Hi there! :) Hmm… I don’t know your faces. Who are you guys?
Good question! We are Jan-Niklas and Stijn, we graduated from MESPOM in 2021 and have been the co-chairs of the MESPOM Alumni Association since November 2021.
Aha! But what is the MESPOM Alumni Association?
We are a group of 8 people, both MESPOM students and alumni, from Batches 14 to 17. In 2020, the Association was founded by MESPOM-ers from Batch 13 and 14 with the aim to achieve two things: an interactive and diverse MESPOM community, and MESPOM graduates that are well-prepared for a professional career.
OK. But is that really necessary?
Yes. Most learning interactions take place within MESPOM batches, which is usually a group of 20 to 30 highly enthusiastic people from different countries, cultures, and disciplines. While that is great by itself, there are over 500 MESPOM-ers that work on environmental issues around the world, with a vast number of experiences. A more interactive MESPOM community can result in many learning and networking opportunities, and could spark new ideas to tackle environmental issues.
Simultaneously, we noticed a need for students to be better prepared for life after graduation, which can similarly be improved through a well-connected MESPOM community. That’s why the MESPOM Alumni Association aims to facilitate learning and networking opportunities across batches.
This sounds like a discussion group with only talk, talk, talk. Are you actually doing something to achieve these goals?
Your questions are on fire. Yes, we talk and organise. To illustrate, we established a voluntary Buddy System which pairs first- and second-year MESPOM students. This facilitates current student batches to meet, and allows the first-year students to ask for a helping hand from their second-year counterparts when starting their MESPOM journey. Moreover, to promote interactions between students and alumni, and smoothen students’ transition to professionals simultaneously, we have organised three Mentoring & Career Programmes since 2020, where alumni act as mentors to second-year students.
Looking ahead, this spring we will hold an online MESPOM careers fair with alumni, we will organise webinars for students and alumni on strategically approaching your career and life, and are developing ideas to facilitate online networking events in a speed-dating style. And, once the pandemic recedes, we would love to organise an in-person MESPOM conference.
Well, that sounds pretty interesting. Can I contribute?
Definitely! We are always looking for MESPOM-ers, both students and alumni, to come onboard and contribute their ideas and enthusiasm. Send us an email via alumni [at] mespom.eu explaining what you would like to contribute to, and let’s take it from there.
By the way, given that you are still actively involved in MESPOM, are you eternal students?
Sorry to disappoint – and MESPOM student life is wonderful – but no. The students and alumni at the Association do this in their free time. In parallel to being co-chairs, Jan-Niklas works as an ESG analyst at a Swedish bank in Stockholm, and Stijn is expanding the European network of the Society for Ecological Restoration.
There are over 500 MESPOM-ers that work on environmental issues around the world, with a vast number of experiences