MESPOM student stories

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

Alumni Shruti Neelakantan: We are all environmentally connected

November 15, 2019

Continuing the alumni features as part of celebrating the 15 years of MESPOM, this week we follow the journey of Batch-9 alumni, Shruti Neelakantan from India who is currently pursuing a PhD as a Marie-Curie Fellow in Ireland. 

Sofia Cavalleri '19: How I backpacked my PhD to Bangkok

November 7, 2019

Can I keep studying and travelling forever? This is the dream of every exchange student. After studying in Trento, Paris, Budapest, Lesvos, Lund, Stockholm and now in Bangkok, I think I’ve just finalized a strategy for that.

Why focus on climate risk insurance? Fabiola Espinoza Córdova '19 (Peru) on her MESPOM internship

"My advice to future students? Use the time of the internship between the two academic years to focus on your field of interest, experience something you have not done before (for me, it was working in a think tank), and choose something, which will be useful when the time to decide what you will do after your studies."

Thesis on rural livelihoods in Namibia

October 9, 2018
Gina D'Alesandro (USA '17) conducted her thesis research in Namibia with the aito understand the livelihood options and limitations for the two tribes of the Kavango East region around Bwabwata National Park, one a farming Bantu tribe, the Hambukushu, and the other an indigenous bushman tribe called the Khwe, a people who only a generation ago subsided entirely off of the bush foods and animals of the area.

Ecology and sustainable tourism in Ecuador to water chemistry and management in the U.K.

Dany Avalos '17 (Ecuador) received a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Sustainable Tourism and wrote a Bachelor's thesis on the Impacts of Tourism in Indigenous Communities located on the south-east bank of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador at the Kapawi Reserve and Ecolodge.

The Fossil Fuel Curse: a project by two students: Sandeep and Savannah (India and Canada '17)

October 9, 2018

The MESPOM program offers different modes of support to students who have ideas for initiatives and projects related to their special interests. Savannah Carr-Wilson (Canada, ’15-’17) and Sandeep (India, ’15-’17) are classmates currently in their second year who are working together on a book project based on their mutual interest in global energy transitions away from fossil fuels. The book is tentatively titled “The Fossil Fuel Curse” and features untold stories of the uncertain future of people in India and Canada who are impacted by fossil fuel extraction.

Abdul Maruf Khalid's story: a background in development with hopes to bring knowledge home and improve environmental issues in Afghanistan

October 9, 2018

What is your professional and educational background, and what brought you to MESPOM?

I am currently a student of the first year of the MESPOM at CEU, and a graduate of the civil engineering faculty of the Kabul University.

Shwetha Nair (India): from a scientific background working with wildlife to seeking the opportunity to learn about management and policy

October 9, 2018

Please describe your professional and educational background, and what brought you to MESPOM?

I found out about MESPOM on an alumni’s FB post. Having a few years’ experience working in conservation, I had realised that I lacked skills that needed to translate the research I was doing to policy or conservation measures.

Emily Dowding-Smith '11 (New Zealand), environmental lawyer

September 25, 2018

MESPOM is a super fun way to learn about different cultures, explore Europe, and get different perspectives on international environmental issues. 

Stanzi Litjens '19 (Netherlands)

February 16, 2018

Stanzi's academic background is in Business Administration (B.A.) and in applying to MESPOM was seeking a more environmental approach rather than seeing the world in terms of money and ‘shareholder value’. She made a decision to focus on the link between government, business, and non-governmental organizations to pursue a healthier balance in the current system. While studying for her B.A. she also worked for World Wide Fund for Nature in Argentina in forest and coastal management.