When Joan enrolled at City University London, she had no idea how many opportunities awaited her. I didn’t know either – I didn’t know that City pays so much attention to reducing environmental impact and to empowering students to do the same. This relatively short piece is about a personal experience – that is, my own experience – in the Sustainability Leaders Programme. What is it? It is a programme designed to equip students with skills and knowledge to help create a better world – one with a healthy environment, economic prosperity and social justice…A world which ensures the well-being and quality of life of present and future generations.
So, first point – why did I join this programme? The answer is simple – I was really interested in environmental issues for very long time and I really believed (and still do so), that people should be really concerned about the environment. The opportunity to join came through the Freshers’ week, through e-mails, through leaflets around the campus, through adverts on the walls – so don’t tell me that the University haven’t promoted it! The key here is to research and search – remember, the one who searched will always find, right?
At the beginning I had no idea what the programme was about, but the first set of workshops was definitely designed to explain what it is and why it is. Personally, I really liked the idea of working with the staff team – communication skills weren’t my strongest side – so, it was great opportunity to develop these. With the help of the Environment team, I begun working with the Finance Department’s Green Impact team. I was fortunate – the team leader turned out to be very enthusiastic and ready for work, so we quickly found a way to develop a winning strategy and begun working on making the Finance department “greener”.
If you are thinking: “Is this suitable for me?”, just ask yourself – do you want to contribute few hours a week for such a great purpose? I believe that this programme is beneficial for every student – whether he or she studies Law or Engineering, Music or Nursing – because it really helps with certain aspects of self-development. In particular, planning, communication (already mentioned), confidence, project management, probably computer skills! That’s what I discovered for myself from taking part in this programme – and yet I thought all I would be get from this, was the satisfaction of “doing my bit” (the least I can do for environment).
By the way, the programme not only involves working with the staff or student teams, it also offers you a range of opportunities to develop yourself. It could be manning stalls (totally beneficial for confidence), designing campaigns, attending a series of workshops on different themes or working with local primary schools and so much more. All the tasks are stored in an online workbook and have points attached to them (so if you have no other motivation, hopefully the points will do it!). And then, when you and/or your staff team have submitted the workbook – it’s time to wait for the results. I must admit, it is so satisfying to find out that your team has been given an award! So much pleasure, so much pride.
Ultimately, being a Sustainability Leader is an opportunity to meet new people – so cliché, you would say, but it is. You would be surprised to discover the range of people that are not indifferent about the environment – how diverse they are!.. – and how many of them are somewhere at City (not out in some galaxy, sorry). The great thing about the programme is that you will definitely get some inspiration for new ideas – be it about work prospects, start-ups, new TV-shows to watch or events to attend – It all depends on you, as does this major decision.
So, come and join the Sustainability Leaders programme (if you dare, of course)!