ERC testimonial: Markus Ojakoski

2014_08_Markus Ojakoski is currently working as Senior Consultant in Rud Pedersen’s public affairs consultancy in Helsinki. While pursuing his MSc in Philosophy (Finland) and MA in Politics and Contemporary History (UK), Markus served as WSCF-E Treasurer (2000-2005). After his graduation, he worked, among others, as  a Mayor of Kokemäki, as a Senior Political Adviser for the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, as a Director of Administration in Teuva municipality, as a Political Adviser for the Minister of Culture and as a Political Secretary in the Centre Party of Finland.

I start 1st of January 2016 as General Secretary of the Finnish Centre’s Parliamentary Group. Centre is currently the biggest party in Finland and a Prime Ministerial party, too. I was not sure if I’d have time and energy to write a testimonial of my time in WSCF-Europe. I am, at this time, getting ready for a new job and trying to reach an honourable pullout from the previous engagements. Then, as I started thinking the past, I lost half a night of sleep as so many memories of those years in WSCF (2000 – 2005) captivated by brains. Thus, I felt I must write something.

I was a treasurer for almost six years. I was given quite a lot of control about finances, so I learned a lot about decision-making fluxes and about other informal stuff that has proven very useful in my career, which may not have ended up with, for example, big financial responsibilities without practical information I learned from working for  WSCF. Of course career may not be  that important. I, however, grew in skills and in ecumenical and moral thinking and gained numerous unforgettable encounters with people I still miss so much.

WSCF really felt spiritually/mentally like home. Not because we were agreeing on everything (we definately were not), but because it felt that a place of appreciation of me as a person and my beliefs, perhaps because my views were appreciated regardless of the differences in opinion.

As a social science minded person, encountering different cultural context, even if not enormously different, was a really a dream, too. I never regretted a participated. I regret I did not participate more.

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The work of WSCF-Europe is financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

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