In Kemijärvi, a municipality and the most northerly town in Finland, with a population of 7,915 and only 2.24 people per square kilometre, applications for local council leaders have recently opened. Across Eastern Lapland, the largest province in Finland, local councils have been appointing new heads over the past few months. In Kemijärvi however, the first round of recruitment ended to no avail, and so the application period was extended.
The extended application period closed at the end of last month (November), and it was found that among the 19 candidates all vying for the job of leader of Kemijärvi municipality was 10-year-old Mili Kasurinen, and Mili isn’t messing about:
“I wrote that I hope they would take my application seriously and made it clear that this is not some sort of joke to be laughed at. I asked them to read my application through to the end”
It was only after seeing the position advertised in the local paper that Mili decided a career in local politics was for her. She says she then promptly filled out the application, used the photocopier at her dad’s office and then sent it off in the post.
Ever-conscious Mili is also very much aware that this job would cut into her school time, which is why she has suggested that she would take the job at a part-time salary, making savings for the council as well.
“It would make good savings for the town, but meanwhile the job would get done”
Her policy ideas focus mostly around education. Her main idea involves merging the town’s primary school into one big Kemijärvi central school and devising an online education system to implement part-time home learning for all students. She believes that this system could then be sold to other municipalities and make money for the town, which would play a crucial role in strengthening the town’s financial standing. As well as education, Mili is keen on environmental issues, with a strong urge to make sure her town stays litter free and respectful of the nature surrounding it.
Mili’s story, driven by her can-do attitude and inordinate amount of confidence, is something all job-seekers can learn a lot from. There is no way that Mili has the experience or qualifications to legitimately run a town council as a ten-year-old, but that doesn’t really matter when she presents herself the way she does. She’s addressed the fact that she doesn’t possess these things, then told us why that isn’t a problem and made us believe her. By applying to this job with real, tangible, innovative ideas and goals, as well as ways to achieve them, she’s proven that her experience and qualifications aren’t as important as her ideas and ability. If you want a job bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it.
“I would get on and do my job, and I definitely wouldn’t let the town down”