Recent graduates reflect on what it’s like to do a master’s at the centre
Straight from their final presentations, MSc graduates Bérénice Robaglia and Nora Giertz share insights into their master thesis projects, time at the centre and future plans
Bérénice Robaglia and Nora Giertz have been students at the centre’s two-year master’s programme – Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development (SERSD).
In September, Robaglia and Giertz reached the end of it, as they presented and defended their final thesis projects in front of an audience and a team of examiners. We talked to them about their experiences being master’s students at the centre and their aspirations as recent graduates.
What was it like to write your master thesis?
Robaglia: It was exciting to devote a full year to a topic that I felt very passionate about. The master’s programme at the centre is different compared to many others, in that it dedicates two semesters to the final thesis project. Questions within sustainability science tend to be complex, so, it makes sense that students are allowed more time to work on their individual projects.
The thesis project allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and learn research methods and tools, like QGIS and R, that were completely new to me. It was challenging at times, but I am thankful to my supervisors and my cohort of master students, who were very supportive, kind and willing to discuss the problems I was facing while writing the thesis.
What more have you learned in the master’s programme?
Robaglia: The main thing you get, is an overview of many, complex variables that are intertwined with each other in the social-ecological system we are embedded in. In order to deal with that complexity, you are exposed to learning various skills. I really like working in that kind of environment where you get to be versatile and gain a sense for the bigger picture.
How does it feel to be done with the final presentation of your master thesis?
Giertz: It’s a huge relief, but at the same time a bit sad. It has been a wonderful experience to be part of the master’s programme, and this occasion marks the end of it. So, I’m relieved, proud and a bit sad, all at the same time.
It’s kind of like opening doors and looking into different rooms of sustainability that you could go into. And then, you are actually allowed to step into one.
What did you think about the master’s programme?
Giertz: The first and the second year of the master’s programme are very different from each other. During the first year, you are introduced to the amplitude of sustainability science. It’s kind of like opening doors and looking into different rooms of sustainability that you could go into. And then, during the second year, you are actually allowed to step into one. In that sense, you come out of the programme with a combination of a broad overview of the sustainability field, as well as expert knowledge in the topic you chose to focus on during your thesis work.
So, what's next?
Robaglia: I think that the Stockholm Resilience Centre is an extremely rich and diverse environment to work in, and if possible, I would like to stay connected to the centre in some capacity. I am especially interested in the centre’s work on sustainable transitions within business corporations, and can see myself involved in that.
Giertz: I’m working at a company called Biosphere Intelligence together with some familiar faces from the centre. It’s in a start-up phase, but the aim of the company is to target strategic sustainability education towards businesses. It’s evident that we need to transform society from within various sectors, and I am grateful if I can contribute to this task.
News & events
Research news | 2023-10-03
Combining modeling and empirical research can give better sustainability insights
Mixing empirical methods and modeling can provide better insights into cause-effect relationships in sustainability, and improve governance
Stockholm seminars | 2023-10-11
How relationships contribute to and can help solve grand sustainability challenges
Michele Barnes, James Cook University, uncovers how relationships can mediate the drivers and outcomes of sustainability challenges
General news | 2023-09-19
New Google.org grant funds Centre research on AI-powered climate risk tool
Google.org has awarded five million US dollars to a group of scientists, including Centre researchers, to develop and scale ClimateIQ , an artificial intelligence-powered climate risk evaluation tool for cities
General news | 2023-09-19
Researchers and chefs team up for a sustainable lunch week
“Risotto on Swedish oat-rice, with apple cider vinegar, blue mussels from Bohuslän, parsley, and grated Svecia cheese”. That’s one of the science-cooked dishes that guests can enjoy at “A Planetary Lunch” — an experimental lunch week at Stockholm university
Research news | 2023-09-14
The SDGs are not on track — new report outlines what needs to happen
Humanity is set to miss the Sustainable Development Goals. But decisive and timely policy actions can kickstart extraordinary turnarounds and a giant leap toward achieving the SDGs
Research news | 2023-09-13
All planetary boundaries mapped out for the first time, six of nine crossed
For the first time, an international team of scientists is able to provide a detailed outline of planetary resilience by mapping out all nine boundary processes that define a safe operating space for humanity.