While many of the larger energy and utility companies and government departments offer graduate schemes, many smaller, more specialised organisations will advertise on specialist websites or rely on interested applicants making a speculative approach. Building your network and connecting with relevant alumni and others in the field, eg, through LinkedIn, can be an important way of finding out about possible openings.
If you're looking to gain experience:
Large energy companies have well-established schemes including insight days, spring weeks, internship schemes and competitions. Larger management and engineering consultancies like Deloitte, AECOM, Arcadis and Environmental Resource Management (ERM) and relevant government departments also have internships and graduate schemes.
In a competitive space, relevant experience is vital to demonstrate your commitment to the environmental sector. Gain experience through volunteering, organise work shadowing, and make speculative applications. Could you choose an undergraduate or master's level dissertation with a relevant focus? Many applicants also have a relevant master's degree.
If you're early in your career:
Several energy companies have graduate schemes that won't require prior knowledge or experience. However, specific schemes may specify that applicants need to hold a related degree (eg, if applying for an engineering programme). Others will require you to have gained some level of relevant work experience (particularly if it’s a graduate scheme which is offering a permanent contract which means you’d stay working at the company after the scheme ends).
For entry-level roles with an environmental focus, you would usually be expected to have relevant experience.
Arrange to speak to current practitioners working in the sector about what they do – this offers a great opportunity to find out more and to build your network. There may be opportunities for volunteering or part-time research.
Some organisations may have insight days, industry placements, and other opportunities aimed at students or recent graduates.
If you have more experience:
Specialist recruitment agencies can be useful for graduates with several years of relevant experience. For example:
- acre – includes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), environment, energy, and responsible investment.
- Allen & York – includes international development, energy, environment, and CSR.
If you're changing career:
If you choose a master's degree to support your move into the environmental sector, you should also look to gain some practical experience in any areas you are interested in. Make the most of the LSE alumni network and relevant LinkedIn groups, talk to people and see how you can leverage your dissertation to undertake relevant project work.