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Alumni

Anna D'Arcy

Career Path: Safety Management Systems Manager, MetService
Location: Wellington, NZ

Whilst studying at Northumbria I set up the Green Impact Awards - an ethical and environmental accreditation scheme for Students' Unions. This has now grown internationally and into other sectors. It became a Northumbria University educational Laurate in 2016. Due to my campaigning at Northumbria, I was asked by the Facilities Manager to be the Student Rep on the Sustainability Theme Team for the new build, which is now the Manors site. During that process I was introduced to Sustainability Consultants - I hadn't realised that you could earn a good wage in business in Sustainability - at that point most environmental roles were confined to poorly paid volunteer/charitable organisations. I have since worked in the sustainability field, largely in the public sector but support the private sector i.e. as a public advisor or auditor of environmental management helping business and large organisations.

What are you doing now?

Currently the Safety Management Systems Manager for the MetService in New Zealand, which looks after the integrity and quality of the forecasts and services we provide for public safety. I am also involved in their Integrated Reporting Initiative and response to the Zero Carbon Act. In addition I am on the NZ Steering Group for the UK Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. There is no equivalent in NZ, so we work with IEMA UK to keep our professional standard in sustainability in check. I am also an expert on sustainability and environment for the UN body International Organisation for Standards - Technical Committee 207. 

What was it about Northumbria that made you decided to study here?

They accepted me as a young mum with no qualifications, but lots of energy and willingness to make a better life for my family. The course included taking my pre-school children on a year to Spain. The University never questioned my ability to be able to do this, which I did with their support. Both my eldest children are fluent Spanish speakers and one of them has carried the language on to University level.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I loved it. There was a good mix of teaching and studying styles. Students were trusted to do their best.

How connected was your course with industry?

The main feature of our course was the year at a Spanish University. There were good links with the Universidad de Cadiz and we were well prepared to go there.

What was the best thing about your course?

The year in Spain and the creation of Green Impact in my final year - which led on to so many other positive things in my life.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

I wouldn't be where I am today without my degree from Northumbria. I appreciate that not everyone would have taken me on as a student as I lacked formal qualifications.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

My choice of degree, which was International Business Management has given me a good grounding in business. Organisational Theory was not one I took on board so much during my time at university, but in fact has become one of the more useful ones; the understanding and soft skills required to get things effectively done through an organisation with all their quirks. The degree has also been a good foil to sustainability - people I work with see my business degree as a statement that I understand where they are coming from and are serious as opposed to some other unfortunate opinions people sometimes have of those involved in Environmental issues.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

My study abroad year in Spain.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

They will give you the tools to do your best and they will trust you to do so - the rest is your responsibility.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Took me further than I could have dreamt of... Three words - Grew and flew.

For more information about me visit:

 

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