Recently we hosted a virtual celebration event with the students from our environment courses, in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Management for Business and Geographical Information Management. This event was an excellent opportunity to gather as a group for the final time and wish everyone luck in the future. It was great for the students to be able to share stories and memories from the past year in a more informal setting with Course Directors, supervisors and module tutors

Dr Monica Rivas Casado, who is the environment programme director, began the event by giving the students a message on behalf of the teaching staff:

“Firstly, I want to give my sincere congratulations to you all on completing your MSc course. Today we shall celebrate your personal achievements over the last 12 months, from the completion of the module assignments (I am sure you all remember going through the two-week module assignments and having to put everything together to meet deadlines) to your MSc thesis presentation which you have just completed.  For your course directors, module leaders and for myself, as programme director, it is difficult and sad to see you depart because we have been with you for 12 months. It is a moment of celebration today but it is also a time to reflect about what you have learned from us, and also what we have learned from you… which is quite a lot!

During the last 12 months you all have developed as individuals, you have been learning in a collaborative environment and you have been showing high respect and professionalism to your peers and academics. We are very proud of how you have faced these last 12 months of your MSc course. Many of you will already have secured a job and will contribute to address current environmental challenges right after the course has been completed. Some of you may decide to explore and carefully assess the wide range of market opportunities that you can apply for after completing your MSc course.  I know for a fact that some of you have decided to stay at Cranfield and are pursuing your research career so we still have another three years of your company! Whatever the path you have chosen it doesn’t really matter, Cranfield will always accompany you. We are always going to be there for you. So please keep in touch, our alumni and careers service will always help you and make sure that you don’t lose track of Cranfield.”

Tim Brewer (SWEE Director of Education) then had the following advice to share with the students:

“I would just like to add really to what Monica has said. Well done on completing your thesis projects and your year of study with us. It’s been hard work, I know, because we hear that every year from our students. It’s been a very different year for all of us and I would like to thank you all personally for adapting and working with us as we’ve had to adjust to the new world that we’re living in now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for being flexible as we had to adjust the way we were running the group projects, at very short notice, and of course your thesis project. We have had to do that all remotely this year rather than having the normal face-to-face contacts that we would expect to have with you. So thank you very much for your patience with us and we trust that although it’s not as we would like it to have been, you still had a good time completing the group projects and the thesis projects.

We hope you have enjoyed Cranfield and the whole of your experience here.

We hope you’ve made many new friends, amongst either your course colleagues or students from other courses during your time with us.

You are now going to go out into a world that is very different to how we imagined it might be 12 months ago, and we would like to wish you all the best! Please do keep in touch with us – many of us keep a note of what our graduates do after they leave us at Cranfield. I know that on the Geographical Information Management course we now have records going back to the year 2000 of what our students have gone on to do, so please do keep contact with us. You are now part of the alumni of Cranfield University and you’ll be receiving regular communications from our alumni office to keep you up to date with what’s happening at Cranfield, but do contribute to that and provide your own stories as to what you’re doing. We look forward to hearing about your successes as you go on to the next stage in your life. So that’s enough from me; I would just like to wish you all the best for the future. Thank you.”

Students then broke off into different groups depending on their MSc course to discuss some of their favourite Cranfield memories and have a more informal chat with their tutors and classmates.

We caught up with Harriet who has just finished her Environmental Engineering MSc and she had the following to say about her experience on the course:

“I thought it was well run and I think, for me, the fact that I did the course in a slightly unusual way definitely worked! Although it wasn’t the usual way I got quite a lot from it and I hope I didn’t cause too much trouble from the supervisor’s point of view!”

Mark Pawlett, Environmental Engineering course director, assured us that it was fine!

Harriet continued with:

“I came into Cranfield having highly regarded it from the aerospace side and it definitely lived up to expectations! All the supervisors were really helpful and very supportive even during COVID-19 times.”

Kenisha Garnett, Environmental Management for Business course ­­­­­­director, asked the students in her session if anyone had any interesting stories they wanted to share from their thesis. Francesco shared his experience and said:

“I’ve been locked down in my apartment in Italy for the last six months. I got very lucky because I’m working on these two energy crops and there is natural experimental plantation of these two crops near my home. I was able to go there and visit the experimental plots and I feel extremely lucky to have been able to do this”.

We would like to wish everyone the best for the future and we hope to see you all in the future.

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