Tamsin Ekkel - a career of an IIIEE alumna
Hej Tamsin! Tell us something about yourself and what you’re working with.
I’m from Australia and hold a bachelor’s degree in international business, management and marketing from the University of Melbourne. After I graduated, I travelled and worked in London for a bit and then I came across the Master's Programme in Environmental Management and Policy (EMP) at the IIIEE that looked awesome, so I decided to apply! I just graduated and in September I joined Tetra Pak in Lund as one of 17 trainees in their Future Talent program. Right now I’m part of the recycling team in the Sustainability department but I will do several job rotations over the next two years, both locally and internationally. So I will be working with different teams, doing different projects.
Why did you choose to study at the IIIEE?
I’ve always been interested in ethics and sustainability and I really appreciated the combination of environmental science, policy and corporate sustainability offered by the EMP programme. I really liked the mix of theory and practical experience, to go out to meet people in the industry and to see how things worked in real life.
I think the program opened many doors for me. I got a new way of looking at things and really improved my public speaking. I also learned to prepare a project in a short amount of time and got used to short deadlines.
What did the studies at the IIIEE give you and are you using what you learnt in your daily job?
I’m using what I learnt every day, for sure. In many of my meetings so far something has been mentioned that I learned at the IIIEE. I think the program opened many doors for me. I got a new way of looking at things and really improved my public speaking. I also learned to prepare a project in a short amount of time and got used to short deadlines, which benefits me now in this job. A team member was impressed by me the other day and asked how I managed to do a task in such a short time, and that’s because I’ve done it before!
What can a typical day look like?
I’m just starting out so right now it’s a lot of learning and reading material. It’s up to me what the day looks like and I organize my time between meetings and learning. I’m part of 3 different sustainability projects. One of them is to look at Tetra Pak’s sustainability approach and what other companies are doing. I’m compiling information and interviewing managers within the sustainability department to try to understand where we could maybe improve. I’m also working on a pilot project that we’re doing here in Lund to improve collection of packages, with that project I’m working with engineers and people in communications. Another project is to update content on collection and recycling on our intranet. Every day is different! The Future Talent program also has challenges that we have to do and offers a social side of things with other recent graduates.
How did the EMP programme prepare you for working life and a career within sustainability?
The consultancy project helped me to improve how to communicate to clients and understand what they want and what they expect in the end. I got the experience of holding a meeting and presenting my findings, we had so many presentations! So I definitely improved how to talk to a class or to clients and it prepared me for where I am now.
The teachers are great and have so much knowledge and experience to share. You make friends for life and get connections around the world.
What would you say to someone who’s considering to study at the EMP programme?
Go for it! It was an incredible experience for me. The teachers are great and have so much knowledge and experience to share. You make friends for life and get connections around the world. The Alumni network is amazing, with many contacts you can get in touch with. I loved studying at the IIIEE! We couldn’t have our graduation because of COVID but hopefully we’ll have that one day…
Can you share a memory from your time at the IIIEE?
There’re so many…! Both last Christmas and the year before we had a special event where we danced around the institute and later everyone sang a traditional song in their language or shared a story from their country. We are such an international community, so it was a special moment, it was really beautiful. Also, as part of the SSC course, I travelled to Nairobi, Kenya with three of my classmates and our teacher and we had such an incredible experience. In between 20+ interviews and multiple site visits with our client we were able to visit the UNEP, do two safaris and hike on the rim of a volcano… that was pretty cool!
Do you want to read more Alumni stories? You find them here