After four and a half years, Emily Mason is leaving the Sustainability Department at the University of Greenwich. We managed to steal her away from her busy timetable for a few minutes to have a quick catch up and ask a few questions…
So Emily, what would you say has been your highlight whilst working at the University of Greenwich?
I’d say when we won the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’ in 2013. We were surprised we were even shortlisted and were just happy to be there at the event. We never thought we would win it so that was definitely a massive highlight. It was lovely to meet with other Universities and have people recognizing the work we have done.
What is the most important thing that you will take away with you?
All the learning I’ve done from everybody I’ve worked with. I’ve worked in sustainability for years but at the University of Greenwich I’ve absorbed so much information from everybody who has worked here.
What do you think the future holds for sustainability at the University?
I think that as long as we have people like the people working in the Sustainability Department, our Sustainability Champions and our interns, then it will be in safe hands. All these people bring the creativity, guts and determination to do the job.
What would you like to do next with your career?
My mum would love to know this as well! I’d like to learn how to sew better. Really I want to do something more proactive about the migrant crisis –it’s something I feel really strongly about. I’m currently looking into fostering a lone child migrant.
What would your advice be for anyone looking to enter a career in sustainability?
From me, it would be to look after yourself. A job in sustainability can be so intrinsically linked to your values that it’s easy to want to give everything of yourself. It can drain a lot from you. I’d say make sure you take time for yourself and practice self-care.
And finally… what pearls of wisdom do you have for the world?
Don’t forget how intrinsically linked human beings are to the environment. I think as soon as we forget that, we are in big trouble. We need to get children connected with the natural environment because if they don’t know what’s there, then they won’t know what they’re losing.
Also, find things to laugh at. Never go a day without laughing.
Interview by Ellen McKee the SDU’s Student Sustainability Intern.