Hello, my name is Camille and I am studying for my Environmental Management for Business MSc here at Cranfield University. 

My thesis project is about Novel Bioenergy Crops. It focusses on using perennial crops for energy production. These are very interesting crops providing many benefits outside of the energy production activity.  

Due to the lockdown I am now back in France. Fortunately, I could adapt my thesis, so I worked on a case study on the region I live in which is Dordogne in France. My subject is a social assessment, so I’ve been talking (socially distanced of course!) to relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector about their perspectives on the two crops. 

So far, the project has been great but also challenging at times. I have found the project extremely interesting as I have an agricultural background, so it has been a great opportunity to go back to focusing on those themes and be able to apply the more environmental focused knowledge I have learnt over the year to the topic. Working on my own was challenging at the start as we had just finished our group project but I think I have been able to develop valuable skills such as time management working on my own as well as starting a new project and keeping myself motivated. 

When I am taking some time off writing my thesis, I have been spending a lot of time with my family because we have been in the same house during the lockdown and there is six of us! We haven’t been all together again for this length of time so it has been nice to catch up and we have been going for walks and as I luckily live near a forest, it has been nice to be able to just go off and explore nature and have some silence away from a busy house!! 

After I have finished the course, I am hoping I will be able to get a job!! Completing my MSc has really helped me to focus my career. Over the past year I have been able to really focus on the business side of environment and this has been great and something I have not been able to do in my previous University back home. Also I had never been to the UK before, so it has been interesting to discover the different environmental policies and what work is done in another country. This has been great and something I have really enjoyed, and I am now I’m looking for a job in the UK! Hopefully… fingers crossed!! 

Some advice I would give to future students regarding the thesis project is to not be frightened by working on your own and by everything that has to be done at the beginning! Make a list of everything, even the small tasks, and tick them off. During the first week, I was just looking at everything I had to do it and it can seem like a lot, it’s a lot easier once everything is planned!! With the group project… remember to enjoy it! Working with different people is not always easy with communication and other challenges but in the end it is really worth it as you can learn so much from other people especially in a University like Cranfield where you are working with students from so many different backgrounds and nationalities.  

My favorite Cranfield memories is meeting new people and getting to know them. Like spending time at the Cranfield Student Association (CSA) or at the sports club and societies. In my Master, we had a small class of 11 all together so it was nice to get to know people and this is something I really enjoyed!  

One of my Cranfield course highlights was when we had an industry visit from a Cranfield alumnus who came in with a client from his environmental consultancy business. This day stands out for me as it was great to see how the work we were doing in class could make an impact in the real world and they were really interested in what we had to say and hearing our ideas to make the clients business more carbon neutral. I really appreciated that most lecturers made their modules very interactive making the course very memorable, including “business games”, producing videos and presentations, site visits. 

Photograph taken in October 2019

Lastly do not hesitate to join in and get involved with new things in terms of societies and sports clubs. This is a great way to meet new people. For example, this year I got involved with the Astronomy Society, a subject I knew very little about. It was really cool and a great way to meet new people who were passionate about space and this is something I would not have been able to get involved with if I had not come to Cranfield. 

I would also definitely recommend going on the trips that the CSA organise, I went on one trip to Oxford and it was a really nice place to visit and I would recommend people visiting! It is a smaller city than I thought it would be, after everything you have heard about but it is still a lovely place! The CSA trips are good as they plan everything for you, and it is great to do! Another one, I did and really enjoyed was a trip to the Harry Potter Studios. 

As I came over from France with a friend of mine, I brought my car with me and have used it to travel around Cranfield. However, you can easily go to London via the Bus and train from the campus!  

Good luck to all future Cranfield students! 

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