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Emily studied Environmental Engineering at Griffith University
What's your job about?
I worked with a diverse team to establish a recycling service in the capital city of Timor-Leste, Dili. My responsibilities included meeting with some of the largest and smallest business owners in their country to educate and inform them on the importance of recycling and to encourage them to use our collection service. It was also our responsibility to initiate the collection service through brainstorming, problem solving and communication with locals until we found a local truck driver to work for us. Research also plays a large role in daily work, it’s necessary to be aware of every opportunity that is out there for both potential new businesses and companies who are accepting recyclables.
Waste management is a huge issue all over the world and especially in developing countries.
What's your background?
I grew up in a small coastal town in north NSW and I have always had a passion for travelling. I started biomedical engineering at Griffith University after taking a gap year where I went on multiple overseas adventures. Naturally, I decided to go on an international exchange program with university to explore more of the world while still studying, it was on this yearlong trip that my focussed shifted from partying and drinking to sustainability and protection of our environment. I not only transferred my degree to environmental engineering but I became excited about humanitarian engineering projects that existed. I knew I wanted to work with a company whose core values were around sustainable development and social equality. It was then when a lecturer of mine mentioned Project Everest that I went home and researched everything there was to know and it wasn’t long before I was on my way to Timor-Leste to work on a project I felt so passionately about.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely! You definitely don’t need and engineering background. I developed my business skills ten fold (because there were none before) while working on the project, I also developed professional confidence through meeting with so many important leaders and business owners. So long as you’re passionate, willing to work hard and ready to learn A LOT, then this job is for you.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Being surrounded with so many like-minded people who eventually become your family. The support and encouragement that is shared around drives me to work harder and achieve more and even be a better person in general! Also working on an amazing island in the tropics with some of the best reefs and mountains in the world is pretty alright as well.
What are the limitations of your job?
The job is hard and new unpredictable challenges arise every day, but there is enough support surrounding you to find a way around each problem.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Be proactive! Get involved with activities outside the classroom, look for opportunities and grasp them.
- Don’t forget to make time for yourself – you will be so much more productive in your studies if you find the balance between uni work and doing things that make you feel ALIVE.
- Use your student discount more!