Kalle Nurmela, 18, joined Vertical for a month straight after high school. We asked him about his future plans, ambitions and what drives him – are the Gen Z drivers similar to older folk’s?


Creative Mindset

Creative work has always been my passion and something I hope I can do and make a decent living pursuing. Ultimately my goal in life is to able to wake up in my holiday home somewhere warm and sunny, overlooking the ocean, and look back on my life and be content with what I’ve become and accomplished. Other than that, being happy, healthy and have the availability to do what I want, without money being an obstacle as well as being able to one day give my own kids the same opportunities that I’ve been given. 

Growing up in a constantly changing environment has very much contributed to who I am today. Born in Finland, but having lived in Florida for four years while growing up taught me how diverse and unique the world can be, as well as having the added benefit of my siblings and I becoming practically bilingual whilst living abroad. With a father working in the tech world, cool new gadgets and the latest technologies were no strangers to the house, which further fueled my interest in tech. Video games were also a time-consuming pastime of mine, which might or might have not contributed to my disinterest in studying in middle school.

Next steps on the Roadmap

My next big steps in life are applying to business school and completing the mandatory Finnish military service, which I start in January. University wise, I’m applying to Aalto, Turku and a few other Finnish schools, as well as considering EBS, the business school in Tallinn. I decided on studying business because it keeps nearly all doors open and as I’m not quite sure what I want to do yet, it seemed like a very logical choice. 

Working at Vertical has helped give me a much better understanding of all the opportunities and niche industries out there, and has hammered down the importance of networking and with that how to better utilize contacts, which very linearly correlates to business and career opportunities. I’ve been very privileged to be able to work at Vertical as it’s given me opportunities that most people in my position can’t experience yet, which I’m very grateful for. 

Sources of inspiration

Nearly all work requires creativity, but the fields that showcase it in a very concrete way like: art, music, fashion, architecture are the most fascinating to me. As someone fascinated in the arts, to me Kanye West is a real inspiration and an idol in the industry, with how he’s managed to penetrate all matter of mediums be that clothes, music or even movies and become one of the most influential artists of our time. Other than Kanye, another inspiration of mine is Elon Musk and his global impact on so many different industries. 

Since technical class in elementary and middle school, I’ve been a fan of metalworking and woodworking, so if nothing goes to plan I can fall back on that and maybe open up a little shop of my own. 


Vertical thanks Kalle for his valuable input and fresh mindset – having him around underlined the importance of diversity not only in gender or culture but also in age.