What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
£25,001 – £30,000
Please describe the work that you do.
The Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF) is a mechanism to allow investment in tangible and effective coastal and marine restoration projects across Scotland. We are guided by a steering group from the Scottish Government Marine Directorate, NatureScot and Crown Estate Scotland. In my role, I help to coordinate this project, which includes communication with grant-givers and contributors as well as administration and case study work.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
SMEEF is a unique project and I love the opportunity to connect with a variety of marine and coastal enhancement and restoration projects across Scotland. I get to meet people at the forefront of improving Scotland’s seas and be present in discussions with private organizations on how they can help improve our marine environment via donations.
What inspired you into this career?
I have wanted to work in the environmental sector since I was very young, as I had the opportunity to explore the outdoors and thus wanted to play a part in protecting it. I have always felt a strong sense of urgency to maintain natural spaces and I wanted my life to have a positive impact on the planet for future generations to come.
At university, I studied Geography and Policy and I got involved in freshwater ecology and geospatial science through part-time work. After that, I was even more motivated to work in the sector.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
Absolutely — the ‘green’ or ‘blue’ (for those in the marine world) sectors can require volunteering experience which is unattainable for those who cannot afford to do that, like myself. I faced several rejections when applying for jobs and the competition was very high. In addition, green jobs might not be as well paid as other jobs out there which can present barriers.
What education/training did you have?
After I finished high school, I went on to complete an undergraduate degree in Geography and Social Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. During my studies, I conducted research on oyster habitat preferences and salmon migration barriers and completed a summer internship with a geomatics company in Canada. All of these experiences prepared me for my current job to a great extent.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Don’t give up. You will need to be stubborn and persistent to enter the sector and progress but it is absolutely worth it. The environmental sector has some of the loveliest and kindest people out there and I feel as though my work is making an impact on marine ecosystems. Find a mentor, someone you aspire to be like and pick their brains. If you apply for a job, don’t just wait to hear back about your application, but ask to have a discussion about the role and show initiative and interest.