Grow your experience for a green career

To kick off #ECOWeek16 we have a post that features some student insights into working in the environmental sector; the students did work placements through Bright Green Placement’s Environmental Placement Programme.  The post comes via my colleague Sarah Conway who works in our Employer Team and gives some fantastic insights into what the students got up to and the variety in terms of employers, job roles and tasks in the sector – Rebecca

‘Green’ jobs aren’t just found in ‘green’ organisations. Organisations of all shapes and sizes need people to work on their environmental impacts and the sustainability of their processes. Some of our students have first-hand experience of this work through last summer’s Environmental Placement Programme, organised by Bright Green Placements.

Here’s what they got up to:

Emily Dawson, 2 Year Sustainable Development MA
(Awarded Most Enterprising Green Student 2015)

Host Company for Internship: Emtelle. (A Telecommunication and Fibre Optics Supplier)
Project: At the beginning of my placement I was given 3 objectives to address:
• To complete the Emtelle’s CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) Report, which is requested by Emtelle’s largest customer
• To update the Sustainability Plan and carry out an Environmental Review
• To look into reducing the amount of waste that Emtelle sends to landfill
What did you gain from your internship experience?
My placement provided me with valuable work experience which has not only strengthened my desire to pursue a career in the environmental sector but has also allowed me to gain practical experience of some of the things I have learned about on my degree.

Calum Murray, 4th Year Mathematical Physics

Host Company for Internship: Energy Saving Trust
Project: Assessing the database management system of a project run in conjunction with Scottish Water to determine ways to reduce domestic wastage of water.
What did you gain from your internship experience?
During the internship I gained knowledge of new programming languages, relational database theory and MS access. This internship gave me valuable insight into the office environment of EST and it was an experience that I really enjoyed!

Kenny McLaren, 4th Year Environmental Geoscience

Host Company for Internship: Paterson-Arran
Project:  The company wanted to set up a waste monitoring system in order to record, manage and ultimately reduce their food production waste.
What did you gain from your internship experience?
I loved every minute of my internship experience and it was a great opportunity to use my skills in a real world workplace. For the first time in a working environment I was allowed to ‘think’ which led to the design and then implementation of my waste management system. This has given me a great sense of accomplishment of which I am very proud of and I have gained confidence in my abilities, communication and IT skills as a result of the experience.
Top tips for applying for an internship?
My advice would be to go for it – It’s never too late, I applied after my exams in May thinking there would be nothing. It will be a good experience that will enhance your skills and employability.

Bright Green Placements offers opportunities to students and recent graduates with a wide range of paid industry work placements across Scotland. Current University of Edinburgh students and recent graduates can find their jobs on MyCareerHub. You can also meet them on campus at Careers in Sustainability, Wed 10th Feb part of #ECOWeek16.




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