Last year, Thea was able to complete her BGF work placement (in spite of lockdown!) at Greenhouse PR in Bristol. Greenhouse were so impressed with Thea that, after her placement was finished, they not only offered her a paid 4-week internship, but also introduced a new paid traineeship scheme for young people from groups under-represented in the environmental sector. Awesome work Thea! Please read on for her reflections:
Last summer I was fortunate enough to get to participate in work experience which I had lined up - and been looking forward to - since the start of the year. Of course, this looked slightly different to what it may have beforehand due to COVID-19 restrictions, but I am massively grateful for what turned out to be an incredible, informative experience which, I think, will inform many of the decisions I make in the future as I attempt to make my way into the world of green careers.
Greenhouse PR is an award-winning PR agency who help “create communication strategies and campaigns with impact” (via the Greenhouse website), primarily focusing on green businesses, or businesses who wish to delve into the world of sustainability. They were kind enough to, originally, offer me a week of work experience, and then subsequently, a 4-week paid internship where I continued developing some of the skills I had established in the initial week. Bright Green Future played the important part in helping me initially discover Greenhouse. They are a company I hadn’t heard of before, however my wonderful mentor, Megan, thought that I would be suited to the kind of work they do. She started the conversation for me, putting in a good word with my eventual employer, Emily (who was equally wonderful), and guided me through the process of figuring out how work experience could work with the restrictions in place at the time. Megan was imperative to getting me there, along with Emily who was incredibly kind to put in the effort to allow me to join them in such complicated circumstances.
Overall, I spent 5 glorious weeks with Greenhouse, and I’d love to share with you some of the things I got up to.
One of the things I enjoyed the most, and was thoroughly impressed by, was a project for Good Energy where, on Earth Overshoot Day, we had the youth activist orchestra, Orchestra for the Earth, play Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 for wind instruments, beside the wind turbines in Delabole, Cornwall. The idea stemmed from the brilliant minds at Greenhouse who constantly think creatively and outside the box to deliver stunning projects and events, and I was thrilled to play a small part in making this happen. I was in charge of the logistics side of the event and arranged for these musicians to travel from London to Cornwall in order to play at the event. It’s surprisingly difficult to get 25 people to Cornwall, from London, when they have delicate instruments and a pretty tight budget, and I was in awe of how Greenhouse worked tirelessly to make it work. For me, this particular task was formative in terms of building my confidence and developing vital organisational skills, which I may have lacked slightly beforehand. It was being a part of tasks such as these which forced me to learn how to take charge in a work environment.
Of course, plenty of my time at Greenhouse was centred around PR tasks, including many social media campaigns. Much of my time was spent doing community building for different companies, which involved trying to build up communities of like-minded people on social media, spreading awareness of what they are achieving. This was something I’d never heard of, nor had the skills to do, but Greenhouse’s training ensured that I was prepared and had the correct skills for such projects. They offered me a handful of zoom calls with other members of staff who worked in the company’s other branch in London, alongside some face-to-face sessions with the people who worked, where I was based. in Bristol. Everyone at Greenhouse was unbelievably helpful and I am tremendously grateful for how they were all so willing to help me learn and dedicated to making sure I left with a wealth of knowledge of the industry.
Aside from the PR tasks I was given, I was also trusted with a myriad of office management-based jobs. This included thing like taking laptops to be repaired, preparing laptops for new employees, and doing simple admin tasks. I was also asked to proofread important documents, read CVs, produce legal documents surrounding COVID policy and create infographics to inform employees about the company’s mental health policies. So, not only was the internship able to give me experience in a career I'd love to try in the future but gave me valuable skills that will be useful in any future endeavours.
Work experience is an amazing thing to get involved with and I would urge any future BGF mentees to talk to their mentors about what might be available. Before BGF, I had absolutely no clue what I might like to do as a career, and the work experience programme proved to be an incredibly eye-opening experience which has given me a much better idea of what I am good at, and most importantly, what I enjoy. I’m extremely thankful for BGF for helping me find Greenhouse, and to Greenhouse for providing such a fantastic experience!