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Anni Sinnemäki

Anni Milja Maaria Sinnemäki
Born July 20, 1973, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts 2001 (Russian literature and philosophy), University of Helsinki

Deputy Mayor (City planning and real estate) January 14, 2015–, City of Helsinki
Minister of Labour and Chairman of the Greens 2009–11
Member of parliament 1999–2015

Lyrics for the band Ultra Bra and the poetry collections Sokeana hetkenä (‘A moment of blindness’) and Aleksis Kiven katu (‘Alexis Kivi Street’)

Photo: Helsingin kaupunki
Written by Suvi Uotinen
Translated by Matthew Billington

Student of the recession grasps job offer

Anni Sinnemäki began studying at the University of Helsinki directly after completing upper-secondary school. She majored in Russian literature and in addition studied philosophy, Czech language and general linguistics. Her field of study was chosen purely on the basis of interest.

“I wasn’t a good student. Sure, I was enthusiastic, but to some degree I placed work in front of study. The atmosphere of the recession years forced you to grasp job opportunities when they came along”

Ms Sinnemäki was offered work thanks to her knowledge of Russian, and she also conducted research interviews and engaged in journalistic work. In the autumn of 1995, she became ever more involved in writing lyrics for the band Ultra Bra. In 1998, fulltime work began at the Ministry of the Environment.

Ms Sinnemäki completed her bachelor’s degree in 2001, after having already been elected as an MP.

“I thought that it was worth getting a degree, as you never know what the future might hold.”

Her bachelor’s dissertation dealt with memoir genres, for example the works of Ilja Ehrenburg, Valentin Katajev and Nadezhda Mandelstam. Study provided her with a critical eye, analytical thinking and the ability to see the big picture.

“My studies have given me the ability to understand long development curves and pendulum movements.”

Ms Sinnemäki remembers a host of inspiring and impressive people from her student days – both students and teachers alike.

“Pekka Pesonen has a deep love and understanding of his own discipline and a desire to convey both large scale development trends and interesting anecdotes to his students.”

In philosophy those figures who left the greatest impression were her study mate Miira Tuominen and her teachers Ilkka Niiniluoto and Juha Himanka. Helena Lehečková, teacher of Czech language, also significantly broadened the young student’s worldview.

Anni Sinnemäki was sworn in as a Member of Parliament on March 29, 1999. Photo Vesa Lindqvist/ Parliament of Finland


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