Turning Green Graduates into Green Employees since '07

Posted by zat1 at Feb 18, 2016 03:20 PM |
We wanted to catch up with all the past interns, and see how far their 'employability' and 'environmental awareness' have got them as they embark upon their career path. Whilst the internship is based on events and communication, you have the chance to meet all kinds of people at the university and the wider community, and pursue your own passion with the environment. Let's have a look with what our interns have to say...

Intern #1: Rebecca Ashbury 2007/08

Do you remember a favourite event from the internship?

I supported the team with the first Big Green Week and there's so many to choose from. However, the Farmer's Market was a real success, as was the photo stunt, where we formed UoL BGW with over 500 people on Victoria Park.


What have you been up to since the internship?

A lot! Following the internship I secured position of Team Administrator on one of The Prince's Trust's events programmes after just one interview - my first in London. Following some time there and at accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers as a Client Account Associate, I became a Communications Officer at the Environment Agency. There I worked on a number of local, regional and national projects such as Waste Management, local Flood Risk Management and the Water Framework Directive, ensuring these complicated issues were communicated to different audiences in the most effective way. After four years at the Environment Agency, a ski season and some travelling, I secured a position in tourism marketing at the City of London, which led to another new role, and my current position - Communications Manager at Broadgate. Broadgate is a 30 acre office campus in the Square Mile owned by British Land and GIC with 16 buildings, over 70 retailers and four event spaces. Working in tourism and property is certainly very different from sustainability, but the transferable skills I have learnt along the way have been invaluable.

Do you practise sustainability in your life now?

Yes - both at work and at home. Broadgate has won a number of sustainability awards, both for waste management (recycling) and engineering (energy efficiency), which we communicate across the property industry.

Intern #2: Tobie Roffey 2008/09 and 2009/10

Tobie's Green Impact

Favourite Event?

Big Green Week 2010! Being part of such a successful week was amazing; over 1500 hours of volunteer time contributed to the event and every single person enjoyed promoting their passion for the environment. It was memorable to bring this all together.

What have you been up to since the internship?

 I worked as Programme Executive at the Prince's Trust which involved working with young people to support the launch of their business ideas. I trained and undertook a lot of teaching in this role which encouraged me to go and train as a geography teacher. Therefore after this role I spent 3 years teaching Geography in Bristol, a role I really enjoyed as it allowed me to bring my passion for the environment into the classroom. However, after 3 years I decided to move back into project management and now I work for an educational charity as a Project Manager - a role which I love. My experience at UoL built the foundations for me to reach the position that I am in now.

What is your environmental passion?

Apart from encouraging people to take responsibility for their actions towards the environment, my passion is supporting farmers, organisations and communities in Central America to promote and fight for their environmental and social rights.

Intern #3:Catherine Russell 2009/10

Volunteer Co-ordinator - geology

Intern #3: Ellen Holmes 2011/12

Ellen's Brilliant Bioblitz

Favourite Event?

The Bioblitz 2012! It was a hectice event getting everything sorted in 24 hours but it was really successful, we engaged loads of staff, students and members of the public and it was really varied and interesting, even though the weather was pretty bad!

What have you been up to since the internship?

When I left the Environment Team I went to work in the Communications Team at Leicestershire County Council, working on sustainable transport campaigns for a year or so. In Jan 2014 I quit that job to go and do a working holiday in New Zealand for a year, which was awesome! Since returning to the UK I've been working in Sheffield Hallam Students Union, managing the sports volunteering programme, it's a really varied and interesting job.

Did the internship change your lifestyle?

I've managed to keep most of my environmental credentials (though I don't think all the flying has helped my carbon footprint). I still cycle everywhere, though I'm slowly but surely learning to drive.

Intern #4: Kate Arthur 2012/13

Kate's Fairtrade Fingerpainting

Kate 'now'

Above: Sascades of Ouzoud, Morocco, Below: Mexico

Kate - MexicoFavourite Event?

Fairtrade Fortnight 2013. Our event for Fairtrade Fortnight was almost completely volunteer run and saw over 100 people finger-painting with Fairtrade Coffee in the Students Union. It was great to see the volunteers take so much ownership of an event and make such a success of it.

What have you been up to since the internship?

It’s been an exciting few years since leaving Leicester! I’ve been living in London for nearly two years now since moving down to join a really great charity called Greenhouse Sports as their Volunteering Assistant in January 2014. Since then I’ve been promoted to Volunteering Manager and I look after around 100 amazing volunteers.  I get to travel all over London meeting new people – including some pro athletes – and get them involved on our school programmes which is pretty great as day jobs go!

 Where in the world have you visited since you left?

