Gemma Needham, Environment and Sustainability

Year studied Environment & Sustainability  

2011-2014 Graduated with 2(i) BSc

Current employment

Education Development Trust, Reading. 

Not-for-profit international education charity partnering with governments and inter-governmental agencies in the UK and across the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Job title

Grants and Scholarships Coordinator

What are the different steps you took after graduating from Keele in terms of travel, further study and jobs?  

After graduating from Keele University in July 2014, I worked a 3 month Marketing and Education internship at Aldenham Country Park, before securing my first graduate position as a Project Administrator on two EU funded grant programmes (Low Carbon Workspaces and Grants for Eco Innovation). After one year, I moved on to work at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as a Grants Administrator to gain further experience of financial processes. I now currently work as a Grants and Scholarships Coordinator at Education Development Trust, an international education charity committed to transforming lives by improving education around the world.

How did you get your current position and what does your current position involve?

One of the reasons I was offered the position of Grants and Scholarships coordinator was due to the previous experience I had of working in this area. Working as a Grants and Scholarships coordinator involves managing the recruitment and awarding process for the programme, monitoring performance and award-compliance, and leading on the communication with applicants.

What did you learn on the Environmental course which helped you get the job, or helps with your role now?

The Environment and Sustainability course is unique because the content delivered crosses the traditional divide between the natural and social sciences. Developing skills in the natural and social sciences provides a broad range of knowledge in the environmental sector and is transferable to most environmental job roles.

What would you like a prospective student to know about studying our environmental courses at Keele?

The most important piece of advice I was given during my first year at university was to participate in extra-curricular activities and work experience. A degree alone is not enough! I secured my first graduate position as a result of the work experience I had completed during my second year.