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Sustainability Champion
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

This role as a Sustainability Champion was the first work experience opportunity I had within the field of environmentalism, which is the sector I strive to work in. Therefore, I recognised the importance of this internship and the fantastic and valuable potential to gain new skills such as data analysis quantitative and qualitative research, and work experience within sustainability. This role involved measuring FCR carbon footprint as a company, something I had limited expertise and knowledge in previously to the internship.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Career Connect

Application process

Essay based questions to answer on a Word document which was then sent to FCR. After this stage, I was invited to attend an interview.

What made you choose this organisation for your placement/internship?

The role involved roles and responsibilities in an area I wish to work in.

Main responsibilities

During this internship, I had the responsibility of measuring FCR carbon footprint as a company, with the final findings published in a report and Excel spreadsheet to concisely present research, methodology and conclusions of each scope / section. This 108 hours internship meant that I had an initial deadline to meet, therefore prioritising, time management and organisation were the key skills needed for this role. Weekly meetings were arranged to ensure I was on track and my line manager could support and give me guidance if needed.

Typical day

In the first initial two weeks, a lot of my days consisted of research, finding online resources such as papers, articles and reports published by academics, businesses and the government, gathering a basic and then deeper understanding. After this stage, I could begin to gather all the data required to measure all 3 scopes for calculating the company's carbon footprint.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

The fantastic opportunity to make a real difference and impact within a company, knowing that this project is the foundation work for future carbon footprint measuring at FCR, and that my work will be published on their website. Alongside this, I had the fun and exciting task to blog about my findings at each stage of my internship, developing my blogging writing skills, which is something I have never had the responsibility of doing before.

Challenging aspects

Understanding initially how to undertake this task and know what was being asked of me. Prior to this internship, I had not had the opportunity, knowledge or expertise to measure the carbon footprint of a business before, nor know the methodology of how to do this. Therefore, it was very much a learning process undertaking this internship. However, having said this I believe that this lack of knowledge allowed me to develop further professionally and personally within my academic abilities as it encouraged me to conduct deeper and thorough research into the field which I may not have deemed necessary prior.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

During my degree, especially in third year whilst writing my dissertation, I frequently used Excel to display, analyse and interpret data; something that I transferred within this internship. Alongside this, content covered over the understandings of climate change and issues on businesses being sustainable, was a great advantage to me going into this internship as I could clearly see the impact I was making by being a part of this project.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Prior to this internship I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sustainability/ environmentalism, and having participated in this internship, it has allowed me to gain the valuable and necessary skills and experiences to confidently get into this sector.

As a result of your placement/internship, what are your next steps in planning what you want to do after graduation?

I continue to apply for jobs and work experience within sustainability, with the aid of having this invaluable and fantastic work experience behind me.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Apply for a role that you are genuinely interested in, develop as many skills as possible as it honestly is a fantastic and invaluable experience, most of which will not be on offer to a lot of students. Make the most out of the internship and ask yourself what do I want to get out of it.

Other comments

Thank you for offering this opportunity, it has genuinely allowed me to get my foot in the door within a career I am so passionately interested in; prior to this experience I would be much less employable.

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Form completed: 22 Nov 2021

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