Alumnus testimonial

Esmeralda - Sustainability consultant at Primum

After her bachelor's in Human Geography Esmeralda choose for the master's Urban Environmental Management. She wanted to work on both urban and environmental issues and found that in this programme. And after getting a job at her internship company she can now work on these issues daily.

Besides from the knowledge I gained in Wageningen I also gained a lot of experience in working in interdisciplinary teams. That is a valuable skill as I work in project teams with people of different backgrounds.

Since you graduated from WUR, what kind of jobs did you have? And what is your current job?
"As obligatory part of my Master's Urban Environmental Management, I did an internship at a sustainability consultancy firm: Primum. Primum is a small company, but subsidiary to one of the largest construction companies in The Netherlands: VolkerWessels.

Primum provides strategic advice on how to make organisations and (building) projects more sustainable. For example: by developing a roadmap with which certain sustainability ambitions (or how to become climate neutral) can be met. Or, Primum becomes part of a construction team, develops sustainable ambitions for the building project and plans out sustainable measures.

After my internship I graduated and I got a job offer at Primum. I really enjoyed my internship at Primum. My ambition to combine working in the field of the build environment and working with sustainability issues could perfectly be accomplished in the job. So I decided to take the job and I have been working there ever since. I started in a junior position and now work as a medior."

Is this what you always wanted to do in your professional life? Or what has changed?
"I did not always have a clear vision on what I wanted to do. For a long time I did not really know what I wanted to study. I chose Human Geography and focussed on Urban Geography. At the end of my bachelor's, I saw the master's Urban Environmental Management at the WUR.

When I saw it, I really knew I wanted to do that master's. And it made me realise I wanted to work on both urban and environmental issues. And looking back, I realised that my engagement with environmental issues went way back, to being a child that wanted to save nature. Growing up in Amsterdam made me see a lot of changes in (the urban structure of) the city, and these developments had always fascinated me. So looking back it is not strange that I ended up here."

What are your future goals?
"I happen to think a lot about this right now. I am happy with my job and the field I work in. I do believe that I make a positive contribution to our world. But I also wonder in what other positions, within the field of sustainable cities, I can make even more, bigger, positive changes. I consider what knowledge and skills I need to end up in such a position, and what I can do now to develop these. I think it will become more clear over time."

How do you contribute to a better world? What role did studying in Wageningen have to achieve this?
"I contribute making the building environment more sustainable. Bringing to other organisations the knowledge on the steps they should take to do so. And guide them through these steps.

Besides from the knowledge I gained in Wageningen, I also gained a lot of experience working in interdisciplinary teams. That is a valuable skill as I work in project teams with people of different backgrounds and can cooperate with them to make a change."

What choices did you make that helped you get where you are right now?
"When I was doing my master's, I started to look more seriously at what kind of work I wanted to do after my study and started to prepare myself for the working life. I competed in the 'Sustainable Business Challenge' and that is how I found my internship. I also became I boardmember of the “Jonge Klimaatbeweging”. That really helped me develop a lot of skills you need in a professional job."

Competing in the business challenge
Competing in the business challenge

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