April 21, 2017, by sustainablenottingham

Aiming to gain experience in the sustainability and environmental sector?

Chances are, if you’ve stumbled across this post, you’re already interested in sustainability. You might have considered the impact of your lifestyle, researched in-depth a particular issue through your course or looked to see what the University is doing. For the naysayers and fatalists, check out 10:10 for some inspiration.

Your time at University equips you with an understanding of sustainability: (hopefully) what it means, how it applies to your discipline, what it means for you personally. You might be beginning to consider your potential to apply the values and knowledge you’ve developed through your time at University in your future career choices.

The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) have recently published a series of guides for those interested in a career in sustainability. Their interpretation of a job which involves sustainability is:

“…A role which overlaps the environmental, social and economic boundaries, and has either a strong environmental or social justice dimension. These jobs can have sustainability as the core focus, a main responsibility, or a small aspect of the role.”

Female undergraduate student working at E-On, NottinghamThe landscape of potential organisations and job roles that encompass a sustainability element is vast. Roles vary from those requiring a very particular skill set, to those with an emphasis on transferrable skills. An understanding of sustainability and personal integrity (i.e. being “true to values and leading by example”) are both musts for breaking into the sector.

The EAUC’s Careers guides for individuals who are considering a career in sustainability are available in three easily digestible parts:


Gain experience

To successfully apply for a job it is important to gain as much experience of working in sustainability roles or organisations as possible to build up your skills, show your level of understanding of and commitment to sustainability, and also to make connections which can lead to references or even job opportunities. Depending on your situation, experiences can be gained through a range of channels.

The Student Volunteer Centre has a range of opportunities that can help you develop a clearer idea of your interests and gain experience. Positions are available as one-off events, or as ongoing projects that require a greater level of commitment. There are opportunities available to volunteer in a local community vegetarian café, lending your hand to practical conservation tasks in Wollaton Park, or working in the Nottingham city based Stonebridge City Farm.

The Nottingham Internship Scheme offer opportunities both for short Easter internships and summer placements. Many placements are offered with a stipend. Past opportunities have included conducting a life cycle analysis for a small horticultural firm, working as a data analyst with Nottingham Trams Ltd., and a marketing assistant for an organisation offering energy saving measures for business and homeowners.


Work with us!

Finally, our Grounds team are offering one paid summer placement to a UoN student, involving assisting with the production of a Biodiversity Action Plan for University Park and Jubilee campuses. The project will involve carrying out various ecological surveys, including a botanical survey, as well as surveys for invertebrates, reptiles, bats and badgers, offering hands-on experience in a range of surveying techniques.

For more information on the opportunity which closes on 28 April, and to apply, visit My Career and search for ‘34825/Student Internship’.


Further opportunities

Dedicated sustainability career websites for your future perusal include:

Environment Job

Change Agents


Allen & York

Guardian Sustainability Jobs


Good luck on your sustainability job safari!

Posted in careers