Meet with 2020 MESPOM graduate Ekaterina Kushnir, from Russia

October 20, 2020

Ekaterina Kushnir, from Russia, is a 2020 MESPOM graduate. She’s currently working as a Research Assistant at IIIEE, exploring the role that different intellectual property models play in accelerating sustainability transitions within the IPACST project (Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions).

Keep reading to find out about her personal thoughts on how MESPOM prepared her navigate through her job hunt journey!

How I got where I am

During my final year of my bachelor’s in economics, I was introduced to the concepts of sustainable development, green economy, and corporate social responsibility. Back at the time, those words sounded mysterious and yet inspiring – they helped me admit that I wasn’t and would have never been happy working in a conventional “making money for the sake of making more money” environment. MESPOM has truly been a life-changing experience. It helped me gain knowledge in areas that I hadn’t been exposed to before, and it expanded my personal and professional network of like-minded people from all over the world.

The job hunt journey

After graduation, the job hunt journey has been definitely a scary endeavour for me and most of my MESPOM classmates. The inevitable issues, such as self-doubt, high competition and difficulties in obtaining a work permit abroad, were definitely made easier by my MESPOM’s formation. Among some of the most helpful tools gained during these 2 years, the summer internship really helped me get an idea of how the international job market works. It allows you to gain valuable experience in a sector of your interest or explore a new one. Furthermore, living in at least three different locations over the course of 2 years makes you mentally resilient when it comes to finding accommodation or dealing with the practicalities of a new life abroad. This undoubtedly enables you to expand the scope of positions you can consider and increases your chances of finding a job with exciting tasks and responsibilities. Additionally, Central European University provided a great career advisory support. I participated in extremely helpful and informative sessions that helped me improve my CV and cover letter writing skills. Throughout the MESPOM formation, group work assignments highly improved my soft skills, fundamental at the workplace. Not to mention the wide and skilled Alumni Network and the useful Mentoring & Career programme launched this year by the MESPOM Alumni Association.

(+ Covid-19)

Covid-19 has certainly affected my after-graduation plans and created more practical and emotional challenges for my job search. However, applying the big picture thinking that MESPOM has taught me, it is easy to realise that the global pandemic crisis encourages a shift from myopic thinking to long-term sustainable planning and decision-making. For this reason, no matter how disadvantageous the current situation may seem, very soon there will be more job opportunities in the fields, such as green energy, impact investment, and circular economy. Stay strong, be bold, and keep in touch with people who inspire and care about you!