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From classroom to employment

What has become of the best UPV students? Five years after graduation, have they fulfilled their dreams?

[ 04/07/2024 ]

Vicent, Erica, Agustí, Andrea and Lucía were model students at the Universitat Politècnica de València. Their records were close to perfection, above 9.5 on average. A real madness. When choosing a course during pre-enrolment, they had all the options. And yet they decided to follow their vocation, far from fashions and trends. They graduated a few years ago. We caught up with them to find out how they are doing. Have they fulfilled their dreams? Spoiler: they are on the right track.

Vicent Ribas, remote sensing with drones from Finland to the USA

Vicent Ribas Costa, 26 years old, graduated in Forest and Environmental Engineering in 2019 with an amazing grade. He did his Master's in Madrid, with an exchange programme at the University of Helsinki. Back in his native Ibiza, he worked at Terrapi World, a consultancy for companies dealing with natural resources, agricultural systems, landscape, rural development and the bioeconomy. He combined this with a 6-month stay at North Carolina State University, where he worked at the Forest Productivity Cooperative as a remote sensing and geographic information systems specialist. After a very competitive selection process, he was awarded the INPhINIT scholarship from the "la Caixa" Foundation to pursue her PhD. He is now in his second year.

Vicent believes that the Universitat Politècnica de València has trained him very well. "A university cannot teach you everything, but it must prepare you to find the resources you need at any given moment. The UPV more than fulfilled this". Of his years in Valencia, he fondly remembers "the bond we formed in class. Every year, we organised a forestry trip to the national parks of Spain".

Erica Mataix, entrepreneurship in her hometown

Erica Mataix Domínguez, 28 years old, graduated in Business Administration and Management at the Alcoy Campus. For her outstanding performance, she was awarded the Extraordinary Graduation Prize by the General Captaincy.

Erica chose the campus in her hometown, Alcoy, because of its proximity and economy -the prestige of the UPV guaranteed the quality of the training-. She did an internship in an insurance brokerage firm, and, like many others, she opted for a Master's degree after graduating. It was then that she discovered entrepreneurship. She met other young people with the same interests, who inspired her to set up her own start-up, Niwsion, with two partners. This is a neuromarketing and strategy agency specialising in studying consumer behaviour, which has already worked with Oceanogràfic and Aitex, among others.

About her time at the Alcoy campus, Erica emphasises how she interacted with the professors and the excellent atmosphere. "These are things that make studying and personal and professional growth easier. In other words, you don't need a big city to prepare for a great future".

Agustí Sala, an unwavering restorative vocation

Agustí Sala Luis, 26 years old, is a rare example of vocational precocity. In his 4th year at ESO, he attended a restoration workshop and decided this would be his world. He enrolled in the Bachelor's Degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage offered by the Faculty of Fine Arts. Like his classmates, his studies have been marked by awards and prizes for the best record.

After graduating, he went on to study for a Master's degree, also at the Universitat Politècnica de València. He completed up to three extra-curricular work internships, which allowed him to take part in the restoration of several works, from the medieval altarpiece in the town of Gea de Albarracín in Teruel to the organ in the Cathedral of Tarazona.

To round off his academic career, Agustí is currently preparing his doctoral thesis on bio-cleaning with fungi. "I am optimistic about my professional future, which will undoubtedly be in the field of restoration, either as a researcher or as a lecturer".

Andrea Oliver, a passion for the environment

Andrea Oliver Marín, 26, was recognised in 2019 as the third-best graduate in Environmental Sciences in Spain, according to the national Spanish Society for Academic Excellence ranking. After graduating at the UPV's Gandia campus, Andrea moved to Barcelona to study for a Master's degree, which allowed her to do an internship at Aquatec, part of the French giant Suez.

Homesick to return to her native Mallorca, Andrea redirected her career towards local management. She passed the selection process at Saica Natur, a Zaragoza-based group with 10,000 employees in 10 countries, and joined the team in Palma. There, she works as an account manager for recyclable waste.

Andrea is happy with her career and committed to her work. "The working environment is great". She has fond memories of the Gandia campus. "I particularly liked the family atmosphere, the commitment of everyone and the number of hours that the teachers could dedicate to you". Andrea is passionate about her profession. "The Degree in Environmental Sciences has a great future. The course is very enjoyable, and you learn a lot. It's perfect for anyone who cares about the environment. It allows you to contribute to a better future, not only personally but also professionally, and positively impact your country".

Lucía Gómez, breaking new ground in the audiovisual industry

Lucía Gómez Megías, 27, finished the last year of her Bachelor's Degree in Audiovisual Communications with an average of 9.92. This intense commitment to her studies has not prevented her from taking part in all kinds of projects: she has written scripts, edited short films, directed pilots and produced projects. Among her early works, the 6-episode web series Retales stands out, which, thanks to crowdfunding, was able to give an honest portrait of university life and take a stand against sexist violence.

When it came to specialising, Lucía chose a Master's degree in screenwriting. Since then, Lucía has been working on projects for La Madriguera, Desarrollo Productores, Milana, Buenpaso... She is currently working as a freelance editor at Elka Produccions and is looking for funding for an animated series and a feature film. It is not easy to make your way in the audiovisual industry, but Lucía has put a lot of desire and energy into it and already has an enviable portfolio. Of her time at UPV, she appreciates the quality and quantity of the practical classes and the group projects with her classmates. Those who were once her classmates are now her colleagues.

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