Most recently I stayed in an ‘eco’ hotel in Mexico which was AMAZING. It was right in the jungle of the Riviera Maya and was full of all sorts of amazing wildlife. We saw Monkeys, Coatis, Racoons, Iguanas, Deer, Donkeys, Butterflies and all sorts of other animals. We also were lucky enough to see a couple of Turtles when we were snorkelling (pictures attached) as well as loads of coral and colourful fish. Since Leicester I’ve also been to New York, Barcelona, Marrakech and couple of different skiing resorts.

Intern #5: Hazel Chan 2013/14

Hazel's 'bananas' Fairtrade Fortnight


Hazel 'now'

Above: Sicily, Below: Hong Kong

Hazel - Hong Kong






Favourite Event?

Fairtrade Fortnight 2014! The theme was ‘bananas’ so we literally went bananas trying to come up with ideas on how to promote Fairtrade on a general scale. We ended up hiring a bike powered smoothie maker and the Co-op kindly donated 200 Fairtrade bananas and pints and pints of milk. The volunteers were great and pedalled their way to creating hundreds of Fairtrade banana smoothies, handing them out to passers-by and voicing their opinions on the importance of buying Fairtrade products. It was a fun day and definitely a great work out!

What have you been up to since the internship?

I've moved down to London where I work as a graduate insight executive for a market research company. I've learnt so much over the past 10 months and I'm enjoying the experience. I especially enjoy the travelling, I've been to the Netherlands twice and all around the UK to observe fieldwork.

Did the internship change your lifestyle?

I think the internship made me more aware of considering the environment when I act on a holistic level. I feel that I'm more conscious of recycling, more aware of the benefits of travelling by bike or foot over car and the goodness of buying local rather than from supermarkets (thanks to the food growing project!).

Intern #6: Sarah Roberts 2014/15Swift boxes

Favourite Event?

It’s so difficult to pick one highlight from my internship as there were so many good moments. I’ll choose the time I organised an Urban Biodiversity talk for the staff Development Team because it really kick-started my the swift and peregrine nest-box scheme. A speaker came in to talk about the ways nature and wildlife could be included in the built environment and a member of the team said he could help, it was an amazing feeling to be part of such a great conservation project.

What have you been doing since working here?

I never left! My new position is part-time still within the Environment Team as Sustainable Projects Officer whilst I do an Msc in Applied Ecology/Sustainable Environments at the University of Gloucestershire. I now focus on staff engagement and work with different people to get a variety of projects started.

Did the internship change your lifestyle?

I’ve made small steps by eating less meat and more veg because I love cooking and vegetables have bags more flavour than we give them credit for.

Top tip for future interns?

Bring your passion to work with you! It’s great to have that excitement and nervousness for your first “proper” job so use it to network with people, make friends and get people engaged in the topics around sustainability and the environment. People will remember you for it and will always be happy to help if you thank them for it.

Intern #7: Zoe Thomson 2015/16

Waste Awareness Campaign

Favourite Event?

The pond! The pond! Clearing the Victoria Park pond with LCC and our student volunteers was by the far the most fun and challenging event for me this year - because it told a story and got so many of us involved with the local residents and the council - these relationships will hopefully flourish for years to come! Also helping Falcons Primary School plant their Woodland Trust trees in March was so rewarding and inspiring too! The student engagement side of the job is really rewarding and the huge amount of enthusiasm from international students makes this position an absolute thrill! Photos below of the best bits this year.

Pond FunWhat have you been doing since working here?

This internship has helped me take my first steps in a proper job, and more importantly in the sustainability sector in Higher Education. It has given me invaluable experience and has secured me my next position at Nottingham Trent University as their Environmental Assistant!


Intern #8: Caroline Jeffery 2016/17


What was your favourite event?Tree Plant  jump

There have been so many great events this year. The Apple Festival in October - a Hungry for Change and Environmental Action collaborative event - was so much fun (harvesting unused local apples and making toffee apples!) and a brilliant example of team work across the two societies. RCat and Caroline GGAunning the tree planting sessions has also been great due to the enthusiasm of volunteers, rain or shine - we planted over 500 trees! However my favourite was probably Go Green Week as a whole because it was an enjoyable challenge to co-ordinate and we had a record number of events and activities for everyone to get involved in.

Did the internship change your lifestyle?

At the start of the internship I bought a bike and never looked back! Its perfect for travelling around Leicester and has made me more determined to not buy a car in future!

Top tip for future interns?

Whatever your strengths are, put them to full use in your internship and do things your own way. But at the same time you can figure out what you are less good at and make use of the University's brilliant coaching, training opportunities and on the job experience to learn!

Blackthorn Manor

The internship starts every August/September, with a fresh graduate placed every year. Keep your eyes peeled on MyCareers for the application in early Summer. Below are the intern's favourite animals...Can you guess who's whose?

ToucanEllen MonkeyHazel MonkeyKate CoatisSarah Kestrel