Daniela, MESPOM Student batch 15 shared her personal story with us: it’s never too late to go after your dreams!

February 12, 2021

Hi, I'm Daniela Ariolli, Brazilian, 36 years old, and I would like to share with you a little bit about my story!

I've always dreamed of living in Europe. This desire became stronger during my bachelor studies in environmental management when I learned that most of the area's inspiring practices came from this continent. However, after graduation I got a job offer at PwC, leaving my dream temporarily dormant. The career plan and dynamic routine of various consulting and sustainability audit projects in big companies from different sectors attracted me for several years.

In 2018, after applying for a scholarship in Germany and not getting it motivated me to try other international opportunities. Some months later I decided to quit my job! Some people thought I was crazy to give up an 11-year career without any concrete perspective ahead. I was scared, of course. I kept thinking: what if this plan does not work? Do I have time or money to try again next year, especially if I want to have kids? But I just knew I had to try!

When I received the MESPOM scholarship results, I had to read the email several times to realize that my dream had finally come true! Now I'm here in Sweden, getting ready to start my thesis period, and taking the opportunity to look back and analyze my trajectory in this great program! I never imagined that I would meet people from Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kenya or Sri Lanka! Besides providing me with this exchange of culture with people from all around the world, MESPOM enabled me to gain substantial and updated knowledge in environmental matters, which I was missing most during my routine in the corporate environment.

The fact that we were unable to go to Greece because of the pandemic was a punch in the stomach at first! But I soon realized that the experience would not be incomplete, it would just be different and that it would be up to us to make the most of it! And this is being made possible with the support of my family, my husband (that is now here with me after almost one year apart!) and friends, including the ones I made in this course and that I can call family! The age difference I have with most of them has never been an obstacle to our friendship, which only strengthens every day!

Where will I be after MESPOM? I still don't know about that, maybe go back to Brazil or find a job in Europe! But one thing I can say with all certainty: it is never too late to go after your dreams! Applying to MESPOM was one of the best choices I have ever made! It has been a huge personal and professional transformation process, and I'm grateful every day for this opportunity!