Lisbet Rhiannon Hansen: Newly hatched consultant aiming for an international career

selfie of Lisbet Rhiannon Hansen (LRHH) in front of a map

Lisbeth Rhiannon Hansen kick-started her international career by being one of the first to complete NIRAS Young Professional Academy, the two-year NIRAS talent programme. Today she works at NIRAS on development projects all over the world.

Lisbet Rhiannon Hansen thrives on an international environment. She is half Welsh, half Danish, but grew up in Brussels where she met people from the whole world. She has completed NIRAS Young Professional Academy (NYPA), the two-year NIRAS talent programme. After graduating, she was hired by NIRAS as a project manager, working with development consulting. She’s a genuine globetrotter who dreams of an international career that will allow her to travel the world. She is driven and motivated by the competitiveness characteristic of the consultancy industry and she values the international family she has been given via NYPA and her international work at NIRAS. Lisbet graduated from Aarhus University in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Environment & Conflict Analysis. Prior to coming to Aarhus, she finished a Bachelor’s degree in Geography at University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

When did you first become aware of NIRAS?

The first time I was introduced to NIRAS was during one of my first weeks of the Master’s in Aarhus. I did a course on eco-system management and we were given the assignment to produce a solution proposal for an actual project. The assignment was based on a NIRAS project in Kenya.

Why did you choose to become a consultant with NIRAS?

The moment I saw the NYPA programme advertised, I knew that was for me. The NYPA programme is a two-year programme for recent graduates who want to start a consultancy career. There are not that many opportunities out there for young people with limited experience to get a foot inside the door in the development industry because it is such attractive work. The opportunity to learn and travel was one of the factors that made the NYPA programme and a consultant career with NIRAS so attractive.

What motivates you in your work?

One of the things that motivate me is the way the consultancy world works. I am a relatively competitive person, so I like it when we fight to win a project and are allowed to implement our solution.

Where do you dream of seeing yourself in ten years’ time?

I will definitely be in some international position as that is what gets me fired up. I grew up in Brussels in a cosmopolitan setting and and I have always enjoyed travelling and being surrounded by people from different countries. It was my luck that the NYPA programme enabled me to work for seven months at the NIRAS office in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and I also did short work-related trips to Benin and Rwanda in Africa. At the same time, my primary workplace was in Belgrade in Serbia. I am excited to see where in the world my future NIRAS jobs will take me.

How would you describe the NIRAS community?

Wacky, funny, and full of hard work. We are one big, global family. It is very much feet planted in the soil, even if we do sometimes work in high intensity settings. People are friendly and think of others. We are comfortable together and I do believe that is important.

What are the challenges facing you today?

I am half Danish, as my name will tell you, but I do not speak the language particularly well. A new challenge for me, since being hired at the NIRAS office in Copenhagen, is participating in departmental meetings and speak more Danish with my colleagues. And I also have to practice my Danish pronunciation.