Andrew Sherwood shares how Keele broadened his horizons, leading him to a career at the LEGO Group headquarters in Denmark
Andrew went from having never been on an aeroplane before, to having his passion for travelling and sustainability sparked during his time at Keele, leading him to move to Denmark and pursue a career in environmental waste at the LEGO Group Headquarters.
The most difficult part of my career journey was getting my first job after graduation, so instead of doing that I went skiing in Canada for a year and did a Masters degree back in the UK. Alongside my Masters I volunteered in an election campaign which led to a job at the Welsh Parliament assisting a politician. Thankfully this gave me the transferrable skills to work in sustainability on a project to introduce a recycling scheme to Thurrock in Essex. Further local government waste management roles followed in central London where I met my Danish girlfriend. We then decided to emigrate to Denmark where I went to language school before securing a job with LEGO.
For the last six months I have been working for The LEGO Group at its headquarters in Denmark. My job is to formulate our approach to waste in the numerous countries that we operate in. The children who write to us are very keen that we reduce our environmental impact! The LEGO Group exists to inspire children through play. It was founded in 1932 by carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and based on the iconic LEGO brick, it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials.
I found Keele to be an inspirational environment to study sustainability because of the surroundings and the opportunities it gave me to travel.
Before I arrived at Keele I had never even been on an aeroplane, but by the end I had visited Kenya on a human geography field trip and spent a semester at the University of British Columbia in Canada. This sparked a real passion for travelling and I have since gone on to live in the Canadian Rockies, Beijing and Denmark where I have now lived for four years.
I also made some lifelong friends who I have been on holiday with virtually every year since graduating. While a lot of us congregated in London for a time we are now spread out all over Northern Europe.
I would say that the most important thing Keele did was to widen my perspective through its teaching and the studying abroad I did. It really helped that my degree was incredibly diverse. I learnt about how volcanoes worked as well as waste management law and geographic information systems.