Dominic’s Summer Internship Experience

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Hello! I’m Dominic, I’ve just returned from year abroad in Rotterdam and I am about to start my fourth and final year of my Politics degree at the University of Leeds. This summer I’m working as an intern at the Sustainability Service . My job is to focus on student sustainability literacy and what that basically means is finding out what students know about sustainability, what our behaviour is like and what we tend to think about sustainability too.

I’ve been researching all the different ways that universities and other organisations try to find out what people know about sustainability. This information is really important to the Sustainability Service and the University in order to plan what action it’s going to take in order to empower students to make a difference in creating a sustainable world.

I am putting together an online sustainability assessments for students that are going to also provide students with practical, relevant information on how to live sustainably. We are currently looking at, in the future, integrating a short quiz into the registration process for students which would be one of the best sources of student sustainability literacy in the world and really help the university make significant strides towards its sustainability goals. In addition I hope to put together a longer survey which students can choose to take part in which will provide a more in-depth look at student sustainability literacy. In order to prepare these I have recently run a focus group of students who have stayed in Leeds over the summer and I got great feedback from them on how to further engage students in sustainability which should prove really useful in the future.

I’m now about half way through my internship and so far this summer I have been really welcomed in by the whole Sustainability Service team. I hadn’t previously been heavily involved in sustainability efforts either in my studies or private life. I tried to use less of what I could and recycle when I could but didn’t feel like I was really involved in sustainability much. However, in just this past month I have learned so much about all the amazing projects going on at university, volunteer organisations and beyond. There is so much to get involved with and I am fully converted from someone who knew sustainability was important but, to be honest, didn’t really do much. Now to someone who is really excited about all the amazing work which is being done and we as students can get involved with right now, it’s all on the Sustainability Service website!