The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Karimi Gitonga

Karimi recounts experiences of studying MSc Environment and Sustainable Development at the Development Planning Unit

Karimi Gitonga
I came to the DPU having done an undergraduate degree in Developmental Biology also at UCL. Since I had graduated I had worked for Transport for London and London Underground as an Environmental Management Co-ordinator on their carbon and environmental management and footprinting programmes, interned at the International Institute of Environment and Development as part of their Communications team, and spent a year working in Nepal on a sustainable development project.

While doing all of this I learnt a lot but the more I learnt the more I realised I needed to learn to be better at my job. I am a very practical learner and I wanted to do a course that would not only help me cover all the theoretical elements but also learn through live projects in contexts and situations that I hadn’t dealt with before. A friend of mine was doing the ESD course at the time and recommended it so I signed up and haven’t looked back.

My year at the DPU helped me learn new concepts and ways of thinking and to tackle real problems that I have found directly useful in my subsequent roles. It allowed me to work on projects both in the UK and abroad, with multiple stakeholders, and with people from diverse backgrounds, drivers, and points of view. Most importantly, as well as teaching me a thing or two, it challenged me, the way I worked, and the way I worked with other people which has been invaluable moving forwards.

Currently I’m a Principal Consultant for an energy and sustainability solutions company based in London, working with both public companies such as universities, hospitals and local councils, and private organisations to develop low carbon solutions, environmental management systems, and environmental behavioural change and awareness programmes to drive sustainability forwards. I think on my feet and will always be glad and grateful for the time I spent at the DPU.