SSM Student Spotlight - Patrick Olson

November 27, 2023


Patrick Olson has light brown curly hair and wears a blue button up shirt as he poses for a professional headshot


Patrick Olson - He/Him
Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Systems Management
Anticipated graduation date: Spring 2025

Where are you from? Describe what your hometown and/or family is like?

I grew up in a family of five with an older brother and younger sister in Joliet, Illinois, the third largest city in the state. I graduated from Joliet West High School which provided me with opportunities to develop early leadership skills and prepare me for success in college. Joliet was also a diverse community and growing up there has given me a passion to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into my career.

Why did you choose Sustainable Systems Management?

I chose SSM because it offers me the best opportunity to learn about how sustainability is incorporated into the world around us. I also think SSM offers the best preparation for a career in the growing field of sustainability and prepares its students with technical skills.

What has been a favorite course or project in your program? 

My favorite course so far has been Marketing of Biobased Products. I have enjoyed this course because it is interesting to see how the principles of marketing apply to sustainable products and to learn about concepts like the sustainable marketing mix. I also have enjoyed the projects for the class, which include a "Profile of Sustainable Marketing Practices" and an "International Marketing Plan".

What student groups or extracurricular activities are you involved in and why?

I am involved in the Clean Energy Leaders cohort, the CFANS Undergraduate Student Board, and the Sustainable Systems Management Club. These groups have helped develop my professional skills and provided me with networking opportunities with my peers. The Clean Energy Leaders cohort has also led to an internship opportunity and access to clean energy products.

What are your career goals after graduation?

I hope to work with businesses helping them comply with environmental regulations while advancing their sustainability goals. I feel prepared to lead businesses in a variety of ways due to my work and project experiences and education. Some specific ways I would be interested in applying my degree would be reporting greenhouse gas emissions and marketing sustainable products.