Chantal Mawer

Currently employed as a Researcher/Analyst for the Waitangi Tribunal, Chantal says her Master of Environmental Studies opened doors to many job opportunities.

Master of Environmental Studies graduate Chantal Mawer

Chantal has always been interested in how people interact with the natural and built environments around them. After studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology, International Relations and Development Studies, she felt the Master of Environmental Studies at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington offered a diverse range of courses that could help her develop her knowledge further.

“The Master of Environmental Studies programme gave me an opportunity to learn about the challenges facing our planet and the different ways to respond to these. It also gave me a greater awareness of the interconnectedness between people and place.”

Community in unexpected spaces

Chantal’s thesis focused on community and the spaces which allow for this. It examined the role that suburban shopping malls in Aotearoa can, and do, play as community spaces.

“My thesis assessed decision making mechanisms, questioning how communities can participate in the development of what they conceive of as their community spaces. I was excited about the unexpected spaces where community could be found, the ways it could be supported/strengthened and how as a society we need to acknowledge community spaces in their myriad forms, whether they be privately or publicly owned."

“My Master’s gave me the fundamental tools and connections to enter the workforce and provided crucial critical thinking skills. My study also provided me with an opportunity to work alongside some of the top scholars in my field and build long lasting relationships. If you’re looking for a broad understanding of the environment and the world we live in, this is a great Master’s for you.”

A myriad of career options

Since graduating, Chantal has worked as an analyst role at Te Arawhiti, the Office for Māori Crown Relations, working in both the Takutai Moana and Treaty settlement space. She now works as a Researcher/Analyst at the Waitangi Tribunal.

“Having a Master’s provided me with many job opportunities and because the Master of Environmental Studies is so broad you have a wide range of fields that you can choose to work across.”

A compact city

Originally from Taupō, Chantal didn’t think city life was for her but quickly changed her mind after moving to Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington).

“I love living here despite not being a ‘city person’. I really enjoy the compactness of the city, the ability to bike and walk everywhere, and the opportunities for adventures right on your doorstep. There are so many things to do and be involved with and I have been really lucky to find an amazing community here.

You can find out more about this programme by visiting the Master of Environmental Studies qualification page.