Jaakko Servo: Becoming a sports journalist through hard work, passion and studies
A young sports journalist who plays floorball in his spare time, he found his passion early on.
Jaakko Servo has been studying journalism at Haaga-Helia since 2022, first in the Open University of Applied Sciences and then as a degree student from autumn 2023. He has been interested in a career as a sports journalist since he was in secondary school. Servo mentions his mentor Miska Miettinen, who is also from Mäntyharju and works as a sports journalist in a variety of sports, as an inspiration.
Servo says that Haaga-Helia was the obvious first choice when he was considering where he wanted to study journalism. He had heard positive things about the school and the fact that it was located in Helsinki was also significant.
– In the academic year 21-22, I studied sports journalism at Heo, during which we were able to work partly with Haaga-Helia. It was already then that I got my first taste of my future school, Servo recalls.
Before he started his studies in the open field, Servo took part in the entrance examinations, but fell just short of the required score for a place at the school. However, he was not discouraged, as he knew that he could further his studies through the open route and thus progress to the degree studies.
– Studying at the open UAS was nice because you could plan your courses entirely according to your own wishes and schedule your studies accordingly. However, in the Open University of Applied Sciences you are not part of any coherent group, which is a downside, Servo recalls.
Although the autonomy of course selection in the Open University of Applied Sciences creates opportunities to manage one's own schedule, it can also sometimes cause minor inconveniences.
– I play floorball and my training sessions are concentrated in the evenings, so the evening courses in the autumn semester often overlapped with my training sessions. But I had chosen my evening classes myself, Servo laughs.
Getting into the world of work early on in your studies
While studying, Servo wants to work in his field of sport, develop his skills and learn as much as possible. Servo already has experience as a freelance sports journalist, for example, in the fields of basketball, futsal and ice hockey.
– I am currently doing my first internship for Haaga-Helia at Yle Sports. I have also worked as an NHL reporter for Viaplay Group and written news for the Women's Futsal League. I also try to sell my individual texts to different medias from time to time, Servo says.
He has also done social media work for the Westend Indians, the F-league floorball-team, and Biketaxi Helsinki. In the future, Servo will also do some content for Haaga-Helia's social media channels.
– I like customer service work and it's a good counterbalance to the journalist stuff. I have driven a biketaxi in the centre of Helsinki during the summer season. I also did this last summer and it's great fun, Servo adds.
Servo says his studies have been pretty much what he had planned beforehand.
– The best thing has been that the teachers have been helpful and encouraging. In addition, as an open student at Haaga-Helia, I have also been able to work at Urheilugaala, which was a great experience and opportunity, she says.
Finally, Servo would like to remind future and current students that each of us has a say in what our future will look like.
–However, the destination is not important if you don't remember to enjoy yourself along the way. So let's enjoy the moment, Servo concludes.