Hello! I’m Charlie, a 2nd year Environment, Economics and Ecology (EEE) student. It’s coming up to Christmas and this academic year has already been packed full!
During the summer vacation I was lucky enough to gain a paid internship in the University’s Environment department. Yes paid! It involved working with lecturers to communicate ecosystem services research to stakeholders. My main contact was the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, a body representing land agents and valuers across the country. I had the opportunity to travel down to London to participate in their Farming and Environment committee meeting which was an amazing experience.
During the internship I was based in an office with another intern so it was a really friendly atmosphere. The reception team often dropped in to check that we were ok, often delivering buffet leftovers from the board meetings! Spending two months working full time at the University gave me a better appreciation of the logistics of an academic department. I felt like a valued employee and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
The internship was advertised on the university’s Careers Gateway which every student has 24/7 access to online via the University’s website. The Environment department’s Careers Adviser is always pinging useful emails about volunteering and degree relevant placements. Last week I applied to an industry placement with Drax Power in Selby, 20 miles from York. I’m still waiting to hear back from them but I am certain that the internship and positions that I have held at University so far have placed me in a strong position.
I really do recommend taking every opportunity at University, I have adopted this tactic and my CV is now bursting at the seams yet I’m only half way through my degree! Whether you are looking for regular part time work or just an insight day with a top company, there are always exciting options. The University has so many ways to get involved, from joining the committee of a society to nominating yourself as student representative on the board of studies.
The board of studies has a termly meeting which includes staff from the Department and student representatives from each degree course in the Department. It is a brilliant way for staff to hear feedback and suggestions from students. I have found my lecturers in the Environment Department to be really approachable which is so valuable. If there is an issue with any part of my course or if I just need some guidance on how to approach tutorial tasks I am always confident that someone is there to help.
The aspect of my degree that I enjoy the most is the tight knit degree community. There are 16 people in second year studying EEE so we know each other really well. I have found the other students to be really supportive and I truly believe this is a consequence of the small cohort that we are a part of. This is also true of the whole Environment Department, every time I go to our building (did I mention that it is brand new and sparkling?), I see someone that I know. This is such an asset as it really does make you feel at home. York is inclusive and welcoming, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about EEE or the university in geneal