Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Intern experiences

Emma Wells

Emma Wells

"Over my ten weeks as an intern at Good Food Oxford (GFO), I worked across an array of Food Access projects, employing skills such as data collection and analysis, and producing resources for both the general public and industry professionals. Besides developing these skills, this internship also taught me a great deal about citizen-led change, and its essential role in delivering targeted, sustainable outcomes. My favourite aspect of the internship has been the quantity and quality of discussions I've had with people from all sorts of backgrounds. As a small network organisation with a big reach, GFO has a rare and insightful view of the big picture. Different stakeholders - be they councillors, SMEs, farmers or people from low-income households - all affect, and are affected by, Oxford's food system, which itself must balance the three intimately linked strategic priorities of health, fairness, and sustainability. Overall this internship has been an incredibly rewarding experience and inspired me to continue working at the boundary where social policy and sustainability interact."

ECI Intern 2019 at Good Food Oxford | 3rd year student, BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economy

Claire Nakabugo

Claire Nakabugo

"At IHA, I had the opportunity to recollect the various elements I had absorbed through my MSc and apply them in real world experiences while having the opportunity to engage with high level stakeholders. I supported the Research and Policy Team to prepare for and deliver sessions at the World Hydropower Congress. I also reported on these sessions, workshop events, and contributed regional profiles for the company’s annual flagship report – The Hydropower Status Report. More so, I had the opportunity to get involved with a wide range of partners like the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to produce the Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide. My internship was extended for another 7 months, in which I was given more responsibilities. My line managers were always empowering me to take ownership of my work and become more visible in meetings within the company and with clients, thereby providing mentorship to develop soft skills to thrive in the work environment. Overall it was a very positive experience, and I especially recommend doing an internship as a great avenue to gain international working experience."

Intern 2019 at International Hydropower Association | MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management

Charles Worthington

"I was a researcher on a small team working to launch a commission investigating sustainable agricultural intensification. This project was in its early stages when I joined, and so I was given considerable autonomy to conduct research within the broad scope of the commission’s work. I especially liked being trusted to share ideas in meetings, and to shape the direction of the project. I was also given more specific tasks – i.e. drafting articles and statements for senior staff, developing and contributing to a case study database, and working with other interns on various analytical tasks. The internship was a really positive professional experience. It absolutely confirmed that I want to work in research and policy, and encouraged me to look for more opportunities in sustainable development, not something I had much specific experience of before. On the other hand, Sri Lanka was really incredible, and I would love to come back for a proper holiday one day!"

ECI Intern 2019 at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) – MSc Migration Studies

Kirsty Gouck

"During my three months at Mandulis Energy I learned about a specific project that the organisation is working on in depth, from the ground level up, and that included going on two field trips. The ethos of the organisation is one I fully support, and it has given me a stronger desire to work in different cultural environments. The "fun” highlights of my time there include going on safari at Murchison Falls National Park, Nyege Nyege Festival and white water rafting on the River Nile. Everyone was very friendly and keen for me to have a great experience. I socialised with other interns and my boss, and also people I met along the way in Kampala. The outlasting memory I have is definitely a positive one, mainly due to the lovely people I met, the amazing things I got up to and the genuine ambition of the organisation to provide people with a better future."

ECI Intern 2019 at Mandulis Energy | 4th year student, MEng Engineering Science

Henry Penrose

"During my time in HI-Iceland, I was involved in tracking the organisation's Scope 3 emissions from travel and waste, and presented proposed solutions to the CEO. I also led a review of the sustainability policy for the organisation's campsite and conducted surveys on guests' attitudes to sustainability, amongst some other projects. Through the hostel I was able to get free access to many tourist activities, allowing me to explore the country, which was amazing! I enjoyed the work, and am pleased I was able to do something that felt very worthwhile, and make real contributions to the sustainability strategy of the organisation. This experience has largely confirmed that I wish to go into environmental policy as a career. Overall this internship was a truly excellent experience, professionally, culturally, and socially, and I would recommend it to anyone considering applying!"

