Fish was the least favprite topic during the Master's at SLU, thought Jonė Lescinskaite. Now she is a river restoration specialist at the Ministry of the Environment in Lithuania.
"Have an open mind", is her best advice to all students.
What are the main tasks in your position?
My tasks are mainly related to policy making, as the new government started working in winter, I have been involved in strategic planning for river restoration, fish migration and budget. A lot of what I do is solving problems, it involves a lot of communications between communities, local governmental bodies, scientists and different ministries. Right now I am organising a study that is needed for preparations of different strategies for river restoration projects up till 2027.
How did you find the job?
I was working with the Ministry of Environment in a different format for a half a year, a sort of paid internship, until they offered a contract for 2 years working with river restoration starting last October.
How does your daily routine at work look like?
As I have a variety of tasks my day is never the same. However, it is an office-based job so during the day I have online meetings, make quite a lot of phone calls and write several e-mails. I have at least few hours a day of productive work where I write official answers in the name of the Ministry regarding issues related to dams. Every week I get journalists asking questions about dams and the plans regarding them, so I prepare answers, give interviews and publish news.
What made you decide to study our Master's programme?
After my Bachelor degree in Scotland I knew I wanted to study wildlife management and dreamed about living in Sweden even for a short while. So, the decision was already made. The only place in Sweden that seemed to be offering courses that interested me was SLU in Umeå.
In what way did the education at SLU contribute to your job?
SLU contributed a whole lot; without SLU I would not be where I am right now. There were a lot of very interesting lecturers from different fields, I like to think that I incorporate things that I learned there in my work now.
Any advice for current or future SLU students finding their dream job?
Honestly, in university fish was my least favorite topic, I ‘m pretty sure I slept through a few lectures. I wish everyone to be open to different opportunities, you never know where life and few random choices will take you. One day it is one of your least favorite topics and the next day you are a pioneer working with that topic! Therefore, it is good to keep your mind and heart open.
Many thanks to Jonė Lescinskaite!
And thanks to Amber Mertens De Vry, Pablo Del Rio and Markus Woesner; the master students who during the academic year 20/21 ran the account Masters of Nature on Facebook and Instagram who did this interview.