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//Explore a Career As a Climate Change Consultant | Ariadna Baró Planella

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Explore a Career As a Climate Change Consultant | Ariadna Baró Planella

Xpert: Ariadna Baró Planella
Role: Climate Change Consultant
Company: Ernst & Young (EY)
Location: Barcelona, Spain

The first Xpert Webinar of the year introduces Ariadna who is working her first job out of University as a Climate Change Consultant at EY – a global consulting company. We talk about her academic journey and what attitude she has kept to make it to where she is today. We also cover what her role is and how she is making the world a better place through her work.


Nexgen Careers: Welcome Ariadna, could you start by introducing yourself and tell us a little bit about your career journey and how you ended up where you are today?

Ariadna: Hi, I’m Ariadna. I’m 25 years old and I’m from Barcelona, Spain. Since I was a child, I was so interested in nature and natural sciences. So in my A level, I decided to do the science specification. Then I did my bachelor’s in environmental sciences in Universitat De Vic, Universitat Central de Catalunya – located outside of Barcelona.

During my bachelor’s I did an internship in a company called BCNecologia which is the company that designs the superblocks in the city of Barcelona. I was there when everything started in the city (2016). Though I was not working in the urban part, I was working in the waste management part – but I was there so I canI feel like I have lived the experience so and was really nice.

Then in my last year of the bachelor, I did another internship in a research institute in Barcelona called ICTA – Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals. There I did my degree thesis that was about ocean acidification, one of the main impacts of global change. I was studying the impact on the Mediterranean region and the Mediterranean Sea close to the Barcelona coast. My study was about the effects on the small animals that live in the sea. So how the co2 that the sea absorbs affects the shells of the animals.

When I finished my bachelor’s, I decided to do a Master’s degree. I did it at the UPC university which is the Polytechnical University in Catalunya. My Master’s was about sustainability and it lasted about two years. So the first year I did in Barcelona, and the second year I traveled abroad to Sweden to KTH university, I went there because I was really interested in sustainability or more focus in cities. And I was also interested in urbanism and urban planning. So I chose KTH University because they gave me this opportunity to discover other careers and to get into the subject. And to be in Sweden was a really good experience for me. My master thesis was about green infrastructure in Las Gloriès (a park in Barcelona).

Then I started to work in a company as a waste manager in a Spanish company called Ferrovial which  is a company that builds buildings – it is a huge company with different departments, but I was in the waste management part. And then I sent a CV to EY – they contacted me and I am now working in a way as a climate change consultant.

NC: Right now you’re working for this big global company. And, and we all know how hard it can be to get into these companies. So I’m curious about how you land this job. And also, if you can tell us a little bit about the challenges that you’ve had, because it can be hard as a young person, recent graduates to come into these big corporations and, and start working. So if you would like to tell us a little bit about that.

A: Everything started when I created my LinkedIn profile when I was on the master. Because I was looking for the next step in my career. When I was doing my master thesis, my now current boss at EY contacted me through LinkedIn. They told me that they were looking for a junior consultant and that they liked my profile and that I can start work for the company. But I rejected the opportunity because I was finishing my master’s thesis.

So I prefered to first finish my master’s thesis, and then go to work. I asked him if there’s a possibility to do just a part time job, but he told me that it has to be a fulltime job. So I said, sorry but I have to reject the opportunity. Once I finished my master thesis and my master in general, then I was looking for a job. So I sent my CV again to EY and then they contacted me again. And I’d say, Okay, now I’ve finished my master’s thesis and I’m interested.. So I did the interview process and then I got the job.

NC: Wow. So you were headhunted basically? I love that you even rejected the position and, like, I’ll come back when I’m available. That’s really cool. Good for you.

A: You know, sometime it is the other way around that the other way around, that you are looking and expecting and forcing these kinds of companies to look at you. It was hard at the beginning to reject this opportunity. But, of course, I was doing my master thesis on a topic that I really like. And, you know, I really like to be focused on one thing, and then do another one.

NC: Thank you Ariadna for your time – is there anything else you would like to share before we go?

A: Yes, I also want to say to the young people that it’s important first to understand yourself. To know what you really want to do in your life or not. What topics or subjects do you want to learn, and then go for it. Because now for example, I was studying a lot of different topics that now I’m using a bit of it in my actual job. But you know, I learned a lot about Urbanism and Green Infrastructure that I am not really applying now in my job. But also this kind of job gives you a lot of tools to be prepared for, for the future.

And, and it’s important to have some goals in your life, and to have a path to follow. But it’s also important that if you don’t fulfil 100% of those goals, it doesn’t matter. Because in the journey that you are doing as you try to achieve these goals, you learn a lot and you gain a lot of experience and that is also important in life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Having a LinkedIn profile while still in school can lead to the next step of your journey

  • Turning down an opportunity doesn’t mean that door is going to be closed forever. Do what you feel is right for you. The rest usually works out anyways.

  • Set up some career goals and try to reach them. If you don’t – that’s ok. Just make sure you reflect on the journey.

Nexgen Careers Host Cecilia

I'm Nexgen Careers Head of Content.

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