Suvi Ollikainen – Senior, Environmental Studies Major

Suvi Ollikainen poses for a portrait picture on the Mississippi river side walk in St. Cloud, Minn., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (Photo/Janine Alder)

Senior St. Cloud State University international student from Finland, Suvi Ollikainen, stated that she was always aware that she wanted to major in environmental studies.

“I was always very interested and aware of environmental issues and how we can solve them,” Ollikainen said.

She says in Finland everyone recycles most of their trash, and rarely ever throws anything in the garbage, a major culture shock to her when she first came to study at SCSU.  Ollikainen was surprised by how differently the United States handles environmental problems compared to Finland.

“Something that drew me towards this major was that I can make a difference with very small choices every day,” she said.

SCSU has been instrumental in helping support her during her busy SCSU Women’s Ice Hockey schedule.  She also credits the hands-on experience in the environmental studies department in helping prepare her for any future jobs that come her way.

“I think communication with professors and staying on top of things have helped me the most getting this far,” Ollikainen said.

Once finished with her bachelor’s degree at SCSU, she intends on applying for a master’s program in Finland.  Taking part in an internship this past summer in her field of choice really cemented herself in what career she wanted to do.

“It helped a lot to get real hands-on experiences and it is of course nice to be able to get credits for it which count towards my major,” Suvi said.

Reflecting on her time in Minnesota, and the future ahead, she said that it taught her a lot about college life and life in general.

“Being an international student-athlete, the college life in general has taught me a lot about life and being able to play hockey on a very professional level and getting my bachelor’s degree at the same time has been a great experience,” she said.

Writers: Mitch Abraham, Janine Alder