Edmund Dickens

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Project Manager
Subject of study: Geography / Global Sustainability Solutions
Year of graduation: 2021
Type/Level of study: Postgraduate Taught, Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After leaving Exeter I wanted to take some time out before starting my career – I never took a gap year before uni and covid made me want to get away for a while, so I went to Canada for 3 months and qualified as a ski instructor. I applied for a job in the airport on the way home, not thinking much of it but landed a position as a junior consultant working at the intersection between business and biodiversity for a small consultancy. Following this I entered my current job at CISL where I work in the Business and Nature team helping organisations better understand and reduce their impacts on the natural world.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

It may be a cliche but I really did just fall into it! I know I wanted to work in something environmental, but my skillset wasn’t particularly specialised (I’d done a BA then an MSc, both at Exeter) allowing me to cast the net wide in my job search. Interestingly, I’d looked more at climate issues as a student but quickly realised that the climate and nature emergencies are intricately linked and we won’t be able to make meaningful progress addressing one without the other. That’s what I love most about what I do; seeing how everything is connected and that the impacts of action can have unforeseen (positive!) consequences for both the natural world and climate.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was VP and then President of Geography Society in Cornwall, and I was also involved in Gig Rowing for several years.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?

Yes.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

Although I loved living and studying in Cornwall, some of the trips away from campus stick out as highlights. My third year fieldtrip to California was fantastic, and I also really enjoyed my dissertation research when I took myself off to Exmoor for a long weekend and interviewed lots of interesting people. Re-connecting with course mates at our covid-delayed graduation in 2022 was also a highlight.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Two things – the fantastic environment at the uni and in the local area which made it such a great place to live and work, along with the lecturers and tutors that delivered such a great range of material and were always fun to work with.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I came to an open day and was hooked!

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Being a Student Ambassador was really helpful, along with having committee roles in a society.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Broaden your horizons beyond your coursework and grades; I didn’t appreciate how valuable experiences that allow you to demonstrate a skillset are when seeking employment. In 10 years time people will be much more interested in your great presentation skills or leadership potential than what you got in your GIS!

What are your plans for the future?

I’m happy where I am at the moment but eventually I’d love to get more involved in policymaking and governance – we need greater ambition in these areas to deliver against some really important issues.

 

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