My Career in Sustainability

MSc Energy, Society and Sustainability and MA Sustainable Development graduate, Eve Redhead, shares how her passion for sustainability lead to a job as a Communications Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh’s department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. 

 

Motivation 

I’ve been concerned about climate change for as long as I remember. Each year I get older, the worse environmental issues become. That’s why I’ve always been driven to have a career in sustainability, not so much for my personal gratification, but the knowledge that my, albeit small contribution, can alleviate the suffering of someone else.  

The climate crisis can often feel too big or too complex to make a difference, and I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been times in the past when I’ve felt hopeless. But, taking action – whether it be through my studies, volunteering or work – makes it feel more manageable. If you keep tugging at one thread, you will eventually unravel the whole cloth. 

Hope is critical to combatting the challenges of the climate crisis and catalysing action. For every sobering headline and statistic, there’s a story of someone doing good. For me, it’s the unremitting and infectious commitment of young people that keeps my hope alive. It’s not too late and every point of a degree matters. 

 

University of Edinburgh 

My degrees (MA Sustainable Development and MSc Energy Society and Sustainability) equipped me with a comprehensive knowledge of sustainability and its relation to environmental, social and economic issues. However constantly learning about the ‘doom and gloom’ of the crisis made me increasingly keen to use this knowledge for good. 

I fulfilled my need for practical action through participating in a whole range of programs offered by the department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. These included: 

Completing these programmes was not only a fantastic way to apply and extend my knowledge of climate change, but it also gave me the opportunity to network with lots of other climate-focused people at the University and ultimately led to my current role. 

 

2050 Climate Group 

Through a Careers for a Sustainable Future event, I was introduced to 2050 Climate Group, a volunteer-led, youth-run charity working to empower, equip and enable young people to take action on the climate crisis.  

In 2019 I completed the Young Leaders Development Programme where I gained the skills and confidence to lead the way to a sustainable future in my personal, professional and political spheres.  

A year later, alongside part-time study for my master’s degree, I was lucky enough to kick-start my career in sustainability and through the Bright Green Business placement program. I joined the (small but mighty) 2050 Climate Group staff team as an Information and Engagement assistant.  

This role was very dynamic given the trying times of the pandemic, but taught me to be resilient alongside gaining firsthand experience in communicating sustainability effectively. Towards the end of my placement, I was able to show off these skills by leading on the charities COP26 communications strategy to ensure youth voice was heard during the negotiations.
 

My Current Role 

Following a short break after graduating, I returned to the University in January 2022 as a Communications Coordinator at the department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. My day-to-day responsibilities include engaging University students and staff in sustainability-related projects by creating content for the department’s digital communications channels: social media, newsletters, webpages and blogs.  

My role allows me to contribute to achieving the Universities climate and sustainability goals in creative ways. I truly believe effective communication is integral to making sustainable change, and I find tremendous satisfaction in continuously developing this skill to reach new audiences and bring them along on the movement. 

One the most enjoyable parts of this is telling the stories of staff and students at the University involved in sustainability. If you think this, is you, please contact me: eve.redhead@ed.ac.uk 

Top Tips 

  • Find something that makes you excited / passionate 
  • Get stuck into the opportunities around you 
  • Every experience is an opportunity to learn, make the most of it! 
  • Move at your own pace 

You can find out more about careers in sustainability on our website

Sustainability and Environment

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