Javier Esparrago ’12 (Spain)

Javier Esparrago ’12 (Spain)

Environmental policy consultant in London, UK

If one thinks of a job in public environmental policies, what comes to your mind is public administration, are international organisms, think-tanks or even NGOs. And what about the private sector? Well, in my case MESPOM was the key to start a career as an environmental policy consultant in a large company.

No doubt, my time as a Mespomer has been some of the best and most interesting years of my life. It looks like yesterday when I first arrived to Budapest without speaking a word of Hungarian. Soon I met excellent people, started living great experiences , learning loads and making friends I still keep. Of course there was also hard work and stressful weeks, but it was definitely gratifying.

Each of the locations that the programme took me enriched my background as I was learning about various topics, getting different skills and being in contact with different people, cultures and teaching styles. Two years later, and after some great times in Lesvos, Manchester and Saskatchewan, I was a richer individual: technically, academically and personally.

From a professional perspective, it was MESPOM that enabled me to follow the career path I am taking. Having a scientific background, MESPOM complemented it with a good knowledge of international environmental policies as well as key technical skills such as modelling and GIS. After a short holiday break and some months of job search I found a position in London in environmental policy consultancy. My job is acting as the link between science and policy in a variety of projects, mostly for public organisms such as the European Commission or the UK Government but also some for industry or private organisations.

An example of a project I have been involved was the quantification of emissions to air and water from sources that are not subject to legal regulation at European level. This project helped the EU-Commission to understand the share and extent of emissions that are deemed to be regulated and “unregulated” by current EU legislation and plan further actions and policies to tackle pollution in the whole EU. More recently I have been developing a methodology and a model to help the British government quantify the wider impacts of air quality measures at a national scale (e.g. impacts on employment, traffic, affordability for families, etc.). I could not have done this project without the modelling skills I learnt at CEU!

MESPOM does not simply last for 2 years. At least in my case, it promoted my curiosity and encouraged me to take a life-long learning approach. Because of this, I recently decided to improve the GIS skills I acquired during the programme and joined a part-time MSc in GIS at Lund University. Back as a student with one of the MESPOM partners!