Alumnus Jahanzeb Waqar enrolled in TRU’s Master in Environmental Economics and Management program to learn about greener and more sustainable ways to do business.
While finishing up his undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Pakistan, Jahanzeb was working part-time at an advertising agency and contemplating what was next for him after graduation. Initially seeking a master’s program in human resources to complement his business background, he found TRU’s Master in Environmental Economics and Management (MEEM) online and quickly discovered that it was one of the most comprehensive graduate programs available.
Jahanzeb’s family lives in Kamloops and he was eager to return to British Columbia. He applied to the MEEM program because it promised to balance economic and environmental sustainability through its course delivery.
“The balance is actually very cleverly maintained. Each semester you have some economics and some environmental classes which overlap in unimaginable ways,” said Jahanzeb. “Climate change was a major topic throughout the degree and I doubt there could have been a better time to study it.”
Classes were held three days a week, enabling him to study full-time and complete his degree in one year, while working part-time as an assistant manager at a local business.
His fellow students were a varied bunch in terms of education backgrounds, coming from disciplines such as banking, political science and arts. Some had never studied economics before. Jahanzeb and his classmates each brought different types of expertise to the table and all were encouraged to share their knowledge when relevant topics were discussed.
He found the program’s instructors to be helpful, as they followed up on students’ progress on projects and were available for office hours whenever someone needed additional guidance.
Jahanzeb enjoyed every class he attended, and was surprised at how much he learned in some of them.
“I think Community Development was a course that really blew me away. I already appreciated the Western way of planning ahead, but never would have thought communities could be planned in such amazing and tangible ways.”
He also used some student services during his time on campus.
“I took advantage of the Graduate Student Commons space as well as access to the Library and their occasional 24-hour days. The computers and network access in labs are amazing and the classrooms in the International Building are brilliantly designed and well equipped,” he said.
Jahanzeb was adamant he does not want a desk job, and made this clear when interviewing for positions after graduation. He found his fit with British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in the Lower Mainland, where he’s now working as a district operations technician. His responsibilities range from co-ordinating development projects to maintaining relationships with key stakeholders such as the public, contractors and Indigenous communities.
He’s glad to have landed a gig that gets him out and about, with a major employer in a job where he can continue building his knowledge and skills, and pursue new opportunities as he grows professionally.