Alexia Sandano from New Zealand, alumna of the programme, now working as a Sustainability Consultant at Air New Zealand
What do you remember the most from your studies at the IIIEE?
"My experience at the IIIEE was easily one of the highlights of my personal and professional life so far. Forefront in my memory is the exhilarating feeling of sharing my days with an inspiring and passionate group of staff and students whose common passion was resolving social, environmental and economic challenges. My classmates were from all corners of the globe and from a diversity of cultures and ethnicities. To study with all these amazing people and to learn from them and share with them gave my time at IIIEE a magical quality and I am very grateful for my time there. I remember cycling around Lund’s quaint cobbled streets before and after class, being in a country so far from home, yet feeling completely at home thanks to the new family I gained at the IIIEE."
What gets you out of bed in the morning and what makes you passionate about your work?
"Dedicating my days to devising circular economy solutions to waste issues in the aviation industry is exhilarating for me. A lot of my work involves working in a very fast-paced environment, devising environmental, social and economic solutions to issues that can be co-owned by government and industry. I need to wear five different hats each day depending on which stakeholders I am addressing and I need to build cases that appeal to different audiences to convince them that change for sustainability will be good for the company and good for our environment. I go home every day knowing that I have made a small contribution towards changing the culture of the company and country that I operate in, and that knowledge is something that keeps me going each day."
How would you describe the IIIEE to a prospective student?
"The IIIEE provides students with the unique opportunity of being immersed in a community of global citizens who have varied perspectives on how to solve local and global issues. The skills you gain from learning to communicate, work alongside and develop solutions to challenges with such a varied group of people is incredibly valuable professionally, as well as personally. The strong focus on practical learning not only makes day-to-day life at the IIIEE so interesting and exciting, but gives you tangible projects to add to your CV. Being immersed in a practical consulting-type project in Portugal's wine-making industry, working with awesome professionals and my IIIEE colleagues was an absolute highlight for me. That was an invaluable taste of what practical working life in sustainability and environmental management feels like, and you can use the knowledge that you are learning in the classroom to make an immediate impact in the field. And on top of all this, the experience is much fun! Located in such a beautiful little town, so close to progressive global cities like Copenhagen and Malmö made the experience even richer."