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Where are they now? Sara Coimbra Trigo, EMTM 2018-2020

February, 02 2024
EMTM 2018-2020 Where are they now? EMTM Alumni

EMTM Alumni go in different directions after they graduate. In the blog series "Where are they now?" EMTM Alumni share their career development stories.

Sara Coimbra Trigo from generation 2018-2020 shares about her PhD journey after completing the EMTM program.

Where are they now? Sara Coimbra Trigo, EMTM 2018-2020

Name: Sara Coimbra Trigo
Country: Portugal
Age: 28
Bachelor's degree: Tourism Management (specialized in tourism businesses)
EMTM cohort: 2018-2020
Position: PhD Candidate in Tourism Management at the University of Stavanger, Norway

- Why did you decide to apply for the EMTM program?

When searching for a master’s degree to pursue, the mobility aspect of the EMTM appealed to me. During my bachelor’s degree my Erasmus experience was life-changing on many levels, so the opportunity to enroll in an Erasmus Mundus master’s degree, involving three universities from different countries and having classmates from all over the world, was just what I was looking for. Also, the subjects and content of the program aligned with what I wanted to learn. Its focus on sustainable development, policy and destination management were a good complement to my tourism business background. Plus, participating in fieldtrips to several types of destinations, fairs, and congresses, where we had the chance to put into practice what we learned in class and be in direct contact with various stakeholders and professionals, was something I wanted to experience.

- What is your best EMTM memory?

It's hard to pick just one. I have great memories from our celebrations or hang outs after exams or presentations, field trip adventures, and travels during the holidays. I would like to highlight a particular moment, during my generation's farewell party in the last semester in Girona. We all stood in a circle and said some last words of goodbye, and that moment and what was said really stayed with me.

- What was your next step after EMTM?

A year after I submitted my EMTM master thesis I started my PhD research. During that period before my PhD, I worked as media analyst for a while and volunteered for a student-led association called Erasmus by Train.

- How did the EMTM program help you in your professional career?

My current PhD research is regarding the same topic (screen tourism, also known as film tourism) that I chose for my master thesis but from a different perspective, so there is an association there. Apart from that, the soft skills that my classmates and I developed were very important in my view. From time management to critical thinking, teamwork, public speaking, intercultural communication and relationships, adaptability, resilience, tolerance and so on. I think these are skills that are valued and needed in many professional areas, not only in the tourism and hospitality fields.

- Why did you decide to pursue a PhD? What is you PhD research about?

It was an opportunity to research and learn more about my favorite topic within the tourism area (screen tourism) and to develop my academic research skills. My research is regarding screen tourism from a sustainable development perspective. I’m studying the sustainable development narratives of the different stakeholders involved (in the Norwegian context), and how these make sense of sustainability in relation to screen tourism development.

Nowadays, every destination in the world is interested in attracting production to shoot in their locations, but have a limited mindset, focused on how it will be great for the visibility of their destination and for tourism demand. However, many negative consequences can occur upon a destination’s environment and community. The biggest challenge in screen tourism development is how a variety of different stakeholders are involved, with different levels of influence and interest – from the film industry, tourism industry, public institutions, and private entities - all focused on their own agendas and busy schedules. My research therefore aims to provide insights on how these challenges can be improved.

- What is your career goal?

I would love to work and have the chance to put into practice what I have been studying and researching, maybe in a DMO (Destination Management Organization) or a destinations Film Commission for instance. But for now, I’m just focused on my PhD research.

Questions answered by Sara Coimbra Trigo (Portugal), Alumna of EMTM Generation 2018-2020

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