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Alumni Interview: Lejda Toçi, MSc

Today we are speaking to Lejda Toçi, an alumna of the MSc Environmental Technology & International Affairs (Class 2014-2016). Today she works as Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.

Lejda Toçi

Why did you choose the ETIA master course at TU Wien?
I was looking for a suitable Postgraduate Course that would combine my science background with my passion for diplomacy. The ETIA Programme not only provided a curriculum that combined the best of both worlds, but also allowed me to pursue a career in environmental issues which are very close to my heart and also to spend more time in a wonderful city like Vienna.

What advice would you want to give to new prospective students for the MSc ETIA - what should they know?
The MSc ETIA program is a wonderful experience not only in an academic perspective. It is therefore important to make use everything that the life at the DA and TU have to offer, both inside and outside the lecture halls, including social events, networking, and being part of a very special community in Vienna which creates opportunities and motivates for a career in diplomacy.

How did you benefit from the program personally? (Networking, contacts)
I think the ETIA offers a very valuable expertise on what is the grey area between science and diplomacy, which is increasingly a challenge in today’s world. Being able to understand today’s environmental challenges such as the climate crisis, the rapid loss of biodiversity etc. at a scientific level and at the same time having the ability to put them in the very complex context of international relations, has provided me with a very valuable asset for my career in multilateral diplomacy.

What comes to your mind when you think about the program? What were the highlights?
The highlight of the program is the strong sense of community throughout the two years. All students are excellent professionals from all over the world from which one can learn and grow professionally, make memories to cherish for many years to come, and find friendships that extend far beyond the two study years.

What was the topic of your master’s thesis? What insights did you gain from the research?
My Master thesis was on "Wastewater reuse on an international scale. Application and linked legislation on quality requirements, opens an external URL in a new window". The research conducted gave me a good insight on the overall status of water availability in the world and the different ways of obtaining drinking water based on this availability and technological development, as well as the legislative aspects related to it. It was also a good example of looking into an area which requires technical scientific knowledge but requires consideration of other social, economic, legal and security aspects. At the time, I was lucky to present and include my research in a EU wide scientific initiative on the subject of water recycling, which further motivated me and demonstrated the immediate relevance and practical value of my work. 

What are your career plans for the next 3-5 years?
I hope to continue working in a field I am so passionate about such as environmental crime and hopefully to help provide solutions and drive policy that helps us save the world and natural resources for the generations to come.


Find out more about the Msc ETIA:, opens an external URL in a new window/