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Case Study: Catriona

Personal details
Degree:MA Sustainable Development Profile picture
School(s): School of Geography and Geosciences
Year of Graduation:Jun-2010
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Rydon Group
Job title: Sustainability Leader
Occupational Sector: Sustainability Consultancy
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I worked at Rydon Group every holiday for the final three years of my degree.
What does your job involve ?

I am working in the development department, in a role which focuses on CSR and sustainability. Initially I have focused on strategic ideas, refining the policy and the overall approach of what sustainability and CSR means for the Rydon Group. I also help out with the procurement process, assisting with work that has to be done to ensure that environmental and sustainability issues are addressed in our tender submissions, making sure that sustainability is addressed before our work starts on site. My role has therefore been more about sustainability in its broadest sense (balancing social, environmental and economic factors). It is this latter understanding of SD, which I gained in great depth from the degree, which has allowed me to take this approach within Rydon. This has ensured that we don't get too stuck with the prevailing understanding that sustainability = environmental and technological solutions, as is often the case in the construction industry.

In October 2011 I began a part time MSc in Urban Regeneration at the Bartlett school of planning at UCL. The programme is a great combination of the experience I am gaining by working with the construction industry, along with the goals of regeneration, which take more than purely the physical urban environment into consideration.

What are the best bits of your job ?

Meeting and working with a range of people with different backgrounds and approaches: planners, architects, builders, engineers, surveyors, ecological assessors, legal advisors…..

Why were you successful?
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?

Working hours 8:30-5:30, hard work, I’ve been working on a range of projects, currently rolling out general sustainability awareness training to site staff.