Meet our graduates: Gwyn Rush

Gwyn Rush joined our Graduate Training Programme in October 2022. Below, Gwyn tells us about the varied work she’s done so far, from researching the decarbonisation supply chain to helping out at community outreach events.

What were your reasons for applying to the graduate scheme? What attracted you to Changeworks?

I was keeping my eye on green job email lists for about six months before the end of my sustainable development degree programme. I hadn’t seen any non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) graduate schemes in the sector until this one with Changeworks.

The scheme was attractive because I knew I wanted to work in sustainability. However, I’d only  recently moved to the UK, so I had no work experience in this country’s sustainability sector. It seemed like the perfect fit.

What roles have you undertaken in your time so far? Tell us about them and the sort of work you’ve been doing as part of the team.

I’ve worked on two teams: Local Energy Scotland and Consultancy.

Local Energy Scotland (LES) delivers funding and support on behalf of the Scottish Government to decarbonise community buildings. There’s really no equivalent programme anywhere else in the UK, or even globally. The team is made up of four different environmental charities, including Changeworks.

During my three-month position, I helped migrate data on 200+ active funding projects. I collected information about rising prices for renewable energy measures to improve the support LES provides to communities. I also got to attend public events where the team promoted funding opportunities to community groups.

The Consultancy team runs projects for external organisations and other Changeworks teams. There are four sub-teams within Consultancy. They focus on research, data analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and net zero work.

Since joining, I’ve done research and interviews on the decarbonisation supply chain in Scotland, helped design promotional material on renewable technology for the Scottish government, and supported different teams with various tasks, such as policy analysis, proofreading reports for publication, and taking notes during workshops.

Right now is an exciting but challenging time in the home energy efficiency space. What have you learnt during the graduate scheme so far on the challenges Scotland faces to meet its net zero targets?

Scotland is quite far behind where we need to be in order to achieve the goals set out by the government. The good news is we have many solutions already. A lot comes down to being able to scale these up! You can see that with Changeworks’ rapid growth recently to meet those challenges.

Has working at Changeworks given you food for thought when it comes to your future career choices?

Getting the chance to work in different roles and teams has been really valuable in understanding how I like to spend my workday. Roles can vary widely from day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month. There also aren’t many organisations which do so many types of work in the home decarbonisation space, so you get a lot of breadth over the two years.

Would you recommend graduates apply for the next Changeworks graduate scheme?

Yes! If you’re just getting started in the sector, then this is a great way to get a feel for the different options in the energy and sustainability world. The field is ever expanding and changing, so it’s great to get such a variety of experiences from a leading Scottish decarbonisation organisation.