13 March 2023
As well as giving insights into their careers and how they got there, our ‘Women in Sustainability’ alumnae panellists offered a wealth of advice to students looking to the future, some specific to the sustainability sector but much of value more widely.
The panellists’ recommendations included:
- Consider degrees that include a placement year in industry. Getting experience of the workplace in a well-supported environment can give you a great head start in your career.
- Look for work experience and internship opportunities in companies and sectors you’re interested in. Don’t get too hung up on the precise role – it will probably only be for a short time – as it will be a great way of finding out more about the company and making connections.
- When it comes to interviews, companies are most interested in candidates who are interested in them: do your research so that you come across as knowledgeable and highly motivated to work for them. Good communication and interpersonal skills and being able to demonstrate that you’re a team player are also extremely important.
- Sustainability is a field where everyone’s passionate about what they do. If you’re not, you won’t last.
Sustainability consultant Sophie Vaughan made the very pertinent point that you don’t have to be a sustainability professional to have a positive impact in the sphere as “sustainability has become everybody’s role” and that whatever your job “there is always an opportunity to bring sustainability into it.”
Thank you to our expert panellists for sharing such great experience and advice. The panel comprised Megan Luff (2016), youth and community engagement coordinator at Global Kids; Natalie Orde (2009), senior sustainability manager for Grosvenor; Katie Worlledge (2003) development team at Corio Generation; Sophie Vaughan (2000), sustainability consultant; Arie Kaller (former exchange student from the Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans); Annie-Marie McHugh (1994), sustainability consultant working in schools; and Lucinda Maclagan (1976) energy efficiency policy advisor to the Dutch government.