Martina Metzler, who graduated with a degree in environmental soil science, works as a chemist at Novalab Oy.
1. What did you study?
I studied environmental soil science in Viikki. In addition, I completed study module in chemistry. I had studied environmental protection science at the Open University before starting my degree studies. By completing a few additional courses I also turned this into a study module. In addition to my degree studies, I also attended many interesting lectures in topics such as development studies, environmental policy and bee culture.
2. What do you do for a living?
I work in a laboratory called Novalab Oy, a testing laboratory that conducts chemical and microbiological analyses. We analyse plenty of samples of, for example, polluted soil and water, as well as food, animal feed, raw materials and many other substances. I work as a chemist at the laboratory. My main duties include developing measurement methods for detecting various elements such as lead, mercury and uranium in water samples. My days are largely spent advising laboratory technicians in their work and presenting reports to customers, but I often get to do laboratory work as well.
3. How does the future look in your field?
There is continuous competition in the laboratory sector. On the other hand, increased awareness of the state of the environment creates more demand for research. I work with consultant companies that decide on taking samples and recommend various cleaning methods for, e.g., contaminated areas. My studies would have well qualified me for those duties as well. Continuous construction and the need for additional residential or industrial areas require using potentially polluted sites. This results in work for both consultants and the laboratories analysing the samples.
4. What is your favourite memory of your studies?
I greatly enjoyed the freedom of university studies. If you knew you were extremely well versed in some topic, attending lectures was not compulsory. On the other hand, sometimes you wanted to drag yourself to lectures at eight o’clock in the morning even after extended partying the night before. Other students were great as well – wonderful people who were extremely interested in the same things as you. My year-long student exchange period in Vienna was awesome! It is difficult to name just one best memory. Perhaps lunchtime conversations with friends? Perhaps finding yourself and a direction for your life?