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

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.

Meet CEU’s next | generation

October 26, 2015

This year, two MESPOM students, Savannah Carr-Wilson ‘17 (Canada) and Mira Khadka ‘17 (Nepal), have been selected as recipients of the CEU Alumni scholarship. Since 2001, the CEU Alumni scholarship has been awarded to outstanding students from all over the world, based on financial need and their “commitment to community service and leadership potential, both at CEU and beyond”. This scholarship is funded by donations from CEU alumni via the ‘next | generation fund’.

Nga Nguyen '12 (Vietnam)

December 28, 2011

My name is Nga Nguyen and I am a second year student of MESPOM (2010-2012)

I really don’t know how to answer "where are you from" type of question since my fragmented academic career took me on five continents in eight years and by now I should have a case of identity crisis (just kidding). I graduated with a bachelor in applied Mathematics and I just started a graduate certificate in Geographic Information System before joining MESPOM. The reason I chose MESPOM was the interdisciplinary nature of the program, one that can bridge my different interests in sciences, management and policy (as the name literally suggests). I also chose MESPOM because of the distinguished professors and universities in the consortium. However, the moment I joined MESPOM, I forgot about all of these calculations and the journey I had so far was beyond magical. Not only that I was in an elite group of accomplished students, I was also part of a family whose strong bond will last for many years to come.

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.