What employment sector do you work in?

Public Sector

How long have you had a green job for nature?

4 months

Salary Range

< £20,000

Sahifa started work as an intern before getting an extension to continue on in the organisation working in the Sustainable Business Team. Read on to find out more about Sahifa’s reflections on working as an intern.

Please describe the work that you do.

As an intern at the Environment Agency (EA), I worked with the Future Funding team and then got an extension to work with the Sustainable Business Team.

I have supported both teams through work such as keeping up to date on projects that EA colleagues are undertaking or contributing to. Some of these projects will help the EA’s sustainability ambitions and contribute towards the transition to net zero.

Other work covered a variety of areas and skills, which all broadened my internship experience.

What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?

I really liked learning about the range of focus areas to work in within the EA and the opportunities to go into these different areas. People are very welcoming and happy to help, and there is a sense of community through individual teams and through online networks on Yammer.

I enjoy the department-wide, face-to-face meetings, and hybrid working is also a great aspect, as for me it really does benefit my well-being and productivity. Furthermore, I got good support while applying for EA jobs during the internship.

What inspired you into this career? 

Science was one of my favourite subjects during school and I knew that studying Biology at university would greatly interest me as it had already, so it made sense to learn more about it.

During university, it became clear to me that I wanted a career in the environmental sector, as I wanted to help conserve and protect the environment.

Currently, I haven’t determined what specific area I want to end up in, as my interests are wide, and I appreciate learning and gaining experiences.

Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far? 

I would say the need for a car has been a challenge, as some environmental jobs require it or suggest that it would be advantageous, which I noted when I was looking for jobs after graduating.

Also, getting the relevant experience needed beyond university is important, so I ensured that I volunteered in different places. Getting an internship has been a great start, as they are designed for those early on in their careers and are a valuable experience.

Being familiar with the organisation has benefited me, and I have now obtained a role with the organisation beyond the internship.

What education/training did you have?

I studied Biology and other science subjects at A-Level, then I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences before studying for a master’s degree in Advanced Biological Sciences.

I volunteered with environmental organisations to broaden my experience as well. I may undertake more training as my career progresses to aid my development.

What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession? 

I would suggest volunteering with different environmental organisations (e.g., the Wildlife Trust, The Conservation Volunteers, and Local Biological Records Centres) to broaden your experience and skills, and to grow your network.

Try to keep up to date with environmental issues, for example on LinkedIn, where you can follow people and pages to see what is currently going on and what work others are doing.

If at university, try to get involved in initiatives around sustainability or the environment as well.

Tags: hybrid working

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