An interview where “having a Finnish name (Juha Hurstinen) didn't guarantee me a job in Finland”
With Juha Hurstinen
GH intern Sept-Nov/2020
Hey, Juha, tell us, anything you want to start with…
It has been bittersweet fun confusing Finns about my nationality.
"You have a Finnish name, but don't speak Finnish?"
Well, long story short I'm a first-generation Canadian born of a multicultural family, a Finnish father and a Filipina mother. Coming from the Great White North, hospitality and internationalism are cornerstone values that make Canada so reputable. I took that mentality and made it a personal mission to pay it forward with meaningful experiences every day. So, amidst my journey of building my career, I left everything behind and moved to Finland where I lived with my late grandmother and took care of her while also studying international business at university.
That’s some determination, nice! And before the internship, what kind of work were you doing?
Before the growth hacking internship, I had just finished my university studies and was eagerly searching for work. As a foreigner, searching for work in my field had been difficult as the job market was (and is) competitive. I had been searching for many months, attending events, sending dozens of applications every day and trying different ways to make myself stand out in the crowd. It wasn't until a good friend of mine from university introduced me to Mari Luukkainen and the rest is history.
And in terms of personal growth, how did this internship impact you?
The learning curve was high, but so was the reward. This internship taught me how to navigate and venture into the unknown, ideate and experiment, and grow using principles and a value system that can only be passed on from another growth hacker. A worthwhile experience that opened up a world of opportunities.
I can see, and how did the Growth Hacking Slack community help you?
The Slack community was a useful resource that gave me open space to be myself, learn from others, and share my findings. Coinciding with the internship, the Slack community is a vital network of individuals who are all journeying the same path - a path for growth and helping out their neighbours. Professionally, moving to Finland excited me because Finland is world-renowned as a breeding ground for start-ups so entering the internship and Slack community felt like an initiation to the start-up community where I can learn and my entrepreneurial pursuits can be nurtured.
And nowadays, what’s cooking?
I met a Finnish girl, fell in love, and now I am raising a family in Finland, learning more Finnish with my daughter. I freelance my expert services in journey experience and growth to early-stage start-ups and entrepreneurs while also mentoring entrepreneurs to establish growth functions in their companies. I am happy to fill up my calendar and I do welcome new projects and opportunities.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am always open to broadening my network and having a chat. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Thank you for sharing, Juha.
GH intern Sept-Nov/2020
Growth hacker Nov/2020 – Feb/2022