|Language and Linguistic Science|
|BA English Language and Linguistics|
|Charity and voluntary sector|
More about Cass
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A day in the life of a Communications consultant in Belgium
I work in the media team for all things media and communications: press releases, social media, blogs, reports, etc.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I am a freelance communications consultant working for environmental justice NGOs. I also run a climate justice newsletter called The Green Fix.
What do you do?
I do a whole range of communications projects for different organisations! This includes writing press releases, articles, blogs, managing social media, editing, proofreading and building relationships with the media.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
At university, I started an online student magazine about sustainability (wildmag.co.uk) and it made me realise I wanted to use communications to create positive changes in society. I got a traineeship at Fair Trade in Brussels at the end of university and moved to Belgium, and after the traineeship I worked at Oxfam EU, then Friends of the Earth Europe, before choosing to go freelance.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Describe your most memorable day at work
There isn't just one! The climate movement is dizzying, chaotic, hectic and amazing. And as a freelancer I've had the chance to travel and work. This has ranged from the insanely stressful, sitting on the floor of the UN climate conference in Glasgow in 2019 trying to edit a blog while my laptop slowly broke down, to the amazing, like joining a weeklong activist training course in the remote Catalan countryside.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
It's fast-paced, and you get a lot of responsibility quite early on. Freelancing is also notoriously unstable and there is no guarantee of continued work or income from one month to the next.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
As a freelancer my work culture is different from an employee. I don't have fixed working hours or an office so I have a lot of flexibility about when/where I work. The flipside of this is that it can be a struggle to maintain a work-life balance and you have to make an extra effort to be around other people when you don't have everyday coworkers. It's not for everyone but I love the independence.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I ran Wild Magazine, an online student magazine about sustainability. I was also a Student Ambassador and volunteered at York Minster Library. I participated in Jailbreak and was in several societies. I tried to take part in as many things as possible - it helped me find my interests!
What would you like to do next with your career?
I want to specialise further by working on degrowth and alternatives to capitalist economies as my niche topic. I also am doing more events and facilitation of workshops now.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Don't believe that you have to settle! So much advice revolves around what you shouldn't do & lowering expectations - it's true that we live in a very difficult job market, but if you put the work in, you can go after your dream job. And no, you don't need to know what your dream job is yet.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
If you like the look of Cass’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Cass a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Cass to be your mentor.