What would you say to someone considering the Skills Bootcamp?

If you are interested in climate change or sustainability in any from the boot camp is extremely valuable. I learnt about things I had never come across in the boot camp but came away with a level of confidence talking about concepts a few weeks previously I had never heard of.

What are some of the best things about your Skills Bootcamp experience or your biggest achievements?

The knowledge I gained I believe directly led me to securing my role in climate change, I felt confident to talk about the things I had learnt on the course and knew they were coming from robust sources. Being able to state that I had attended a boot camp at a university as prestigious as Birmingham allowed me to feel confident in the interview process.

I have been able to access a range of material I believe will facilitate my role in the coming months and as I position myself in my new career.

The contacts I made during the boot camp have also been incredibly helpful in securing my new role. I was able to share interview preparation ideas with another student who was also moving in to the climate change sector directly and had recently been successful in her career move. This also contributed towards the confidence I felt in the interview and now in the early days of my career move.

The course leaders were so helpful in making me feel that a career change at my stage of my career (over 17 years in planning) was something I was capable of, this gave me another branch of support which I am grateful for.

Please let us know how the Skills Bootcamp experience relates to your new role.

I only started my new post three weeks ago, I believe the knowledge and skills I developed on the boot camp secured this role for me. I was able to provide examples of things I had learnt on the boot camp in the interview process, such a displaying carbon emissions through a dashboard approach, circular economy, Greenhouse Gas Protocol for measuring emissions and setting targets, amongst others.

My job role focuses on the corporate aspiration for the council to be net zero by 2030. The skills boot camp has given me knowledge in measuring carbon emissions in terms of methodologies that I have already started to use in my role. The significant amount of information provided through the course has allowed me to feel comfortable in a climate change team due to this recent knowledge I have gained.

Have you been offered a new job role and/or responsibilities which utilise the skills and experience acquired on the Skills Bootcamp?

Yes, I am now Corporate Sustainability Coordinator at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

Tell us about yourself and your journey to studying a Skills Bootcamp.

I completed an Undergraduate Degree at the University of Birmingham in 2006 in Geography and Urban and Regional Planning. After completing this I went on to secure a job at a local authority in the West Midlands in their planning policy team, whilst working I completed a Masters in Spatial Planning, with a dissertation focus on carbon reduction. It was a long term goal to have a career in climate change in sustainability. However I progressed my career within planning policy and wrote local planning policies on climate change. Last year the opportunity of the boot camp came up which reignited my ambition to move career into this industry. Since completing the boot camp I was successful in securing a role at a different local authority in the West Midlands as their Corporate Sustainability Coordinator. I feel the boot camp was integral to me securing this role.

Why did you choose to study a Skills Bootcamp at the University of Birmingham?

I was seeking to gain skills to contribute towards my role in planning policy. The skills I would gain would hopefully assist me in writing climate change and net zero planning policies to be contained within emerging local plans for two Local Authority areas. In addition, it was a personal aspiration to change career from planning to climate change and sustainability which since finishing the boot camp I have achieved.