Five questions: Halla Herva

Halla Herva, the new secretary of the Finnish Association of Academic Researchers (SATY), is responsible for a number of different tasks that correspond to their values. They ensure that members are aware of what is happening in the Association.

1. Who are you?

I am Halla Herva, Secretary of SATY, a sociology student and association activist.

I graduated with a BBA degree from Turku University of Applied Sciences in 2018, after which I worked for several years as Organisation Coordinator at the Vantaa chapter of the National Organisation for Children (Lastenliitto ry). The work was very diverse, as is typical for this type of organisation work. I was very active in communications, which provided a solid foundation for my current job. I became the Secretary for SATY in March of this year.

I feel at home in the field of organisations since I want to have an impact on the surrounding world. Along with my job and studies, I am also on the Board of the Qaareva association for LGBTQIA+ students, where I work especially with equality issues.

2. What type of work tasks are involved in a typical workday at SATY?

I am responsible for handling the majority of all communications directed at the Association membership.  I make sure that our members know what is happening in the Association. My workday involves communications with members, co-operative partners, and other interest groups. I also keep SATY’s social media channels and website up to date.

My work follows the rhythm of the Association’s annual calendar, such as the spring and autumn meetings, the monthly meetings of the Board and other planned events. I contribute actively to event planning and handle meeting arrangements. In SATY, I am responsible for secretarial duties at meetings of the Association and Board.

3. What are you currently working on?

14 September, SATY launched a new event series called ‘Tieteen pyhätöt’ (Science sanctuaries), which active SATY members have been planning for a long time. The excursion series offers Association members the possibility to visit and learn about the different places that conduct research and academic work. The first excursion was made to the National Archives of Finland.

In addition to the event arrangements, I am also currently working on the autumn grant application round, which was open to the SATY membership until 15 September.

On the communications front, my biggest project is currently the updating of SATY’s website, which will keep me occupied for quite some time. The autumn meeting planned for the end of the year will also keep me busy throughout the autumn.

4. What is the best aspect of your job?

For me, the most important aspect of my work has always been that it is in keeping with my own personal values. I want to do my part to promote a more equal and just world.

At SATY, I get to be involved in activities that endeavour to improve and safeguard the social status of researchers and other academics. This makes my work meaningful. The work is also diverse and suitably challenging. I have the opportunity to utilise my skills in communications and I am continuously learning new things since this is my first experience with the trade union sector.

5. What do you do during your free time?

I enjoy spending time outdoors and I am lucky to live near a diverse range of outdoor recreational areas. I also like to knit and read. Fantasy book series are my biggest weakness. Over the past year, I have been reading Robin Hobb’s Farseer series, which is great because the reading doesn’t end when you are just getting into it and, thus, enables you to truly delve into the world that the novels create.


Photo: Milla Talassalo

The Five questions article series takes a peek at the everyday operation of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers through Union personnel and member association activists.