the time of this photo. That’s when I realized how much I like doing research.

This series introduces the members of University of Vaasa’s InnoLab research platform. Today we’re meeting Ville Karjalainen.

What are you?

When it comes to work, I am a project researcher and a doctoral student in the field of public law. Outside of work, I am a person who cannot stay still and wants to discover new places and learn new ways of living.

Your title at InnoLab is project researcher, but what exactly do you do?

My time with InnoLab is only at the beginning. My main task right now is writing a report, with other members of the project, about the supervision of basic education in Finland and in the Nordic context. I have mainly just focused on writing the report during these first months of my employment. I cannot wait to be back at the campus after working from home and get to know all my colleagues even better.

Welcome aboard! You do know this can be a lot of work – why bother?

Possibility of making a difference, helping people and having more freedom. Those are the things that motivate me in this field of work.

Imagine your phone rings. It’s the call you’ve been hoping for…

This phone call takes place in the future, after the completion of the super interesting projects on which I am currently working. It would be someone from the university telling me there is an awesome funding opportunity for me, which allows me to focus on my doctoral studies.

Just kidding, it’s actually a journalist. They’re finally doing a story on that one topic you’ve always wanted to give an interview on! What do you say?

They would ask me about the topic of my doctoral research. I would tell them about the importance of the legal questions around the liability of civil servants (this is broadly the topic of my research). I would explain how my research will hopefully answer some questions around my research topic. In that way, I would also explain how my research will be beneficial for the whole society.

Good hustle! Too bad you can’t be the resident expert on every topic. What would you like to learn more about?

Right now, I have great passion to improve my skills as a researcher. I also want to become an expert on the legal questions around the liability of civil servants. For my own sake, I should really learn how to cook better.

Commendable goals! Is liability something I, too, should be concerned about?

The questions around the liability of civil servants concerns all of us. Government officials are making decisions, which can have great impact on our life. That is why it must be clear who is liable. Some of the decisions are also being made automatically, and liability matters need to be clear concerning those types of decisions as well.

Okay. Now recommend me something – anything!

I would recommend living abroad for a while. Such an eye opening experience!

Any last advice for being both an effective researcher and a happy office worker?

Basic things are the most important, sleeping, eating, exercising and socializing!

From the perspective of Ville’s colleagues: What are Ville’s best qualities as a coworker?

“I don’t know Ville very well yet, but he seems very motivated and dependable. There’s also a certain unflappable quality to him: I would expect Ville to fare well even in the most hectic of situations!”

“Ville is hard-working and trustworthy. He is also a solution-oriented person.”

“There are still layers to discover in Ville, but some qualities are already obvious. While being dedicated to his topic of research, Ville is also interested in others and their ideas, and he is an attentive listener. Who could resist that? Also, he has a good, disarming sense of humour.”

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