MESPOM student stories

The MESPOM students and alumni come from over 80 countries of five continents. A typical MESPOM student has graduated with top grades from a good university and has some experience of voluntary or professional environmental work. She or he understands global environmental challenges and has a clear commitment to contribute to their resolution.

A typical MESPOM class is a mix of (a) engineers and natural scientists seeking to work in policy or management positions (about 30-40% of students), (b) students with backgrounds in social sciences and humanities (about 30-40% of students) seeking to learn about scientific and technical aspects of environmental protection and (c) environmental practitionerswho seek to supplement their practical experience with formal knowledge about the environment. By consciously mixing these different categories in one classroom, encouraging their learning from each other and structuring the curriculum in such a way that it enables planning individually tailored careers, MESPOM has contributed to hundreds of successful environmental careers.

The MESPOM Program has attracted students from prestigeous international universities such as BostonBrownLeidenLundMcGillMcMasterMoscow State, Peking and Stanford, as well as Universities of Andes (Columbia), AucklandCanberraCape TownCosta RicaBritish ColumbiaCalifornia (Santa Barbara), CopenhagenNew DelhiOxfordPuebla (Mexico), San Marcos (Peru), SheffieldToronto and Washington (Seattle), Weseda (Japan) among others.

Check this page for regularly updated stories of our students!

MESPOM Student Stories

MESPOM / University of Manchester student shines in British Council's international student awards 2011

A MESPOM 2009/2011 student spending her third semester in the University of Manchester has picked up top accolades in a prestigious competition organised by the British Council.  Chinese student Tian Peng has been named the North West Region‘s Shine International Student of the Year 2011. 

Advice to new MESPOM students from Jennifer Lenhart '07 (USA)

November 22, 2009

Greetings MESPOMers,

My name is Jennifer Lenhart, MESPOM alumna from the first batch (2005-07).

To the current students: I hope you are enjoying MESPOM and its various locations, connections, friendships and adventures!!!  :-)  As you prepare to decide your thesis subject, please know it is ok to have many topics, thoughts, uncertainties and loose-ends untied.  Actually, for those I have spoken to, it seems you have many good ideas and concrete topics. But I know it is never easy to make the final decision on what you will do, where you will do it, and what you can 'contribute' to the greater field of scientific knowledge + research.  Anyway, I thought to share a few suggestions (based on my own process of confusion and reflection):

Quynh Nguyen '09 (Vietnam), PhD at Aarhus University

November 19, 2009

I am Quynh Nguyen from Vietnam. I studied Environmental Chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Australia and worked as a technical advisor on improving institutional capacity for water pollution control at Vietnam Environment Protection Agency before joining MESPOM in 2007.

The two-year-journey has been full of great experiences and memories during which I have lived and learnt so much more intensively than ever before. The programme has indeed provided me with in-depth scientific research opportunities (from my 3rd semester and my thesis research in Manchester) in addition to the holistic approach which brings a broader and comprehensive mindset in understanding and handling any specific task in the field.

Huang He '09 (China)

September 29, 2009

I am Huang He, a MESPOMer in 2007-2009, and I come from China. After working in London for a while, I am back to Beijing and start working for the Energy Research Institute (ERI) at the National Development and Reform Committee of China. ERI is the most important Chinese energy institute; it has a big influence on decision-making process, especially in my field (renewable energy policy), where China’s renewable energy law was drafted. Renewable energy, considered as good for both environment and economy, is still quite new in China and the whole industry is full of uncertainties and challenges.

Neelambari Phalkey '08 (India)

November 24, 2008

I come from Mumbai, India and studied at MESPOM in 2006-2008. Before joining MESPOM I completed Research Training Program from Center for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkatta. I also hold a Masters in Sociology (University of Mumbai) and worked with WWF-Divisional office (Pune, India) as a consultant and researcher in the field of environmental education.

Karen Basiye '08 (Kenya)

November 3, 2008

I come from Kenya and studied at MESPOM in 2006-2008. Before joining MESPOM I worked in the Ministry of Environment of my country.

My new job is very exciting and challenging I am the Environment Policy and Compliance Manager for the leading telecommunication company here in Kenya. This is a new position so I am the first environment manager and thus have to set up an environment management system, deal with all environmental complaints from the public, develop environment awareness materials for the consumers as well as the company employees. I have to coordinate both internal and external environment issues. I also coordinate CSR activities in relation to the environment, and deal with environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental audit (EA). I also advise the management on environmental issues. Currently I am also working on a program for clean hybrid energy systems for the company.

John Duncan '08 (South Africa)

November 2, 2008

Prior to joininng MESPOM I had been studying and working in the biodiversity conservation field in South Africa. This was always where I wanted to end up again after finishing MESPOM. During MESPOM studies I tried to focus on topics that I felt would come in useful in this field. I was also lucky enough to focus my MESPOM thesis on the environmental policy relating to the traditional linefishery here in South Africa, which gave me valuable insights into how the small-scale fishing industry in my home country operates.

Yuliya Voytenko '07 (Ukraine)

September 19, 2008

After having graduated from MESPOM in June 2007 I started my PhD studies at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at Central European University in Budapest. Currently I am in the very beginning of my second year in PhD program, successfully passed my comprehensive exams and have just defended my thesis prospectus.

To share a bit of after-MESPOM experience with you, I would like to say that I am very satisfied with how my professional career is developing. I work on my dissertation and am very excited about the research I am doing. Specifically I focus on the development of new bioenergy based models for organisation and action in Ukraine and look at the possibilities to link different economic actors utilising agricultural biomass for commercial energy production. I am especially excited about starting my field research in the upcoming year because this will mean communicating with people and exploring possibilities to create business opportunities for them in real life.

Chunyu Liang '07 (China): UNFCCC position

July 14, 2008

I have just received an offer with the CDM Registration & Issuance Unit under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Unit is based in the UNFCCC's secretariat, Bonn, Germany, and is responsible for the registration of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects and for the issuance of certified emission reduction (CERs) credits, under the CDM Executive Board that oversees the whole CDM system. I will be working on the issuance side as much of my past year's experience with my current company, EcoSecurities, a market leader in the CDM field, relates to CDM project monitoring & verification.

Tahia Devisscher '07 (Bolivia): UNDP position

I am currently working for UNDP Bolivia, writing for the Human Development Report (HDR) 2008. I do research and analysis on the environmental and local socio-economic impacts of biofuels expansion, mining activities and development projects in Bolivia such as road and hydroelectric dams development.