Student Spotlight: Joni Hongisto ’20

Name: Joni Hongisto
Class of: 2020
Major: Marketing (Professional Sales)
Hometown: Kaarina, Finland
Sport: Soccer

Why did you choose Plymouth State?

This is probably the most common question that people ask me when they first meet me. In all fairness to people asking me that, I don’t really have a solid answer. I had always planned to take the easy way out and go to the university in my city. However, I sort of by accident happened to hear about Plymouth State through an agency in Finland and decided to dive in head first. Right then and there, I wanted to do something different and ended up coming to Plymouth without even knowing where New Hampshire really was. My intention was to learn proper English, get a good degree in business, and keep playing the sport I love. I could not have done all three of them back home. I take things very seriously both in the classroom and on the field. Plymouth State offered me a place where I can make the most of both with endless support from the close-knit community. Now, three years later, I would simply say, “Why not?” Coming to Plymouth has by far been the best decision of my life.

What keeps you busy outside of classes and your sport?

I like to keep myself busy at all times. I work three days a week in University Advancement as a gift processor, which has been a great experience for me. Also, when I am not in season myself, I help the Athletic Department with other various sporting events. I am also a member of the Business Student Advisory Council and International Business Club. Despite all that, I try to find time for my social life whenever possible. Nothing beats floating the Pemi, a quick morning hike, or a good ski trip to the mountains with some great friends.

What is the best opportunity that Plymouth has given you?

Plymouth has given me numerous opportunities but above all are the people I have met. Plymouth has given me an opportunity to create a massive network of amazing people, including lifelong friendships I have made with people from all around the world. I cannot really imagine having the same kind of relationships anywhere else. I am thankful for all of the people I have been fortunate to meet during my time here. Who would have thought that one day I would have friends from almost every single continent?

What have you learned to love while at Plymouth State?

I have definitely learned to love the nature. After my military service in Finland, I swore I would take a break from all that, but the scenery up here is something else. The pictures I send to my family and friends back home don’t do justice of how beautiful it is up here. Nature is calling me, and I don’t mind it at all.

What advice would you give future students?

My number one advice for future students is to get involved in as many things as possible and as soon as possible. Plymouth State offers so many good things to do that there is definitely something for everyone. The four years of college will fly by and I encourage everyone to make the most of it from the start. I certainly do speak from experience when I say that it is not always a bad thing to experience and try some new things as well.

What is your plan after graduation?

I still have one more year of this journey left, and I want to fully enjoy everything Plymouth still has to offer me on and off the field. I want to keep my doors open wherever life takes me after graduation. However, I will do a sales internship in England, right outside London, over the summer so perhaps that will clarify my future plans. Or maybe I will just stay in Plymouth for good.