Alumni’s Career Stories: Gaia Mazzola working in kindergarten

We interviewed NoVA alumni about their career stories. The stories encouraged our studies and career path!

What is current your job?

I currently work as an early childhood educator in a kindergarten. It is easy to find a position in this field, due to the high demand for workers. Although, it is not meant for everybody. It requires flexibility and a strong pedagogical attitude. It empowers you if you are the right person for the task.

How did you design your career path?

I wanted to pursue any educational job that would allow me to use my arts-based skills and keep my own arts-educational project cresceréarte as a “side” project (during the beginning of my studies I really wanted to pursue cresceréarte as a business, but I understood I prefered having a “normal” job rather than being entrepreneurs full-time).

I wouldn’t say that I “designed” my career path in details. I believe it is important to have an idea to pursue, leaving space for different opportunities. That means, use your set of skills and trust the process! It will bring you places. Do not put yourself in a box.


How did you get the position?

I sent CVs over CVs to different educational environments (museums, associations, schools…) and I ended up finding a job in a kindergarten. This is how I started working as a teacher. 

How do you utilise your NoVA experiences from NoVA for your career?

In Finland, as in many other countries, you need a set of pedagogical studies in order to be able to get a proper work contract in the educational field. Unfortunately, this is something NoVA does not provide (I was aware of it and I always said to myself, that I would have done it once NoVA was over, although I always hoped for a change of route from NoVA studies). I am currently attending courses to implement this while working at the same time.

What is the most enjoyable moment in your job?

What I like the most is seeing children being curious and the trust they have in me. It makes me feel influential and, most and foremost, useful to society! This is why I am in the educational field, all in all.

I love this job, although it is not well paid (unfortunately this is common to all the jobs in the social-educational field in Finland). It is a demanding job that requires a specific mindset, lots of creative thinking and empathy. I use my set of skills every single day. All that I have learned during my time in NoVA and previous studies 🙂 !

Photos by Gaia Mazzola, from pupils’ art works.

Text by Gaia Mazzola and Edit by Mariko Yoshida

Alumni’s Career Stories: Gaia Mazzola working in kindergarten

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