Laura Asnong

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Climate Change and Sustainability Consultant
Subject of study: Geography with Study Abroad
Year of graduation: 2018
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


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

Since leaving Exeter, I worked for Ofgem as a Policy Analyst within the EU Exit Team, essentially trying to ensure the lights would not go off in a no-deal Brexit event. Following that I got a place on the Environmental Graduate Scheme with Atkins and I worked there for 2 years as a Graduate and then Assistant Sustainability Consultant. I then joined AECOM in June 2021 as a Climate Change and Sustainability Consultant.

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

During my degree I knew I wanted to work within the environment and sustainability field and I almost fell into consulting by applying to so many different grad schemes. At the assessment centres I realised that this type of work interests me and feels quite practical in its nature rather than being too high level and theoretical. I really enjoy working with so many different clients and across multiple projects at one time. I love being able to help clients understand their carbon footprints and sustainability issues and ultimately help them become more resilient for the future.

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

Throughout my 4 years: I was a member and on the committee of Dance Society. I was a member of Footlights. I was a member of the Exeter Cheerleading Team.

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

I enjoyed the breadth of modules and topics that were discussed but the biggest highlight was definitely the Brazil fieldtrip in second year. It was a great opportunity to get to know lecturers outside of lectures and have some first-hand experience of data collection before writing a dissertation. I also did a year abroad in Australia which was the best part of my university experience. I was lucky enough to travel all over Australia and even have some work experience in a local council where I undertook a climate change risk assessment and helped them identify where funding and management should be prioritised on the coast.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I enjoyed meeting so many great like-minded people that I am still friends with today. I loved the structure of my course and the variety of modules on offer, and generally enjoyed university life with all the different societies available.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I loved the campus style of university and having grown up in London it was really important for me to get out of a big city and experience something completely different.

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

Excel-based skills and data analysis. Report writing skills. Communication (tailoring communication and engagement to different scenarios). Time Management and the ability to multi-task on different projects within a day.

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

I would advise students to look at graduate schemes in advance of them going live (usually in September and January). It’s really important that students look at job descriptions to pick out exactly what employers are after and map these to examples that students have and can talk about in detail. The work within the carbon, climate change and sustainability sector is constantly changing and being updated so I would suggest that students keep themselves informed with the wider context of this industry.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to still be within the carbon, climate change and sustainability sector. I would like to get more involved with resilient cities and climate change adaptation as I believe that is critical to this workstream. Hopefully I will continue to gain experience and move up the ladder within AECOM.


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