Who are you?
My name is Lara Matragi. I am French and Lebanese and I graduated from the Master of Science & Technology Environmental Engineering and Sustainability Management in 2020.
I am currently working as a Climate Strategies Consultant at South Pole.
Why did you choose École Polytechnique to pursue your studies?
I have always been interested in Environmental Engineering and about having a positive impact on the planet.
After graduating from a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engeneering I was looking for a Master’s Degree to pursue my studies. When I heard that École Polytechnique just created MSc&T programs I made enquiries and understood very quickly that the courses listed in that specific MSc&T were what I was looking for.
What did you like the most at École Polytechnique ?
What I really appreciated was the ease to meet new people – people from other countries, other backgrounds but also people from other programs – thanks to the various activities that are on campus. It is a fun way to learn to work together in an environment that is not educational.
What is your job about?
I am a Climate Strategies Consultant at South Pole within the Paris office – a company that supports private companies to improve their sustainability performance by offering a range of sustainability services that go from calculating and analyzing the environmental impact that organizations or events can have, proposing emissions reductions initiatives as well as compensating projects for the emissions that cannot be reduced.
As a consultant, I mainly work on the calculation and analysis of companies’ generated emissions as well as on finding reduction measures for these emissions.
How did the MSc&T helped you in your everyday work?
I am currently working in a field I had not worked on previously. During my time in the EESM program, we had touched upon the basis of Life Cycle Assessments of products, in other terms on the environmental impact that a product can have from the start of its production until it reaches the shop or even the house of the consumer. This subject was actually really helpful for me to grasp the idea of what I am working on right now, which includes different aspects of environmental impact assessments.
I would also add that my time at École Polytechnique as an MSc&T student, whether during my internships or studies, helped me in gaining confidence and networking better - which made me come a long way.
What do you like the most about your job?
I love working in a dynamic environment with people who carry the same goal and want to see some real changes in the coming years.
What memories do you have of your time spend at École Polytechnique?
I have lots of memories from that time. I actually made lifelong friends from that time, from different parts of the world and this is amazing!
To cite a few memories:
• Being part of the first generation of MSc&T students, we were not very numerous and this allowed us lots of visits to research centers as well as waste, water and water treatment centers and this allowed to have a very interactive education. We were taught by experts in their fields and that made the experience even more enriching.
• Sports and humanities were also a big part of the experience, I got to practice boxing and climbing during one year each and I was lucky enough to join the school handball team, which was a great time!
• I was also part of the student representatives of the MSc&T program and this allowed us to organize events and trips and mainly participating in those was lots of fun.
What are your ambitions for the future ?
I plan to keep on having a positive impact when it comes to sustainability and ecological problems and work on making that impact bigger everyday. And I think for now this means learning and growing as much as possible and as I go along I look forward to every challenge, change and opportunity that comes my way.
What advice would you give to future students?
Enjoy the most of your time!
- Learn from every person that you meet – every person has its own story and different point of views that can teach you a lot
- Network as much as you can – there are lots of ressources at Ecole Polytechnique that can help you build your network
- Look for something that motivates you and follow your path.