Helen Davies was a member of CarbonCrew Students from 2011 to 2014, getting involved with a huge range of projects and activities as a result. She now works at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) – "the exact industry I had wanted".
Let's hear from Helen:
I first became interested in CarbonCrew as a fresher, back in 2011, as halls of residence competed in the Student Switch Off campaign and I was encouraged to make pledges on the CarbonCrew website.
I thought that it was a fantastic initiative and something that really had the potential for everyone at UEA to be involved in. I wasn’t until my second year that I decided to volunteer at the student meetings. Straight away I felt that my input was appreciated and encouraged both by the staff members and my fellow students. From that moment on I knew that my time at UEA would be enriched by being part of this group!
With the growing interest and passion for making a difference throughout campus forming within the group, my two years as a CarbonCrew member were jam packed with organising and implementing the fantastic ideas brought forward by members of the group. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects, student meetings, staff meetings, working closely with estates and generally engaging with as many people on campus as possible.
A highlight of my time as a CarbonCrew member was the 2014 “Pledge for the Planet” day, I think this really demonstrated how far the group had come in the last two years. A bouncy castle and live music, with peddle powered microphones, offered a welcome break from the slog of revision and the 150 or so environmental awareness pledges made this day demonstrated the success of the first proper, campus wide, CarbonCrew initiative, a real bonus for the team. This is something that will be continuing as an annual event with ever-increasing engagement from all on campus.
What is different about CarbonCrew compared with other societies is that a lot of work is done directly with staff members and the Estates team. Far from reducing student independence this relationship enables student ideas to be implemented at a much higher level, essential to increased action. Working with people at different levels of influence around the campus was a really great learning process which continuously helps me in my graduate job.
As a graduate at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) I am fortunate to have secured a position in the exact industry I had wanted. I can largely place my success on the skills and relationships I developed through my time as a CarbonCrew member at UEA.
I gained essential knowledge, confidence and friendships that were fantastic for getting me through my assessment day, interviews and the job so far. Last Christmas, I also brought the CarbonCrew chocolate drop to BRE where we rewarded people for switching off their computer for the holiday period. CarbonCrew, combined with any degree course is something that I would definitely recommend for those wanting to make a real difference in a fun and friendly way.