What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£30,001 – £40,000
Please describe the work that you do.
In my role at the Marine Conservation Society I mainly focus on marine litter policy and advocacy. This includes responding to Scottish Government consultations on policies like banning single use plastic items, circular economy initiatives or marine litter strategies. To support this I help run campaigns and raise awareness of issues with Members of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government Ministers as well as stakeholders across Scotland from communities to public bodies.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
I really enjoy connecting our engagement work with our policy work as I come from an environmental education background. We have a citizen science project called Beachwatch which sees hundreds of amazing volunteers collecting beach litter data which I then use as evidence in my policy and advocacy work. It is great to connect with volunteers and follow the journey all the way to new legislation coming in and having an impact back on the beach. However working in the policy world means you sometimes have to wait a long time for that piece of legislation to come through!
What inspired you into this career?
I have always had a big connection to the ocean and wanted to work in marine conservation but I wasn’t that great at science in school so didn’t study biology or marine biology but instead did a marine and coastal management degree. However it was part time job at Uni working for the Disney Store that made me think how to combine my love of engaging with people and the ocean which is when I went into the world of environmental education which led me to volunteering with the Marine Conservation Society and then working for them.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
I worked for a long time on the national minimum wage in public engagement jobs as a field studies instructor and in an aquarium – I had to get a lot of support from my volunteer manager at MCS to have the confidence to apply for a role like mine as it felt like such a jump. However, thanks to that amazing support I am so glad I went for it and MCS have supported me in progressing my career with the organisation over the last 7 years to be where I am today.
What education/training did you have?
I did my undergrad degree in Marine and Coastal Resource Management at Aberdeen University and graduated with a 2:1. I then had around 4-5 years’ experience in environmental education and had been volunteering with MCS for about a year before I applied for the role.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Don’t underestimate your strengths and skills that you think might not be an obvious fit for a role in the environment sector. Who would have thought my strength of engaging young people and adults through their favourite Disney films would have helped me secure a role working for a marine conservation charity! It also sounds cliché but I wouldn’t have got this job without volunteering and working closely with the volunteer manager so I would highly encourage it!