Spring Graduates 2023: Camila Pardo

We’re so proud of our Spring 2023 Graduates. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.

  • Date

    Fri 24 Mar 23

Biological sciences and creative writing don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but for Camila Pardo, her dream of bringing these two together became a reality when she studied for her Masters degree at Essex.

Camila was drawn to the MA Environment, Society and Culture at the University’s School of Philosophy and Art History, due to its interdisciplinary nature.

“As a biologist and literary studies professional, it presented an ideal opportunity to explore the ways in which the social and hard sciences can establish a dialogue, which is particularly relevant given the pressing need to address the current environmental crisis through innovative and interdisciplinary approaches,” she said.

Camila’s main challenge during her studies was not being able to travel to the UK to study at the University as she had planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am very aware that many lives and plans inevitably changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was still frustrating having the plans I had conceived for a long time fall through. If I'm being completely honest, this sparked somewhat of an identity crisis in me, and it was not always easy finding the motivation to always give my best,” she said.

By developing a positive attitude – focusing on the fact that she was healthy, had people who believed in and supported her, and was completing her postgraduate studies, even if online – she found the strength to continue with her studies.

“Having understood that I had all of these things to be grateful for, I found once again the motivation to lift myself up and put all my efforts into finishing my studies the best possible way. And I believe all the hard work has paid off.”

Camila was praised by her lecturers for her dedication to her work and for her final dissertation in which she weaved together her training in biology, passion for literature and experience working for environmental conservation. This is something she would like to do in the future – bring together science and the natural world through her writing.

“Hopefully, one day, my stories will help people learn more about the non-human others we share the world with, realise their value and importance, and inspire these individuals to take actions towards the conservation of our natural world,” she said.

Since graduating Camila  has been working at WWF Colombia to support knowledge management and monitoring initiatives related to different projects, particularly in the Colombian Amazon region. She is now studying for a  MSc in Science Communication at the University of  Western Australia.

Read more of our Spring Graduates 2023 stories.