Rahel Greter, from Lucerne, Switzerland, is a Franklin University Switzerland alumna who graduated in the spring of 2021 earning a Master's degree in International Management with an emphasis on Responsible Management and Climate Action.
“My goal is to keep on working in project management in an international environment with a strong focus on sustainability. Luckily, I found a great opportunity in Franklin that aligned with my goal and with the mission statement of my next career.”
After working in tourism for a few years in Zug, Switzerland, Rahel was ready for a new adventurous challenge. She had always been fascinated by different countries, cultures, languages, and thus believed the world of tourism was a great fit for her. However, when Covid-19 impacted her life, Rahel knew she wanted to move on, meet new people with different backgrounds and contribute to a more sustainable world. Specifically, she searched for a horizon-expanding experience, a graduate program that would equip her with more competencies, enlarging her toolbox of hard and soft skills, to dive into a new era and professional career. The search for the right Master's degree started on the internet until Rahel landed on an Instagram ad of Franklin University Switzerland’s graduate program in Climate Action. What caught her interest was the composition of the program, the mix between group work, individual studies, online courses and in-person teaching. She especially liked the cozy size of the Franklin campus and the small classes which allowed a strong team spirit development. Moreover, the connections between the university and the United Nations, namely, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the private sectors seemed extremely attractive.
What she found in Franklin and in Lugano – apart from the inspiring nature – were new and useful learnings and methods, personal growth, and a network of motivated people hungry for change and willing to go the extra mile. When asked about her favorite memories, Rahel comments "the rope park excursion with the cohort which contributed greatly to the positive team spirit. Or, the walks to Gandria and along the lake. Finally, the nature week with Reboot the Future sessions in the Ticino forests." Practical courses such as Design Thinking – learn more here – or Project Management and the flexible study schedule stimulated her entrepreneurial spirit.
Outside the classroom, Rahel also engaged in raising awareness of sustainable practices in the Ticino area. Together with other MSIM classmates, she founded Oikos Lugano – article here – a student-led organization focused on integrating sustainable business and management into academic education. Among the many initiatives, she worked on the pilot project of a decentralized composting system at Franklin, dubbed the “Keyhole Garden”. The purpose of this project was to show best practices in the area of organic waste management to encourage the city of Lugano to supply more accessible organic waste solutions that will support the environmental, economic, and social pillar of sustainability. Today the garden is flourishing and can be found on Kaletsch Campus.
The practical experience from the graduate program gives students the knowledge, experience, and credentials to launch into the next phase of their careers. As Rahel states "the leadership skills I learned at Franklin serve me in my everyday life. Teamwork, effective communication, intercultural understanding, and personal responsibility are other key skills that I practice and continuously use in my current projects. As a matter of fact, Franklin University Switzerland has inspired me to adopt a life-long learning aptitude."
Since September 2021, Rahel has been working at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Organizations in Rome and her role includes how to further develop the Bites of Transfoodmation project and movement, an initiative that brings together people who are eager to change our food systems. Bites of Transfoodmation wants to re-plan and re-organize our habitats, our cities and, by extension, our food consumption and production systems to be pro-planet, sustainable and resilient. A collaborative mindset, adaptability, the ability to embrace uncertainty, and constant (un)learning are the useful leadership skills that Rahel honed and is using today in her new professional role.
“I wish to keep the curiosity to always learn and improve, to further grow my network and create opportunities by linking people and projects. I wish to further work in a multi-lingual environment where I can implement projects that positively contribute to a world that is sustainable and fair.”
Next on her to-do list are two occurrences of the Snack the System event, a festival and an exhibition on the future of food systems. First off is Milan, Italy, on May 6-9 – learn more here – where current Franklin graduate students Kristen Abberley, Carina Souza, Amalia Awad, Ann Jackson Edwards, and Melyis Cabrero will be joining Rahel and presenting a project named Vivido. The same event will occur in Rome on May 21, where Franklin alumni Helena Sarcone, Michael Garlid, and Erin Nickels will also be participating.