Marjo Tiitto: "I have become a Story Professional"
What are you currently doing?
I currently work as a Communications Manager and I have a background in journalism. In the future, I plan on dedicating more time to screenwriting.
How did you find out about TAMK?
I had been interested in screenwriting for years and started to look for opportunities to study it. I came across TAMK's English MA degree and felt that it was a match made in heaven, as I wanted to brush up my English skills in the process. Application was a straight-forward process with pre-assigned work and interviews.
What made you choose TAMK for your studies?
I chose TAMK for two main reasons; the MA level of the studies and the opportunity to study in English. Also, as an added bonus, I had the impression that Tampere is a cool city.
What did you like most about Tampere?
At this point in my life, with teenage children, I enjoyed enormously the overnight trips I made from capital region to Tampere on a regular basis. After an uplifting day at school, I got to know the city and its relaxed atmosphere.
In what ways have your studies contributed to your professional and personal life?
I have acquired a whole new skill-set that I can utilize in my two roles as a communications professional and a screenwriter. I have become a Story Professional, thanks to these MA studies combined with my past experience and education. I feel complete; this is what I want to do with my professional life.
What was the best thing about studies at TAMK?
The cherry on the cake was the group of like-minded people who were equally into writing and movies. Beforehand I was afraid I would be the Mom of the group, but I soon realized that this is the sport of matured minds. Our group was fantastic, and we supported one another through difficult patches of our screenplays.
How has TAMK supported your needs as a student?
The best support I received from our teachers. The regular lecturers were great and knew the industry in Finland. Our international guest lecturers brought Hollywood and London to us with their inside knowledge and experience. They all were wise, witty and supportive. I couldn't have wished for a better support from the staff.
What would you say to someone considering studying at TAMK?
I would strongly urge the person to give it a go. Especially, if screenwriting is your thing, TAMK offers a relevant path to the profession.
Best memory of your time at TAMK?
After the first day of school, I was ecstatic. I had spent the whole day laughing with my new class mates and the new teacher. I thought that surely, learning must be a bit more tedious business. It turned out that it was, but we kept laughing regardless. Either we really enjoyed the learning process or we had the right medication.
Also, an extra comment regarding my experiences as an adult student:
I have a previous Master's degree in journalism and I lived through my student years when I was in my 20's. Now, 20 years later, I was worried that I could not do it anymore. I don't mean the student life, I am talking about the ability to learn. Also, I was sure that all the other students would be in their 20's and we would have nothing in common. How wrong was I! As it turned out, I was more determined, focused and even hell-bent with my studies now than 20 years ago. I knew what I wanted to get out of the curriculum and went for it. And the other students turned out to be the greatest group of people, who had also been around the block a few times. So anyone hesitating due to their age; don´t waste your time worrying irrelevant things!
Photo: John Lenick