School of Earth and Environment

Student Profiles

Darren Holman

MSc in Environmental Consultancy 2009

"In 2008, I took the decision to leave my job of eight years working as a project manager for a large UK energy supplier to study for an MSc in Environmental Consultancy. At this time, my main motivation was to obtain the knowledge and experience necessary to allow me pursue an alternative career direction, focusing on the fields of CSR and sustainability."

"I spent a considerable amount of time researching masters courses and felt that, as a mature student, the MSc at Leeds provided exactly what I was looking for – that is, an academic grounding in sustainability and CSR issues, thorough training in environmental consultancy and project management, and an opportunity apply my newly learnt skills to a practical project within a business setting.
The course provided plenty of opportunity to learn from professional consultants and other students. It was also possible (and helpful) to relate my personal experience of an industry coming to terms with the challenges of sustainability to a wider and more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between business and society."

"For my dissertation, I developed a CSR strategy for a professional financial services firm with over 7,500 employees and offices in 33 countries. The project focused on demonstrating the ‘business case’ for tackling environmental and social issues of material significance to the company.
Following my graduation, I joined Business in the Community (BITC) as the manager of their annual Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index, where my primary responsibility was to deliver the 2009 CR Index survey and ranking. This was published in the Financial Times in June 2010. My role also allowed me to work closely with the charity’s members, many of whom are FTSE 100 companies, on sustainability and CSR advisory projects."

"In September 2010, I left BITC to start a new role at Total Gas & Power, working as their Energy Services Manager. My current focus is developing a strategic response to new and emerging Government legislation designed to improve energy efficiency, promote renewable and low carbon technologies, and reduce carbon emissions. This is providing an exciting opportunity to develop a range of products and services underpinned by sustainability and CSR principles."

Ed Dunn

Sustainable Operations, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

"I graduated from Leeds University in 2007 with a Masters in Environmental Consultancy. The course was relatively new when I was an undergraduate and the main attraction to me was the chance to complete the consultancy project. I still believe that this was one of the most valuable experiences of my career to date as it gave me the opportunity to put my theoretical knowledge into practice almost immediately. I feel that when so many graduates are leaving University with very little work experience and even fewer employment opportunities this course still offers a chance to get ahead of the game and provides valuable real-life work experience in the environmental sector."

"Shortly after graduating I was recruited by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office into their Sustainable Operations Support Team. A significant part of my role is to ensure that the FCO are able to deal with and perform against the requirements enforced by central Government to reduce their carbon footprint. Whether this is establishing a comprehensive data collection process for meeting our 10:10 commitment, managing the FCO’s ISO14001 accreditation system, or providing advice to the England Football FIFA World Cup bids Team to ensure a sustainable legacy after hosting the 2018 World Cup, I am pleased to say that I’m still using the skills and knowledge I learned during my masters degree on a daily basis to help the FCO make a more informed decision about its approach to sustainability and carbon management."

Danielle Jackson

National Environmental Management Advisor, British Waterways

"I found the MSc Sustainability (Environmental Consultancy) course to be an excellent platform to step from academia into the professional world. As it is taught by practising consultants and delivers the tools required to ‘hit the ground running’, graduates from the course are appealing to a wide range of organisations with potential savings in training resources and costs."

"Since graduating from the course in 2006 I have worked for a diverse range of organisations in not only the public and private but also the charity sector. I began working for Halcrow Group Ltd, a multinational, multidisciplinary, engineering consultancy where I worked predominantly in Environmental Impact Assessment for flood alleviation schemes. I then worked at a smaller management consultancy developing a comprehensive understanding of the Power Generation sector and the environmental issues that it faces. During which time I conducted environmental audits for both EDF Energy and E.ON UK Power Stations. Chester Zoo was my next post where I assisted the HSE Manager in re-launching their Environmental Management System to retain their ISO 14001 certification. This was definitely the job with the most exciting lunch-breaks with having to walk past the penguins and the tiger enclosure to get to the canteen!
My current position is National Environmental Management Advisor at British Waterways where my main role is to drive our Environmental Management System. The EMS is the tool we use to continually improve our environmental performance whilst we maintain a safe and navigable network of waterways and provide a haven for people throughout the UK."

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