Name, First Name: Espinosa Gutierrez, Gabriela
Study Program, Degree:
Year of Degree:
Why did you choose the TUHH back then and was that good from today’s perspective?
After studying environmental protection technology in Mexico, I really wanted to do a master’s degree in Germany because of the country’s language and tradition of innovation. I found Hamburg very attractive as an international metropolis, but the combination of a technical university and an MBA degree was the decisive factor. For me it has been confirmed time and time again that it was a very good decision. Thanks to my training as an engineer at the TUHH and the management skills I acquired at the NIT, I am able to take a holistic view of the challenges in my job.
What was your motivation for choosing this field of study and this profession?
Environmental protection has always been an important issue for me. I just can’t imagine working with passion in any other field. But I also know that economic progress and environmental protection must go hand in hand in order to be able to guarantee real sustainable development in our global society.
What was your career like after you left the TUHH?
I worked as an environmental consultant in Hamburg for two years. During this time I got to know many branches of industry, visited locations and traveled a lot. Then I came back to the TUHH and got the chance to do my doctorate at the Institute for Wastewater Management and Water Protection. I developed a water balance project for my hometown in Mexico. I have been working as a project manager at Knoell Germany for a number of years, creating ecological risk assessments for the use of pesticides.
What is the best thing about your current job?
I find it fascinating that you can simulate very complex processes in nature in long-term time series on the computer. I work with colleagues from many different disciplines and everyone has a different job. I not only find this multidisciplinary approach exciting, it is absolutely necessary for holistic solutions. If I can then ensure that everyone supports the project goals, that communication between the specialist units works well and that we manage everything within the projected time and budget, then that feels great!
What does a typical working day look like for you and what skills do you need for it?
As a project manager, I have to communicate a lot. My working day is characterized by team meetings, phone calls and customer communication. I spend a large part of the time organizing work and interpreting and communicating results for risk assessment.
What did you take away from the TUHH degree beyond your technical knowledge?
During my studies, I not only got to know the German culture and way of working, but also people from many different countries. I noticed the cultural differences and learned that everyone ticks differently and that there are different mentalities depending on the country. This experience helps me to communicate and work effectively with people from all over the world today. In addition, thanks to the double master’s degree, I have learned to deal better with stress and to set priorities under time pressure. But also that hard work can be a lot of fun when a good atmosphere is formed with friends and colleagues.
Where did you prefer to spend your time in Hamburg while studying?
In my free time I often went for walks with friends on the Alster or in Planten and Blomen. And I was also very fond of salsa dancing on the Reeperbahn or with friends in pubs with live music to have a beer. It was almost a weekend ritual.
Was there an unforgettable experience during your time at the TUHH?
The 2006 World Cup in Germany was unforgettable, some of which even took place in Hamburg. The party atmosphere on the streets, which were full of tourists from all over the world, was just great. The biggest party I’ve ever seen.
What would you ask omniscient researchers from the future?
Whether they found life in space and how they communicate with life beings from other planets.
If you were the President of the TUHH …
… I would introduce the subject of sustainability as a compulsory lecture in all courses with specific exercises depending on the subject. In this way, the students could learn very early on to keep an eye on and integrate the aspects of sustainability in production and innovation processes.