ECI Intern 2019 at Hostelling International Iceland | 3rd year student, BA Biological Sciences

Jillian Neuberger

"At SEI, I supported the design, data collection, construction, and launch of a climate change knowledge hub for the Islamic Development Bank. Outside of this main project, I did have opportunities to attend relevant organisation-wide meetings, and to learn more about SEIs full range of engagement with environmental issues. The SEI staff were very available and supportive at all times, while really empowering me to take ownership and lead the website process. Overall, I found it very easy to settle into the SEI office, being largely encouraged to determine how I wanted to structure my work and time. That said, SEI staff was always around to provide guidance and assistance as needed. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience, having the opportunity to really explore the field of applied academic research and knowledge product creation in the environmental change space. I also think this internship allowed me to further build my expertise in designing and managing processes, while being supported by experts really operating in their element."

ECI Intern 2019 at Stockholm Environmental Institute | MSc Environmental Change and Management

Ameena Malak

"As the Innovation Research Intern, I carried out market research for the different partners of the organisation - e.g. Tesco, RBS, Heathrow Airport - who provided us with their sustainability challenges for us to source them with innovations and solutions. The team was very friendly and welcoming, and from the very first day they treated me as an equal to the rest of them. I really enjoyed the experience and would definitely recommend interning with Innovation Gateway to others. It is very satisfying to see that what I did during my 8 weeks with them, has directly contributed to the work they do. This placement was a great insight into the world of sustainability and innovation consulting, and after my experience with them it's definitely an industry that I am considering going into after my degree!"

ECI Intern 2019 at Innovation Gateway | 4th year student, MChem Chemistry

Emily Martin

"I secured an internship with KeepCup through the Oxford internship programme quite late in the summer and it has turned out to be a fantastic fit. I was given my own project to work on during my eight weeks there, culminating in a presentation to the company's Brand Manager and CEO. It was an amazing opportunity to manage my own work independently and to research two areas that were of direct importance and relevance to the company. The team at KeepCup were really welcoming and I was supported really well; I was given enough freedom to take my own initiative but I was always provided with guidance and direction when it was needed."

ECI Intern 2015 with KeepCup | Undergraduate student on PPE course

Felix Bischoff

"After the MSc, I spent three months interning the with Environmental Sustainability team at GlaxoSmithKline in London. This experience was an excellent first-hand insight into working on corporate sustainability issues. Specifically, I worked on a project aiming to identify and quantify water-related risks in GSK's global supply chain and operations. I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of the team, and appreciated having my own project and set responsibilities to work on during my time at GSK. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to gain a bit more practical experience before choosing their career path after the ECM course."

ECI Intern 2014 at GlaxoSmithKline | Graduate student on MSc in Environmental Change and Management

Kaylan Dutia

"I've been lucky to be involved in lots of different aspects of the running of Pilio, from web analytics to product research. I've enjoyed developing (and beginning to build!) skills when setting up the Google Analytics and Adwords accounts, and thinking about SEO with Annah. The MATLAB data processing was a challenge but will definitely help me with my degree and programming in general. It has also been great learning about the energy sector, particularly when researching other energy management competitors - it's not really a sector you're currently forced to think about before you go and work in it. Being able to see the ElecWatch pilot through from start to finish and be involved in all steps in the process has been really beneficial, and told me I should probably take a step away to learn about project management! I look forward to hearing about Pilio's future successes."

ECI Intern 2015 at Pilio | Graduate student on MEng course

Katie Fensome

"I've been working for three months as a GIS and remote sensing intern for the Bruno Manser Fonds, a Swiss NGO which supports the indigenous Penan of Malaysian Borneo to protect and sustainably manage their forests. My role was to map logging incursions into indigenous territories which will become part of community atlases for the Penan. I also had some other responsibilities such as completing press reviews. I had regular meetings with my immediate boss who was supportive and enthusiastic, and made me feel a valued part of the team. Everyone at BMF was incredibly friendly and created a great collaborative working atmosphere. Recently, the organisation offered a further 6 months' work leading a pilot community-based forest monitoring project with the Penan, and to help complete the atlases. I was thrilled to be asked to do this, and am very excited about the coming year."

ECI Intern 2015 at Bruno Manser Fund, Basel, Switzerland

Georgina Chandler

"3Keel was a fantastic opportunity for me to gain experience in consulting. The internship also allowed me to branch out into other areas of sustainability, gaining insight into business and supply chains, while still maintaining my biodiversity background. It was a varied experience and i worked on a wide range of projects and as a result acquired a wide range of new skills!"

