Valuable work experience as an intern
Last December, I graduated with a Masters in Environmental Law, but felt unemployable. What I needed was some hands-on work experience where I could see what environmental campaigners do, and have a go at campaigning myself.
So when I came across an internship in the Projects and Campaigns team at Friends of the Earth Scotland, I jumped at the chance. Juliet, head of Projects and Campaigns, assured me that this would be no boring internship.
I could not have asked for more valuable work experience. I conducted legal research, helped flyer an RBS-sponsored event dressed as an oily banker, collected letters of objection to a dirty Biomass Plant in Leith, learned new web skills, and attended festivals to do outreach work. I received invaluable training and encouragement throughout my internship, and in June I even got to attend an international Friends of the Earth conference in Hungary. Under Mary’s careful line management, I was delegated specific tasks to do with the Access to Justice Campaign and Clean up RBS Campaign, and through observation I learned what it takes to be a brilliant campaigner. And as my internship progressed, I was able to take on more responsibility for Friends of the Earth Scotland’s work on Biomass.
I am now working as a Biomass Campaigner for an organisation called Biofuelwatch. Undoubtedly, I would not have got the job had it not been for volunteering with Friends of the Earth Scotland. I continue to volunteer with Friends of the Earth Scotland one day per week, and am taking part in the ‘Pedal for Scotland’ cycle ride next month to raise money for Friends of the Earth Scotland.
I came out of my internship feeling more passionate about environmental protection, and with a more practical sense of what I can do. What makes Friends of the Earth Scotland special is that it operates with a squeaky clean environmental ethos: it does not compromise on certain issues in order to score points. But it also offers real and practical solutions to environmental problems, where other organisations might not.
If you have the chance to volunteer, I’d recommend applying for a position with Friends of the Earth Scotland. Not only will you open up your career options, but also you’ll also have the chance to be part of an organisation committed to securing its vision of a world where everyone can enjoy a healthy environment and a fair share of the