- Ben Furmage
In tacking environmental concerns such as climate change, it is not one discipline that is going to provide an effective response to those challenges
- Chris Buntine
If graduates have an underlying vision for the future it is a great way to influence others and create change.
“I chose the energy efficiency stream because the coursework and ESD industry aligned with undergraduate architecture subjects. I was a terrible architecture student but found the most enjoyment (and best marks) in subjects that focused on sustainability, energy efficiency and passive design concepts of buildings. Environmentally Sustainable Design is a growing field where knowledge in energy efficiency is a valuable skillset in the built environment industry.
Subjects such as Environmental Systems and Complex Building Energy Modelling which introduced software and programs used within industry were extremely useful and of interest to my employer. However, the most valuable subject that ultimately led to my current employment was the opportunity to do an internship. I was able to get my foot in the door within the industry and undertake a unit as part of the Masters degree coursework!
I get a high level of enjoyment from the ability to interact with the clients and contribute ideas and initiatives towards a sustainable building design. My research project supervisor had one key piece of advice which I aim to take into every project I am involved in: "Make sure every project has at least one good initiative that would not have been included without you".
"Coming in from a Commerce and Economics background, the diversity in the Masters of Environment course was exactly what I needed to expand my horizon and form an extremely well rounded knowledge base for a future career.. I focused on relating environment and sustainability to business, particularly in the social enterprise realm. I did a tailored program and undertook courses from the architecture, science, horticulture and agriculture faculties among others, all of which collectively helped me form the right mindset to go into the world and create change in an holistic manner. Apart from starting my own business three years ago, I now work full time in the innovation lab at the City of Melbourne where I look at new, innovative ways to solve not only environmental but all sorts of problems at the local government level."
"After completing the Master of Environment degree I found many of the skills I had learnt and developed during my research project, such as project and time management, policy analysis, and engagement with academic, industry and government experts, became relevant during graduate interviews and assessment."
Freddy Von Oldershausen
My studies fundamentally helped me understand the power of a multidisciplinary approach to solve problems. Freddy Von Oldershausen, Service Designer at Telstra Design Practice Unit, Melbourne
"The Design Practice unit focuses on the entire product and service experience for customers and staff including business, design, technology and sustainability perspectives. As a service designer, I conduct qualitative research and utilise design-thinking techniques to understand people’s behaviour and uncover their needs. At the core of my work is designing services that can make peoples’ lives better.
My studies fundamentally helped me understand the power of a multidisciplinary approach to solve problems. Part of my current role is bringing and working with people from different disciplines and developing solutions based on the insights they share. Additionally since 2014, my background in environmental studies has led me to create annual design workshops that help solve environmental problems.
Studying at the OEP was an amazing experience. With a broad range of subjects to choose from, I’ve learned various facets of environmental topics. Most importantly, I met friends from all over the world who shared diverse perspectives, approaches and stories.
Lecturers and tutors were all very helpful - whether it was helping me hone my English (I struggled during my first semester…) or through providing feedback on my essays and research. Some of my lecturers also became my mentors – people who’ve shared great insights and thoughts on my strengths and how I can address my limitations. When I was looking for a job, my lecturers also supported me through providing great references."
Most University degrees allow you to develop a set of specialised skills in a particular profession. The Masters of Environment at Melbourne University is different. It allows you to take a step back so that you can take a look at the big picture. Kirsten Simpson, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Vic Super
“I graduated from the Masters of Environment a decade ago now, having been in one of the first rounds of students to complete the program. What I learnt in the Masters gave me a good grounding and understanding of how everything is connected.
The world really is a very complex place. Most University degrees allow you to develop a set of specialised skills in a particular profession. The Masters of Environment at Melbourne University is different. It allows you to take a step back so that you can take a look at the big picture.
Having these skills has helped me to get to where I am in my career today. It’s also something that I look for when I hire people to work in my team. In fact, I have hired many Melbourne University Masters of Environment graduates over the past decade, including in my team at VicSuper today."
Chris Buntine – ESD Leader, AURECON group
“We are looking for graduates with passion and enthusiasm. They have a chance to really make a difference in society. If graduates have an underlying vision for the future it is a great way to influence others and create change."
Ben Furmage, General Manager, Customers & Strategy
at Melbourne Water
“In tacking environmental concerns such as climate change, it is not one discipline that is going to provide an effective response to those challenges. In selecting graduates we look for people who can not only apply their technical skills in a practical way but are able to work with others to draw on the strengths of a diverse team.”
"I currently work at AECOM, a key strategy partner for the 100 Resilient Cities program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. My job as a Resilience Planner is to support the development of resilience strategies within the 100 Resilient Cities program in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Puerto Rico by identifying and addressing the challenges and opportunities of each city. Additionally, I support the USAID PARA-Agua project in Colombia on the application of the UNISDR-AECOM-IBM Scorecard, a quantitative tool that provides a set of assessments to allow cities and regions understand how resilient they are to natural disasters and develop strategies to adapt to climate change.
Studying the Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne was crucial in attaining my current role because it helped me develop the skills to communicate effectively among the various disciplines that are involved in addressing climate change issues, which is necessary when it comes to designing the adequate strategies for low carbon and climate resilient development."
"I currently work at the Department of the Environment and Energy. I’m in the Graduate Program, which means I rotate through three different teams at the Department before finding a permanent team in 2017. Currently I’m working on Australia’s international carbon markets policy. A big focus of our work is examining what shape international carbon markets might take once the Paris Agreement on climate change comes into force in 2020.
I chose to study at the University of Melbourne because I think that if you’re going to do something, do it right. I knew that if I was going to devote the time and money to getting a post-grad degree that I wanted to be exposed to the best lecturers and surrounded by the brightest and most passionate students. On top of that, the Master of Environment course is unique. You can’t balance your stream or major with your personal interests as seamlessly in other courses.
My studies at the University of Melbourne have had a very direct impact on my career to date. Taking climate policy classes in both my undergraduate and postgraduate studies inspired me to apply for a climate policy role at youth NGO Global Voices, where I worked with fellow OEP alumni. Through my work at Global Voices I met The Climate Institute team and was then lucky enough to work there (where I also had the opportunity to work with great Melbourne Uni Staff). It was because of my work with both Global Voices and The Climate Institute that I am in my current role.
The people I’ve met and the things I learnt at the University of Melbourne not only helped me get where I am, they inspired me to even try to get here in the first place."
"During my study in the Master of Environment I saw an opportunity through the Internship aspect and went for it. I took annual leave from my non-environmental day job, and did three weeks at Moonee Valley City Council. I was lucky enough to hit upon a great organization. I was very targeted and determined in my approach. A few months later a job came up there that was highly desirable in the sector and I got it. A lot came down to knowing the people, the team, and the processes already.
I’m currently responsible for the Eco-Living program, which includes urban agriculture and sustainable gardening, sustainable homes, green infrastructure, which intersects with greenhouse and urban ecology. Working in the environment sector would still be a pipe dream if it weren’t for the Master of Environment, but it also takes a lot of strategic planning on your own behalf too.
One of the most worthwhile things I’ve done is graduate with my Master of Environment at Melbourne University People know you’ve worked hard to achieve. You become part of the University’s reputation. That’s why it’s so rewarding."