First of all, how has it been two years?! I can’t believe how much I have learnt and grown in my time at the SGO.
When I applied to this job in September 2019, I had no idea how much it would influence my life. It has given me a viable career path to consider and has sparked conversations that I have both instigated and been a part of that never would have involved me if not for this job…
The job changed quite a lot once we went into lockdown, but the content kept me engaged in a way that other things wouldn’t have. I missed the events element of the role, because that was definitely the most challenging part of the job. I had lots of ideas towards the end of my year last year which couldn’t happen because of the pandemic which was a shame. Though this year has given me the opportunity to work on other projects, including working with some modules to embed sustainability within their courses as well as trying my hand at video-editing.
Inter-personally the job changed also, though considering I had only met one of my fellow SGO members for the vast majority of the year, we still worked collaboratively to educate people about all things sustainability! I also got the opportunity to try my hand at running the Instagram page (check it out @cccusustainability) and creating all the content for the page. It was a different outlet for my creativity and forced me to think different about how to present information.
One of the other opportunities this job presented was being involved with the Carbon Literacy Training Pilot group as both a member of the SGO and a student. I was involved in conversations about how the training would most effectively run as well as hearing perspectives of staff members that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I provided a student perspective on issues and barriers that students face when it comes to sustainability and their carbon footprint, which I hope will benefit the scheme for future participants. I learnt more from the training than I thought I would, both about carbon impact and about how individual actions compare to group and collective actions. Becoming carbon literate is something I recommend everyone do if they get the opportunity, it has benefits that are far-reaching (plus looks good on a CV).
I also got the opportunity to interview different members of the sustainability and chaplaincy teams for a Heritage and History project that I wrote for the blog back in October/November of 2020. I had fascinating discussions about various different aspects of both heritage and history, and I thoroughly recommend checking them out.
Working remotely was difficult at times, especially with all my uni work, but the amazing thing about working for the university is that Felicity and the team are understanding about your university workload and allow you to be flexible with your schedule when you require it – just as long as you keep in touch and let them know! Being part of the SGO team is a great way to develop your knowledge about sustainability and is also a great way to subside your income as a side job as well.
Hopefully I will be back at the SGO after my year abroad, but if not, it has been a pleasure working in this team. If you want to find out more about being part of the team, keep an eye on the Unitemps website throughout September and have a look for your next SGO opportunity. In the meantime, check out our blog or our social media pages for more content!
by Fran Allen, SGO Project Officer #learningforthefuture