Caring the Earth, determined to bring positive impact, powered by a TalTech degree, Susmita is on track to a sustainable growth
Intro: At some point in life, one has to make a calculated risk to travel to a foreign country and start from scratch. Through personal perseverance and unconditional support at TalTech, Susmita is able to overcome challenges, and enjoy new opportunities along the way. Come and follow her footsteps from India to Estonia. Cheer her up for her new role as a QA Manager in charge of European sites at a very reputed Canadian company Lallemand Bio-ingredients, a leading yeast manufacturer based in Canada, with several branches in Europe.
- Susmita, what brought you to TalTech and Estonia? How long have been living in Tallinn?
My passion and interest towards environmental issues and corporate social responsibilities brought me here. I have done my Master’s degree in biochemistry in India and have been working in different renowned pharmaceutical and biotech companies as Quality Manager for as long as 7 years. From my work experience, I felt a great need to establish a balance between profit, people and environment, because environmental management is also an important dimension along with Quality management. I was looking for a course on environmental management and cleaner production. Through a European Education fair, I came to know about TalTech and MSc Environmental Engineering and Management. I was looking for a well-balanced curriculum which can enrich me with theoretical knowledge on environmental engineering and at same time can train me on management skills.
I was very happy to find this course which perfectly suits my requirements and finally it became the main reason of my landing in TalTech. I resigned from my company and moved to Estonia, which at that time was a tough and quite a risky decision to make, but I am glad I took that decision on time and came here. Eventually, this proved to be one of the best decisions of my career move. I have been staying in Estonia for the past 3.5 years, came a long way and continue enjoying new opportunities and challenges in day to day life.
- What is the most memorable moments during your studying at TalTech?
There are so many memorable moments during my study period. Registering a NGO under University for environmental issues and climate change was really awesome. Getting an offer from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden to spend a semester there, was a dream-come-true moment. My confidence touched sky when I was given an opportunity to arrange an industrial tour and to set up a complete event on site independently. Being an outsider and a foreign student, it was an inspiring and liberating experience. But, I think my most memorable moment was to receive my degree as a Cum Laude and meeting Honourable President Madam Kersti Kaljulaid at Kadriog Park. I think that was the moment which created memories for a lifetime.
- What are you doing now after graduating? In what way that your experiences at TalTech helps you to reach current position?
I am working as a Quality Assurance Manager and as an Environment specialist (for European sites) for a Canadian company, Lallemand Inc. My environmental management skills had been considered as an added advantage for my position. On one hand, my theoretical knowledge and practical skills helped me to deal with environmental problems, on the other hand, my management lessons strengthened me to manage organizational, operational and project management aspects of my job profile. Being a manager, it’s important to learn how to manage people and profit both without harming the environment and continue to move towards sustainable development. This is something what I learnt during my two years of studies. Lessons, case studies, and brain storming ideas in the class room actually gave some impactful applications in my professional life later. My thought process got evolved because my degree empowered me to think about the root causes and also provided me the tools to deal with it. That was really amazing!!
- If you need to describe Estonia in one sentence to a total stranger, what would you say?
I would say it’s a “land of innovation and countless opportunities”. If somebody has a passion and dedication to bring a positive change in this world, I think this is the place where he or she can initiate and continue to grow further sustainably.
- Would you recommend TalTech and MSc Environmental Engineering and Management to other students? Why?
Yes sure, especially students who are looking for a career in corporate world. Because this course is structured in such a way which not only gives practical knowledge on environmental management but also provides opportunity to get a deeper understanding on other subjects like public administration, project management , international business management and so on. Students can widen their scope in different areas and sectors. This course opens doors for various research fields like cleaner production, sustainability, environmental chemistry, even for core environmental subjects like pollution, climate change, life cycle analysis, environmental impact assessment and policy analysis.
- Do you have any suggestions to TalTech or your Faculty so that we could improve teaching and research quality?
I think it would be great if students can get more opportunity to see the application of different environmental technologies (abatement and remediation) at industrial level in real life. Even though the curriculum consists of excursions and industrial tours, students need to be encouraged to do collaborative projects and research with industries. This is the most effective way to stimulate and nurture young minds. Collaborative projects help to launch a platform where innovation and novel ideas will grow and be tested for its future compatibility and sustainability.
A more practical approach towards core environmental engineering subjects could be of some help to boost student’s understanding on a particular topic. Introduction of several foundation courses for non-expert students and advanced (specific and focussed on a particular subject) course for well-informed students ( good background from environmental engineering) can bring a huge difference in terms of overall performance of a class, where students are coming from different backgrounds and are at different levels. I would strongly recommend for introducing such courses in our faculty.
- Any other comments, tips, advices that you would like to share with us and potential international students?
I think the best part of my department and TalTech is the amazing staff and their unconditional support towards each and every student. I got some lovely responses and motivation from my teachers and support staff members; they all are knowledgeable and kind. I always find them willing to help whenever I need them. The only advice that I want to share with prospective students is, to come up with some background knowledge to understand the existing environmental issues and off course, with a dedication towards gaining knowledge to solve those issues. Learning different language and culture is a blessing that one must enjoy here in this university. Estonia and TalTech have lots of opportunities for those who dare to dream big and eager to try different things in life. I think joining TalTech was one of the best decision of my life on which I am and will be proud of. It not only empowered me to dream bigger but also strengthen me to support it firmly.
Suur Aitäh TalTech! Suur Aitäh Estonia!
Wishing all the best for future students of TalTech and also would like them to invite to join us for creating a greener and safer world together, where we all can live sustainably.
End notes: Industrial production has an enormous impact on the environment, and society’s awareness of such effects is constantly growing. MSc Environmental Engineering and Management offers an integrated approach towards current and long term strategic environmental issues, focusing on technologies and concepts in environmental planning and management for the sustainable development of industrial production systems.
Worried of human and industrial impact on the planet? This programme helps you to find interdisciplinary solutions in a market-based economy through the integrated management of water, wastewater, solid wastes, and air pollutants.