Luke Richards

Luke Richards

Luke Richards

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Masters
  • Year commenced: 2019
  • Specialisation: Master of Environment and Sustainability

Why did you decide to do further studies at Monash Science? 
I effectively decided to pursue a career in conservation and sustainable development during a year long hiatus I took from my career in engineering and project management during 2017. By giving myself time away from the day-to-day, project-to-project mentality of these industries I allowed myself the chance to recognise what my passions were and what meant the most to me. I began researching higher education degrees that looked to explore the current day environmental issues as well as the ever present social and economic issues of our time. Through this process I came across Monash University, and in particular the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Having reviewed the course curriculum extensively, and after corresponding with the course coordinator Dr. Susie Ho, I became certain that Monash University would provide me with the knowledge, tools and perspective required to effect sustainable, trend-shifting change in the sector of my choosing.

In a few lines, tell us about your work and how it will impact the world or solve a challenge.
By combining my master’s degree and previous work in project management, I will look to focus the remainder of my career on enabling sustainable land use and secure food production in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. It is my belief that over the coming years sustainable smart-agriculture will prove to be the required interface between development and conservation, and I look forward to being involved in this revolution.

What has been the highlight of your Masters so far? 
The enthusiasm and passion of the teaching staff of the Masters of Environment & Sustainability has been a highly influential highlight thus far in my degree. I have found the structure of learning directly from industry leaders who are genuinely passionate about their discipline to be particularly enjoyable.

What are your plans after graduation?
Upon graduation I will look to enter the environmental NGO workforce, preferably for an international organisation such as Conservation International or The Nature Conservancy. Working for organisations such as these would provide the opportunities that I’m chasing to work on the ground with communities of developing countries in a collaborative effort to promote social and economic development whilst protecting nature.

If you were to give some advice to someone who's thinking about pursuing a higher degree at Monash Science, what would you say? 
In terms of deciding on whether or not they should pursue a higher degree at Monash I would recommend that they contact the head of faculty or course coordinator of the degree they’re interested in and explain to the staff in no uncertain terms:

1) What it is they’re looking to get out of the course, and

2) What it is they’re looking to pursue upon graduation

The faculty and coordinator are the people who will be best suited to answer your own unique questions, as such it’s best to ask them directly! In my experience Monash’s course coordinators have been outstanding in their individually curated responses to my queries, so I couldn’t recommend reaching out to them more.

A life hack/piece of advice that I live by: 
“Win the morning to win the day”
I’m a big believer in the power of momentum, and I believe genuine passion is the best driver of momentum! If you’re pursuing a career or path that you’re not interested in or care for, you’re not only doing a disservice to yourself but also those who work with or for you!