Spotlight on our Inspiring Alumni - Caroline Wagner
Meet an inspiring Alumni
Why did you choose the International program at TAU?
I chose to do my MA in Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University because it was different, adventurous and provided the knowledge I wanted to learn; and little did I know this leap of faith was life-changing. Prior to my decision I had just started a corporate career in human resources and disliked the profit-driven mindset of the business world. There seemed to be no real purpose behind my 9-5 job. I wanted to change to a subject that I was passionate about; environmental sustainability. I was lacking education and experience in this field. So I decided to pursue an MA in this subject. I distinctly remember whether to opt for another UK university, a well-known university in the Netherlands or Tel Aviv University. I had never even been to Israel before, all I knew was what I heard in the media. I took the leap of faith to study MA Environmental Studies here at TAU because it was out of my comfort zone, something new & exciting and most of all an adventure to start my new life path. It was the best decision I have ever made so far!
Whilst researching this MA Program, I understood that an internship can be taken in parallel of this course. I was determined to gain experience in this field so that my “leap of faith” decision would be worth it and would help me get a foothold in this industry. I undertook an internship at Greenpeace Israel after initiating contact to offer my time with the non-profit organization. I gained extraordinary research skills, task prioritization and time management skills through working/studying simultaneously. If you can manage to focus on two tasks at a time, I recommend undertaking an internship as well. It will only boost your experience. Fortunately, Greenpeace Israel has hired me now as their Plastics Campaign Lead and the knowledge I gained throughout my studies I can now put into action and manage people at the same time. The MA program has set out a fundamental foundation on environmental knowledge that I use every day and continue to build on to find my career path.
The teaching staff
The teaching staff at TAU were always so approachable. It was like friends were teaching me. The lecturers are very knowledgeable and always allowed time to answer our burning questions. Discussions really enhanced the classes by providing real-life examples and scenarios. I was pleasantly surprised how international the teaching staff were, and of course the students.
In March 2020, Coronavirus hit the world which led to the program being moved onto Zoom. It was difficult to change the teaching method this quickly and there were some bumps on the way but we managed eventually. TAU offered all postgraduate students a free of charge course called Covid-19: From Crisis to Opportunity which was a great interactive manner of discussing the global situation from various perspectives.
Campus life in TAU
From campus life, I would say the libraries are a fantastic tool for all students. The online library access provides access to numerous scholarly articles and research papers and the physical space has books about all themes and subjects. The gym is also fantastic with much equipment and classes, albeit provided in hebrew. I would also recommend living in the Broshim dorms as they are conveniently located close to the Porter School and provide enough space to live comfortably.
My best educarional decision
In sum, the decision to pursue a MA of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University was the best educational decision I have made so far. It has brought me to exactly where I wanted to be after taking a leap of faith; working for an international environmental non-profit organisation.
And of course, study in Israel because of the hummus, you will not regret it. Trust me. :)