Rachel S.

Sustainability Project Officer
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Rachel S.
Environment
Environmental Economics & Environmental Management
Undergraduate
2014
United Kingdom

My employment

Sustainability Project Officer
National Union of Students
United Kingdom
Environment and energy
2014
£24324

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A day in the life of a Sustainability Project Officer in the United Kingdom

What I do

I work with universities across the country, encouraging staff and students to go green. I spend a lot of time talking to students in halls of residences or giving workshops to staff on how to make their office greener. I also train up student volunteers to become environmental auditors and run online competitions for students to encourage them to save energy. I spend about half of my time out and about on visits and for the rest of the time I do admin work from home.

Skills I use and how I developed them



Extracurricular skills:
I use communication skills a lot - both verbal and written - as I give presentations run training sessions. These skills have been developed mostly through my course as we had to do lots of presentations. I also use social media and web design skills which I developed during my internship in the Estates department at University. Time management is hugely important in my role because I work with lots of different universities and there's always 101 things that need doing for different organisations - I think working in hospitality while at university helped me develop time management skills and also my course (juggling lots of different modules and assignments at once)

What I like most

I love talking to students about the importance of saving energy and recycling - especially when you meet someone equally enthusiastic who totally gets behind the campaigns. Working with student volunteers is great as well because I was in that position just a couple of years a go and I know how valuable the opportunities are. I also get to give out a lot of Ben & Jerry's ice cream as prizes in competitions which is awesome!

What I like least

There's a lot of travelling which I never thought would be a problem, but it really tires you out and can make you pretty miserable. Plus it means there's a lot of time sat by yourself on trains which can get lonely!

How I found out about the job

environmentjob.co.uk

The recruitment process

I submitted an online application form and was then invited to interview in their London offices. There was a group interview which was terrifying - we had little group projects to complete, but you know you're all competing for the same job! I made it through the group interview stage and was invited to a telephone interview which was also a bit of a strange experience as you can't work off body-language. A couple of weeks later I was offered the job and started after graduation.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I want to stay in sustainability - where exactly that will take me I'm not sure, but for now I'm happy in my current role.

My advice to students considering work

Having a degree just isn't enough in today's job market. At University I had a part-time job, volunteered, got involved with societies and undertook and internship with the Student Internship Bureau. This meant that when it came to sending off job applications I had a wealth of skills and experience that you can't get from a degree alone.

Getting involved in anything and everything extra-curricula is really important if you want to stand out - especially in this sector which is really competitive. The environment and sustainability is also a lot more maths-based than people think so make sure you're confident with numbers and technology.

My advice about working in my industry

Once again I would stress that getting involved in anything and everything extra-curricula is really important if you want to stand out - especially in this sector which is really competitive. The environment and sustainability is also a lot more maths-based than people think so make sure you're confident with numbers and technology.

Next steps...

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