Rhian Sherrington will be running career coaching sessions at our Catalyst Bootcamp – guiding the young women to first identify their personal values, interests and skills to decide the best education and career path for them.
Job title: Director & Founder, Women in Sustainability, the network for women creating positive change for a sustainable future.
BA 2:1 Geography, MSc Environmental Management, various Diplomas in Coaching/ Training & Development
Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?
I always wanted to make a difference to the environment. Looking after the planet is fundamental to me and so it was more of a case of exploring how best I could do that.
What was your first environment/sustainability job?
University Demonstrator at University of Stirling BSc Environmental Science course. After finishing my Masters at Stirling I was no closer to finding a job/ career it felt than after I finished my geography degree at Oxford University!
I ended up demonstrating some of the practical skill work on the BSc course whilst I applied to to a number of Environmental Consultancies – with no joy.
Fortunately a friend spotted this job working on the Isle of Arran as a Geography Field Studies tutor for A level students. Whilst I had no intention of becoming a teacher, I loved Scotland and the idea of living on the island, inspiring young people to appreciate and understand what they were seeing was very appealing.
How did you get your first role?
See above – and being flexible! Whilst I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to do forever, I was open to having the experience and I followed my heart – I was passionate about young people, nature etc so it felt like a fun thing to do.
How did you progress your environment/sustainability career?
After 1 year on Arran I realised I needed to move on – no career progression there. However I had enjoyed the teaching so I ended up getting a place as Senior Geography Tutor at a field centre in North Devon where I stayed for 5 years. I then again realised i was done, this time with this whole career (progression meant getting qualified as a teacher which I had no interest in doing).
I had set up and run my own expeditions company for a few years, taking students to Eucador, but realised there was no future in that either.
So I drew a line over the UK over where I thought I wanted to live and started researching the jobs being advertised. After a few interviews, one over the phone to New South Wales, Australia, I eventually got a job in Sustrans overseeing their Safe Routes to Schools project in Bristol. I progressed through a number of roles internally until when I resigned I was Senior Programme Manager for all the behaviour change projects across the UK.
What does your current role involve?
I run my own coaching & training business and the Women in Sustainability network.
How has your role changed over the past few years?
Completely! Leaping into being a business woman was the biggest change I’ve ever had to do but it is so very rewarding.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Juggling my time between the different projects I am involved with, being a mum to 2 fab school aged kids and having to say no to things I’d love to do but don’t have the time for.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org @Sust_Women http://womeninsustainability.co.uk/
To find out more and to book a place at the Catalyst Bootcamp visit www.catalysechange.com