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Case Study: Rachael Everard

Personal details
Degree:MA Sustainable Development Profile picture
School(s): School of Geography and Geosciences
Year of Graduation:Jun-2012
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Rolls-Royce plc
Job title: Global Sustainability Manager
Occupational Sector: Sustainability Consultancy
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I joined Rolls-Royce in 2012 on a graduate programme specialising in health, safety and environmental management. During this I became involved with the company's Sustainability team, ultimately applying for the position of Global Sustainability Manager.
What does your job involve ?
I lead a sustainable programme that is aimed at engaging companies that supply to Rolls-Royce from all over the world in sustainability, ethics and in improving environmental and operational performance. I also lead external sustainability reporting for the Group and in responding to customer and investor requests for information on our sustainability approach. I also get the opportunity to develop and deliver sustainability strategies and improvement programmes for different parts of the business.
What are the best bits of your job ?
I really enjoy the variety in my role - a typical day ranges from presenting a strategy update in the Board room, to talking with a supplier located on the other side of the world about labour practices, to being out on the shop floor exploring ways to improve our waste management processes.
Why were you successful?
I completed a summer internship working in the sustainability department of a major Oil and Gas company before applying to Rolls-Royce. During my time at university I was also involved in extra-curricular activities including Student Representative Council.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
During my degree I concentrated on the business management side of sustainable development, which really helped to give me a good grounding of academic knowledge that I now get to apply in reality.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
My internship really helped me to understand how I wanted to start my career post university - helping me realise I wanted to work in a corporate environment, rather than charity or NGO, and what part of corporate sustainability I was most interested in. The other thing I realised was to keep my options open and to be open to all opportunities - with an interest in social sustainability and the environment I never really expected to end up working for one of the world's top engineering companies, but its worked out pretty well for me so far!