My top tips would be to read, research and find your niche. Find what part of sustainability interests you and become an expert in that topic. [...] Reach out to small start-ups, make speculative applications and most of all lend a helping hand in anyway you can to get your foot in the door.
What degree course did you study and when did you graduate?
MSc Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions, 2018.
Why did you choose that particular degree course? Did you have a specific career path in mind?
I had a module in my undergraduate degree called "Communicating across Cultures" and because of my personal international background wanted to pursue this degree as it seemed to "fit" my personality and who I am. Nevertheless, since then I have done another masters in Environmental Studies and that one suited me better and my career. I actually wish I had done the "Global Sustainable Development" degree or the "Food Security" postgraduate degree. But hey ho - we're all smarter in hindsight.
Tell us about your employer
I am a freelancer for Greenpeace Israel & Greenpeace Germany. For Greenpeace Israel I am leading their plastics campaign and coordinate the team. For Greenpeace Germany I am a research consultant. Greenpeace is a well-known environmental organisation, usually known for environmental actions and demands. However, I work more behind the scenes regarding research and team management. We have an international audience. There are 27 Greenpeace offices worldwide. It is one of the world's most well-known green organisations.
What was the position you were recruited for?
Haha - I wasn't hired. I did a speculative application to Greenpeace Israel to do an (unpaid) internship whilst my MA in Environmental Studies. I remember finding one of the team members on Facebook by coincidence and I immediately messaged asking if I can volunteer or do an internship. She said I should come in and speak to someone else and then a few days later I started my internship that lasted 9 months. I guess they liked me, afterwards I was hired as a part-time campaign leader for plastics and now I am full-time working for Greenpeace Israel & Germany, working remotely.
As a "Plastics Campaign Lead & Programme Coordinator" I am leading the campaign that calls to ban for single use plastics in Israel. I do a lot of research, team management and coordination, delegation of tasks to volunteers. For the Research Consultant role I am heavily research a new environmental campaign for the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
What attracted you to this position?
I like that I have found my passion in environmentalism. And I love working in an international team. I speak to many different nationalities every day. 6. What are the key skills you learnt at Warwick that have helped you with your career to date. * My degree in Intercultural Communication has helped me enormously to understand the different working styles of different nationalities. Also, since I do a lot of research, writing my dissertation and gaining the foundations research skills are very helpful.
What has been your greatest career challenge to date?
The greatest challenge so far has been the COVID-19 crisis. Not knowing whether I would get a job, a paid job, or how my "career" will evolve was a bit scary at first. I remember applying to 30+ jobs and getting rejected to all of them. I would breakdown thinking that I will never get hired by anyone. Also, being thrown into the deep end of remote working whilst living at home was incredibly challenging. Finding an online community at Greenpeace has helped me through it. I have started a Greenpeace BookClub and also Greenpeace Yoga.
What top tips would you give to students looking for a career in your market sector?
The 'Green' sector is becoming ever-important. This is a field that will be indispensable in the future. Knowledge in sustainability is critical. My top tips would be to read, research and find your niche. Find what part of sustainability interests you and become an expert in that topic. Also, in terms of finding a job, reach out to small start-ups, make speculative applications and most of all lend a helping hand in anyway you can to get your foot in the door. Also, a degree is very helpful in this sector as it gives you essentials and the foundation.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were applying for jobs?
I wish I had known from the start that speculative applications are worth it. Sometimes reaching for the impossible becomes possible through a mix of luck, charm, work ethic and most of all passion. I would tell myself, "Don't just accept any job because you will not be following your passion." The right job will come.
Do you have any additional advice or comments?
Passion, passion, passion. If you like what you do and you are determined to make a career of it then reach out to people and your network. Use LinkedIn, talk to people, watch documentaries, read books, involve yourself in community projects. If you want to make something happen, then you have to make it happen. A job isn't going to fall your way unless you have opened all right right doors and have signposted what you are looking for.