Laura Schmitz

Laura SchmitzHi, I’m Laura. I am a Masters student in International Development Studies at Wageningen University (2015-2017). I am part of the Sociology of Development specialisation, and in October 2015 I joined the Sustainable Development Diplomacy (SDD) track. I first became interested in Wageningen, and the SDD track, because the university is a very international, open and green university. Environmental consciousness and care for our planet are only two of the values that Wageningen is well-known for in the Netherlands, in Europe and beyond. After my Bachelor of Arts in European Studies which I obtained from the University of Maastricht, I wanted to get engaged in something that is bigger than the European Union. With International Development, I found a track that tries to tackles global challenges of poverty, inequality and disrespect of human rights – while keeping environmental implications in mind.

My motivation to join SDD stems from my interest in International Relations and the European Union, where I was always fascinated by negotiation processes and diplomacy. The specialisation track of SDD offers a better understanding of how and why we need to strive for sustainable development. I particularly enjoy to learn about international environmental policy and how we can help to achieve agreement on how to tackle cross-cutting issues such as climate change, environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity.

Currently, I am finalising my second year of Masters by writing on my thesis. Since I wanted to connect the knowledge I have gained during my Bachelors to the one I gained in Wageningen, I am investigating how the EU is seeking to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its external development policy. My main focus is the new concept of policy coherence of sustainable development – a sub-goal of SDG 17.

During my internship at the Elsevier Foundation, I gained insights on how the public sector is getting involved in development and how it is making efforts to achieve sustainable development. After the completion of my studies, I would like to work for an international organisation or a governmental body/ministry to find out their way of working towards SD.