Karen FrancisMy name is Karen and I’m from Lebanon in the Middle East. I earned a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from City, University of London and soon will get a Masters in Environmental Engineering and Business Management from Imperial College London. I'm also a musician; I play the piano, guitar and saxophone. I like reading and going to museums every now and then!

Why did you choose to do your MSc with us?

Imperial is one of the top universities in the world. I chose to do my MSc at ICL because I was certain I would get an unparalleled opportunity to grow as a person, as well as to immerse myself in the field of environmental engineering. I was particularly interested in the core modules my program offered and I knew they fit my ambitions perfectly. 

What are you hoping to do after your studies?

I have a job lined up as an environmental specialist with the oil and gas company Shell. In the long run, I like to think I’ll be running my own waste treatment plant and play whatever part I can in preserving the environment. 

What have the highlights been so far? 

The biggest highlight of the MSc was my dissertation project. I had the chance to work with two amazing supervisors on a dream project in my home country. This gave me hands-on experience and fueled my love for this field. The help and support I received from my supervisors was truly invaluable. Another highlight was having some of my good friends from City (where I did my Bachelor's) with me at ICL. This made my experience more comfortable and familiar. 

What does a typical week look like for you?

During the first term, I spent most of my time at Imperial, going to classes, studying, or applying for jobs. The first term was extremely busy for me so I didn’t really have the time to enjoy my social life. Still, it was rewarding because I got a job in early January and so my second term was much cooler. I spent 6-8 hours at Imperial a day, between classes and studying, and travelled almost every weekend to meet up with friends around Europe. So I would say the schedule really depends on your workload and how efficiently you try to tackle it. 

What advice would you give to someone considering doing an MSc with us? 

The first piece of advice I would give is to be 100% sure that the course you are applying to is what you want to do. This MSc will take up so much of your time, and you have to really give it your best. Check the syllabus for all modules, talk to alumni, and ask questions so you know what you’re getting into. Other advice is to give it your all in the first term; work hard and apply for jobs; this will be very rewarding in the second term. At the same time, try to chill out. Imperial students can be competitive and at the end of the day your mental health is much more important. Reach out to your supervisor or tutor or the college counselor - this can be of great help. Finally, enjoy it! You’re meeting people from all around the world, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so have fun!