Taking an international master's programmet gives new insights and perspectives. Jessica is looking forward to a career in the development of sustainable societies, with respect to both social aspects and the climate.

Jessica Pengel is taking the final year of the Strategic Urban and Regional Planning programme. She comes originally from Stockholm, and studied international finance in upper secondary school. After this, she worked, travelled and studied for a couple of years before arriving at the Urban and Regional Planning bachelor’s degree at LiU. After completing that programme, she moved on to the Strategic Urban and Regional Planning master’s programme.

Why did you continue to the Strategic Urban and Regional Planning master’s programme?

I applied to the programme because I felt that I had more to learn. I wanted to continue building and gain in-depth knowledge after the first degree. I chose to remain at LiU because I thought that the courses in the programme seemed interesting and important. The four future-focussed areas that form the foundation of the programme are extremely topical, and I can see myself working with any of them after I graduate. And then, of course, it’s nice to know the teachers and have a certain understanding of how the programme has been set up.

What does the international nature of the programme mean to you?

Young woman, wearing ar red and white dress, standing in front of buildings with neon lights

It means that my fellow students come from all over the world. This gives new insights into problems that I previously have seen only from a Swedish perspective. It’s ideal for giving interesting discussions and examples during course seminars and lectures.

Plans for the future?

At the moment I’m focussed on the autumn and the internship I’m taking, which will be followed by writing my thesis during the spring term. I’m hoping to work with the development of sustainable societies in the future. In particular, I want to work with adapting cities for changes in the climate, or developing societies that are more socially sustainable. It’s a bit vague at the moment, but I’m sure that there are very interesting opportunities in strategic planning that I would be interested in working with.

How was the first year of the programme?

It was marvellous! Of course, it would have been even more stimulating if we could have met fellow students and teachers face to face at seminars and lectures, but things worked well in distance mode. We have also taken several interesting courses that dealt with everything from administration to digitalisation and climate adaptation.

I found the course on climate adaptation fascinating. It was great to work hands-on with the adaptation process in a specific town, and assess the initiatives and changes that were options for implementation.

In the course on digitalisation we got the chance to test a new way of presenting the report, using a platform known as “gather.town”. It was quite similar to Habbo Hotel (if anyone remembers that) and it was nice to do something other than a Powerpoint presentation in Zoom.

Now I’m looking forward to getting into a workplace during the internship and finding out how my knowledge can be put to use. I often refer back to the internship I did during my first degree as a means to compare and unite theory and practice. I’m sure it’ll be the same this autumn. I hope that the internship will be a firm basis for my future career through making new contacts and giving me a feeling of what I want to work with.

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