Marina Kinnunen

Research enhances services and can also be a nice hobby - Marina Kinnunen got her doctorate while working

Nina Jokiaho
The guiding thread of Marina Kinnusen's career has been to get a deeper understanding of organisations and, thereby, find ways to improve operations and services. Today, she leads Pohjanmaan hyvinvointialue (Wellbeing Services County of Ostrobothnia), where the result of her doctoral research is in everyday use.

Marina Kinnunen has more than 20 years of experience working in the social and healthcare sector. Before her current position as director, she worked in several other managerial positions. She started as a nurse, a job she still sometimes misses. However, working as a nurse, she started to feel the urge to develop practices at work. Her motivation and willpower led her to start studying while working. The study path took her all the way to a doctoral degree. In 2010, she received her Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Vaasa.  

How did she manage to stay motivated and have time both for work and doctoral studies?  

– I have been a competitive athlete. I am used to fully booked days from a very young age, as well as always having a goal to work towards. I remember when I first met with my thesis supervisor and asked if I’m really capable of doing this. I am a practical person, not a researcher at all. Yes, said my supervisor and together we broke down the research project into pieces and set up sub-goals. Then I just progressed one sub-goal at a time as I would with any project. In the end, I felt that my practical knowledge actually helped me in my research.

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