ECI Intern 2015 at 3Keel

Alexandra Pons

"My internship involved developing social risk strategy and management plans, developing reports, interviewing members, research for pre-audit due diligence material and creating presentations. The company has a very comprehensive induction process in which the intern gets to meet every single member of the team in all of the regional offices. Synergy is a wonderful place with wonderful workers who are welcoming, helpful and friendly. They value interns as part of the team and are constantly looking for ways to help the intern learn as much as possible”.

ECI Intern 2015 at Synergy Global Consulting, 2015

Harry Begg

"I was very inspired by Julie's Bicycle team - a welcoming and interesting group to work with over the six-week internship. They showed a passionate commitment to environmental sustainability, and the ways that arts and culture can inform and potentially transform people's attitudes to climate change. Whilst with JB, I assisted the team in preparing for a conference being run with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as well as the UN COP21 being held in Paris in November 2015. In particular, I researched ideas surrounding cultural value and what audiences can take from artistic and cultural experience. The internship has developed my interests for Masters and future PhD research, and I am grateful to JB for all of the help and support they have given during my time with them."

ECi Intern at Julie's Bicycle, 2015

Catherine McCosker

"I very much enjoyed my internship at 3 Keel, both the work and the people. I had not done any consulting before so it was a good chance to gain a better understanding of this career as well as some experience. I will be staying on to work full-time and I am very excited to be doing so."

ECI Intern 2014 at 3Keel | Graduate student on MSc in Evidence Based Social Intervention

Ana Lawry

"During my time working with Projects Galapagos, I assisted a lot in the teaching projects teaching English to children aged 11-13. As well as teaching I helped out in the office, assisting the development and organisation of new projects, translating texts and general admin. On Fridays I helped run an Eco Club for teenagers from the local schools. I also assisted in various conservation projects e.g sea lion monitoring, re-plantation of endemic species, marine clean-ups and upkeep of the giant tortoise breeding centre."

ECI Intern 2015 at Galapagos Island Project | Graduate student, MChem

Yunshu Li

"I worked on a range of tasks during the internship. At the beginning, I was responsible for extracting useful data from multiple sources to create Excel models. Prior to this, I had little experience with Excel and it was a very steep learning curve. I also worked on some business development tasks, such as helping out with bids or researching new business opportunities. In the fifth week, I became involved in researching environmental policies and business opportunities in Asia. My supervisor invited me to meetings and conference calls. I particularly enjoyed these business development tasks as they required me to speak to and interact with people from the organisation. This internship experience has been a very insightful one. I would certainly consider a career in this sector."

ECI Intern 2015 at Carbon Trust, London

Kathryn Poole

"I worked on a forestry modelling project, gaining practical knowledge on how to develop and interpret social simulations. I also supported the research team in collecting, analysing and visualising data. Everyone in the office was very friendly and there was a really collaborative atmosphere."

ECI Intern 2015 at Stockholm Environment Institute, Oxford

Julia Jayne Barrott

"During my time with SEI Oxford (so far - ongoing) I have been involved with managing and adding content to the weADAPT knowledge platform and contributing towards research deliverables related to the Climate Change and Forests in the Congo Basin: Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation (COBAM) project. On completing my PhD I knew I wanted a career that contributed towards the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but, having done 'hard science', wasn't sure how I could achieve that. This internship has given me insight into how such impact is achieved in the social sciences and how I can use my skills in this area. It has also given me ideas for possible future collaboration between the earth/natural sciences and social sciences that I could pursue if I continue in academic research."

ECI Intern 2015 at Stockholm Environment Institute, Oxford

Kamilla Abilova

"I was mostly involved in R&D work, as well as business activities including brand development. I truly enjoyed my internship. I was working in a shared office space, so I managed to meet a lot of people and learn about a lot of new, innovative projects and ideas. Working in the heart of London and being a part of this environment has been very incredibly inspiring and stimulating. As a result of my internship I discovered a completely new-to-me 'business side' of the energy management field, and developed a good understanding and strong interest in the area. I believe this experience has helped me to set my goals regarding career field and location."

ECI Intern 2015 Pilio, London

Internship opportunities for 2020

Internship opportunities for placements in the summer/autumn 2020 are posted in Hilary and Trinity terms.