Student Profile - Adriana Puech

1.     What had you been doing prior to beginning your PG course at Schumacher College?

I worked first as an environmental engineer in research in smells, then in waste water treatment plants in France. Then I wanted to move towards a more social and creative approach, so I joined a small company of cultural change working on a project on mobility (different kinds of transport and people appreciation of innovations and new cultural initiatives). Finally and just before joining Schumacher for a short course I worked on a UN joint project on Adaptation to Climate Change, representing UNICEF (focus on children's rights, water and education). 

Then after an ecoliteracy course at Schumacher, I created an NGO of deep ecology, Efecto Mariposa, with a business partner. And in that process, I did the MSc. Today I still work at Efecto Mariposa, with whom we do the Certificate in Colombia.

2.     What was it that made you want to take the programme?

Since a little girl I fought against the way education was leaded in my school and high school. I need music, arts, sports, nature, friends, playing... things that my traditional education at school didn't allowed. So I did those things on my spear time, and I became a very busy kid. So busy that I became ill many times, as well as loosing one school year. But in my mind was clear I needed a more integral development of my being. I needed it. 

With time I ended my university, master and start working in a French system, and that reductionist approach became clearer. I came back to Colombia realizing all that system was not for me. I was lost. So I started new ways, different style of jobs, a coaching program, psychologist, etc. I desperately was looking for innovation, creativity, interdisciplinary views. And a place where emotions and intuition could be part of the equation. 

Besides, I studied environmental engineering looking for a closer relationship with nature. But unfortunately, nature never appeared in my studies, it was either some resources or a process of depolluting. I was then frustrated in my professional relationship with nature. 

Also, I think deep in my being I've being looking for a holistic livelihood, some life where everything is integrated and I could be a good mum, a good wife, a good professional, a creative artist, a balanced being... and it's being a long and patient inquiry, one of those one need to wive little by little. 

And finally, I was looking for a meaning in my life, so in that coaching programme I did before coming here, I defined my sort of mission, or compass in my life. Schumacher was alined with it. 

So once I came for a short course, I knew I wanted to do the MSc. I took me 2 years to come, finding funding etc. 

In that process of looking for a master, I looked at many options, studying singing or those masters where one can make it's own mix. I looked for landscape architecture among other things. But definitely, in Schumacher there was something else. It has deep beneath a way of seeing that is different, much more wise, connected and filled with what is lacking in the professional world: care and depth.  

3.     Describe your time at the College?

Mmm... wow, well for me, it was an intensive 8 months where I was submerged in all this. I hardly could go outside, it was an immersion into myself, nature, darkness, intuition and the feminine. What is beautiful is that science (complexity, chaos, Gaia) really help me connecting with those aspects. Understanding the non-linear, living the chaos in body and soul, hearing the voice of Gaia, singing the voice of the place, connecting with that universal language called intuition...

The community really hold me, and I know that being part of that community I could hold others. 

It became a highly creative space, where silence and quietness were enough. Where freedom could take flight embedded in relationships. Where darkness, magic and grace could dance within its gardens and woods. I could become an animal and a goddess, where the universe dissolved and I could be everything. The experience became so deep, I could be the essential vibrations that hold matter, that create sound and form. 

I really needed that depth, that silence, that sharing. It heal me, it gave me new wings, it showed me my unseen potentials, it gave me hope, it gave me a place to be with a meaning of life. 

4.     What have you gone on to do since leaving the College?

During my dissertation time, I joined back the Efecto Mariposa team to take care of our garden, to keep an eye on a few projects and to start the first Certificate with Schumacher in Colombia. Since then we have had 3 generations already, and we're heading the fourth. We've been strengthening EM: we have been working on our garden, on a community of organic food, on the certificates, and this year on several short courses around deep ecology and a holistic thinking, that go from leadership to pilgrimage and complexity for organizations. 

I've also become a mum, I have a beautiful boy 5 months old. He is gorgeous and lovely, such a good fellow.  

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