“The Master’s program has given me a tangible perspective on the environmental challenges we face and a desire to take action.”
As a sustainable development consultant, Natacha looks back on her path within the Master's program in Energy provided by 3 PSL engineering schools (MINES Paris - PSL, École nationale supérieure de Chimie de Paris - PSL & ESPCI Paris - PSL), her interest in environmental issues and her carreer choice.
Driven by a desire to understand and take action, Natacha has a high-level scientific background in environmental science. After graduating from high scool in Australia with her International Baccalaureate in hand, she decided to get her Bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Melbourne.
“At school, I had a hard time choosing subjects – so many of them were interesting. The University of Melbourne offered a science degree that let you gradually choose a specialization, which was exactly what I wanted. Eventually in my final year I chose to major in physics, because it was a subject that really explains a lot about the world we live in.”
After completing the three-year Bachelor’s program, she felt an even keener desire to learn more. She was interested in environmental topics, so she researched the educational programs that were available in France and found the Master’s degree program in Energy at PSL.
“I really loved science, but it seemed too abstract to specialize in pure physics. The Master’s program in Energy offered concrete applications for basic scientific knowledge right from the start, in really practical areas such as energy resources. Plus, it was located right in the heart of Paris – it was perfect!”
During her time as a Master’s student, she was fascinated by her study of materials for energy systems, and life cycle analysis. Her various laboratory internships taught her about the different aspects of being a researcher, and she realized that although she loved the discipline, it didn’t fully satisfy her desire to take action.
“We had classes in the three engineering schools that contribute to the PSL Master’s program, and we heard helpful, passionate speakers. That gave us the tools to develop a very practical, comprehensive approach to devising innovative solutions for both current and future environmental challenges through a wide range of projects and actions. In one of those projects, I realized that I didn’t want to do a doctorate. We were all interviewed by a research professor about our academic plans and ambitions, and we were asked to describe what we were most interested in. That was when I realized that, more than anything, I wanted to make an impact. More broadly, those years taught me that the solutions go far beyond technology. To have a real impact in the world, it’s essential to work with both public and private organizations.”
A few months after receiving her degree in August 2019, she was recruited to be a sustainability consultant for energy and climate projects and environmental impact quantification.
“Now that I’m in day-to-day contact with associates, senior consultants and managers, I really feel at home in the world of consulting. My education pathway had a lot to do with that. During the two years of my Master’s program, I learned how to contact specialists in various areas, evaluate their level of expertise in a given subject and learn the key concepts. That’s very important in consulting – knowing how to quickly master the basics of a new topic and make our analyses and results more accessible so they can be understood by our clients. Basically, it’s combining technical skills with pedagogy.”
Natacha spends every day trying to push the boundaries. She would like to see a time when the word “waste” is no longer part of our vocabulary.
“We have to stop talking about waste – everything can be recycled or reused. We need to look at products from a circular standpoint. In an ideal world, we would no longer have disposable items.”
Natacha is a long-time music lover who’s been into drumming for several years, and she’s currently a member of a batucada percussion group. In fact, she has already been to Brazil to perform at the Carnival in Salvador.