Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > School News > Geography Society Welcomes Natalia

Geography Society Welcomes Natalia

Natalia Gryskowska, OH 2009-11 spoke online to the students
7 Mar 2024
School News

The Geography Society were pleased to welcome back, virtually, Natalia Gryskowska, OH 2009-11.  Natalia was at Hymers for 2 years before moving out of the area, but has remained in contact with her former school.


I studied at Hymers until Year 9 before moving eslewhere, but I continued studying Maths, Geography and History. I used to take piano lessons with Mrs Armstrong and took piano exams until Grade 4 or 5 I believe, which I always looked forward to and dreaded at the same time! 

After finishing school, I went on to study Architecture at Manchester School of Architecture, as I enjoyed the combination of drawing and technical subjects, and originally joined Hymers with the intent of studying it.

I began my career as an architectural designer at Ridge and Partners for about 3 years, working on a range of exciting projects, such as engineering facilities for racing teams and student accommodation to high sustainability standards. I also joined the company's sustainability strategy team, where I would advise how our office could minimise its negative impacts on the environment. This would be through things like improved recycling, office planting, or avoiding single-use cups. This inspired me more to continue incorporating the environmental sector into what I do but also frustrated me of how much there is to do to help the environment and how little people seemed to be interested.

While trying to work full time, I decided to study for a master's in Environmental Sciences, also in Manchester. During my master's, I was appointed as a green infrastructure consultant, where I mapped the campus's existing greenery and analysed it towards the university's biodiversity strategy. This is the first step to developing an urban greening factor for the UK, which will specify what proportion of new development will be greenery. So it was a very inspiring piece of work that is ongoing with the university team.

After completing my Master's, I moved to Atelier Ten to be a Sustainability Consultant in the construction sector. I currently specialise in LCA, or life cycle assessments. I assess and report the carbon footprint of the lifetime of a building, going from extracting materials to building it, construction itself, its running, as well as end of life and demolition. The role involves a lot of data analysis and a fair bit of knowledge of how buildings work on their own, and within society. It's very enjoyable, but at this stage, not very rewarding because of how complex the industry is, and how little people understand what building sustainability really means. This is a great opportunity for fresh minds to step into it, as there is a lot of work to do and motivation is the best push for getting things done! Being fairly fresh in the industry myself, I see how much a lot of interest can change!

For this reason, I also decided to join the UK's Green Building Council, where I act as a consultant in learning and development. This means I regularly meet with a group of professionals in similar roles, discussing what challenges we come across as a sector, and what individual companies and universities do to address them.

It's been a lovely time meeting the current sixth-formers. I was impressed by the complexity of the questions they were asking and how much I had to think to answer those questions for them to get some valuable insight into the industry.


Thank you, Natalia, for taking the time to talk to our Geography students.

Similar stories

Sophie Middleton, OH 2015-21 spoke to the Sixth Form at Hymers College More...

Emma, Lisa and Emily

An evening discussing careers in the engineering sector More...

Richard Dunning, OH 1995-2002 spoke to our Sixth Form students More...

Raj Shah, OH 1984-94, returned to talk to our Sixth Form Business and Economics Society More...

Nick Williams, OH 1985-95, spoke to the Sixth Form students More...

Gordon Prescott with alumnae, Gemma Stephenson and Sarah Lightowler

The event was organised by alumna, Charlotte Hutchinson (née Parker), who in 2021 returne More...

Peter Galloway, OH 1971-81 spoke to the Sixth Form students online More...

Thomas Innes, OH 1997-2007, spoke to the students about his legal career in arbitration More...

Most read

John Morris started teaching at Hymers College in 1980 and was Deputy Headmaster at the time the school became co-educational More...

Steve Walmsley is Director of Sport and started at Hymers College in the year it became co-ed More...

Andrew Penny taught music at Hymers College from 1977 until 2022, before and after the school became fully co-educational More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech