By UCL Careers, on 25 February 2015
Did you miss the UCL Institute for Sustainability and the UCL Energy Institutes Careers forums during our Environment week? Fear not, Laura Firmin from UCL Careers has written a round up for you:
Institute for Sustainability Careers in Energy Networking Event
A wide variety of speakers from sustainable energy consultancies and SMEs working within the sustainable planning and architecture arena each invited the audience to look back with them through their career journey that has led them to where they work now.
Some top career tips from this event:
- Use an analytical mind-set to break apart your current or previous work experience to decide exactly what it is you did/ didn’t like about that role. Was it the working hours? The people you worked with? Were you using your strengths? The manner in which your efforts were recognised? Use these insights to assess the suitability of the job you’re applying to.
- Weigh up your interest in the sector with what the job is actually asking you to do day-to-day.
- If you’re a researcher, or doing a PhD, start building your network by proactively approaching companies who may be interested in your research and offer to present what you are working on to them. Many companies run lunchtime lectures in which you could do this and you can achieve many outcomes at once:
- You get to practice your presentation skills in preparation for your poster talk/ VIVA
- You are effectively promoting yourself, the university and your work to interested employers in the area
- If you are feeling stuck in a rut – having to put something coherent together and getting out of the office may spark new insights.
This networking event brought together many London businesses working towards a sustainable future – especially around the built environment. This is a pressing issue for London and environmental jobs are not just out in the countryside; for those of you who want to continue saving the planet whilst living in this city – there are plenty of opportunities locally which could fulfil both these desires.
Careers in Sustainable Resources Thursday 12th February 2015
A great introduction by professor Paul Ekins created a focused atmosphere with an injection of humour and warmth.
Top tips to come from the night’s speakers were as follows:
- Nick Lakin, Group Head of Government Affairs at Kingfisher suggested that many graduates entering the sustainability sector are likely to have big ideas for the future of their world. His advice is to balance ideas with practicality. Change is not always easy as holding a belief in a particular approach – so be pragmatic and be ready to adjust your idea so that you can collaborate with others.
- Joshua Davies, Graduate Sustainability Consultant at URS-AECOM reminded the audience of the importance of gaining varied work experience. If you are looking to get into consulting – your variety of work experience and expertise will enable you to work on lots of different client projects. Stay proactive to avoid limiting your knowledge bank.
Many multi-national companies run consult on environmental and sustainability issues and have whole departments dedicated to the sector. However, even if you are hired to work in that department, you may also be required to work in other areas of the business where need occurs. So, be open-minded and consider whether your green values are matched throughout the business.