Svetlana and EUMETSAT

Svetlana loves learning. She is fascinated by people who know a lot and share that knowledge. She is very smart, but a most introvert person. She loves 5 things - traveling, CrossFit, photography, her family and her job. Svetlana has a great life and is successful in her career. For her, balance is everything. She is not interested in money. Balance means having a job that she loves, enough time to regularly do CrossFit, free weekends and friends to photograph, and enough resources to travel.

Svetlana has a very interesting and quite a challenging job. She is a senior environmental, social and governance analyst (ESG analyst). The beauty of this job is its cross-cross-disciplinarity. We all know about climate change and that each and everyone of us has to be more efficient, waste less energy, throw away less trash, recycle, ride our bicycles and be more aware and thrifty with consumables that can affect our environment.

But there is a whole group of people that are trying to drive the corporate world into keeping a better check on all these social, environmental and ethical considerations. And no, they don't go out on the streets to protest outside the corporate quarters before a major shareholder meeting. They actually have decided to take a more efficient route. Svetlana analyses the social, environmental and ethical impact of companies listed on the FTSE index. She then makes all this information available to investors, who, are continuously looking at the ESG risks before making their buy/sell decisions.

Along with a smart group of people worldwide, Svetlana and her peers are proving increasingly that ESG indicators can actually influence the bottom line for these big corporates. It is, as she remarked, "a different way to employ the power of money" and a better incentive for companies to become more environmentally and socially friendly - via an old and established route - their investors.

Whilst her job requires deep knowledge and thorough understanding in environmental chemistry and geography, social studies and ethics, finance and geopolitics, this is not what Svetlana imagined she would be doing. While she was studying for her master's degree in Environmental Geography in France, she took a course in 'remote sensing'. As always trying out new and interesting things, 'remote sensing' was not something she had the opportunity to learn or even hear about in her undergraduate studies in Russia.

'Remote sensing' is about observing how our Earth and its nature changes by collecting information and data from space. On her birthday, together with her class she visited EUMETSAT. She was enthralled: a satellite collecting data about trees that are dying due to changes in climate. She was persuaded, a master's in remote sensing in London would have been her next move. Her dream was crushed when she found out that the world was not as open as it advertises itself to be: the EUMETSAT jobs she was interested in didn't accept non-EU citizen.

She doesn't regret her career decisions and wouldn't redo any of them. Svetlana believes that it is ok to change your dream. But you still need to have a dream because this is what motivates you to go for better studies and look out for better jobs. And in this process you will discover yourself, you will realize what you like and don't like doing and even surpass your dream. What's also important, she says, is to be practical and make sure that you are always on the keeping an eye on the areas and industries that are growing so you don't invest your time and money on jobs that won't be needed.

***Photo: courtesy of Svetlana.