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From Chemical Engineering to Environment with some Marketing inbetween…
My name is Meenakshi Singh and I am studying Environmental Management for Business. Let me tell you a bit about my background…
I graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree quite some time back and I also have one Masters in Business Administration in the Marketing segment. I’m from India and have about a decade of experience in marketing, but I wanted to separate myself from that life.
I had been a marketing manager for a big portion of my career and after a number of years I started to question what I was actually doing to make a difference.
That’s when I had a discussion with my family and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do something more. Sustainability has always been at the back of my mind and I would like to do something which is good for the environment.
So I started researching a number of courses which were available. I’m very finicky about the choices that I make so I applied to only five or six colleges.
One was in the US and the rest were in the UK. I didn’t find any other colleges, which were according to my requirements, because I wanted to do a course that was only a year long and provided me all the skills and knowledge required for sustainability.
I got accepted to all the colleges I applied to but my choices were Cranfield in the UK or Columbia University in the USA.
Then it came down to the very basics, like what is the curriculum and what funding options are available. I talked to my counsellor to help make an informed decision because they have been in this area for a number of years, so they could advise me based on their experience.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours, but it’s good to have extra information and I decided that there were going to be more opportunities in the UK for jobs.
The Cranfield program has been really, really insightful and every time I go back and think about the topics that I wanted the curriculum to cover, I realise that it’s definitely been covered!
The industrial collaboration on the course is amazing, both my group project and thesis project were company sponsored.
My group project was about the marketing of an environmental area called the Greensand Country here in the UK and it was sponsored by the local Bedfordshire Council. The group project is not something that you do as a theoretical project, it is all practical and I was happy with the sponsored project as it really made the learning more relevant to the industry.
My current thesis project is actually about the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the preference of local councils for new range of smart water meters called Water Event Meters, which have been developed by a new start-up company called Creative EC and the energy and water savings that can be achieved by the meters.
I think the knowledge that you gain in the group and individual project can’t be achieved anywhere else. I can tell you, because I’ve already done a Marketing MBA and I had a very, very practical project with one of the biggest companies in India, but still the kind of education, the kind of interaction that you get when you’re in UK is very different than what you can find in a country like India or wherever you come from.
Being Asian or European, the biggest advantage that you’ll get is the Cranfield industrial collaboration so you should take the best advantage of it through this course.
To tell you very frankly, I don’t regret the decision to say no to Columbia. I am very happy over here at Cranfield, they have given me amazing opportunities to study as well as work as a Project Assistant for a project with the marketing team of the University. In fact, if you like, or are good at networking then I’m telling you, you will get a job before you even complete your course.
So make an informed decision and I hope to see you here next year.
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