Meet Miranda, a Sustainability Consultant in our Carbon and Climate Resilience team. Miranda recently shared with us her winding path to sustainability and how she made the leap to follow her passion.
What led you to pursue a career in sustainability?
The first time I heard about greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of our modern life was in my Year 11 Economics class. This was the start of my journey to learn more about climate change and what could be done to address it. 10 years later while travelling, I witnessed first-hand the social injustices in developing nations, coupled with environmental degradation.
When it came to choosing a career path, my parents encouraged me to pursue accounting, which was considered a safer and stable career option. However, I continued to educate myself further about environmental issues. I even took an elective course in Environmental Law at Uni while I was studying Accounting. Over the past 10 years, I continued to build up my knowledge base through self-education and paid courses.
There was a clear moment, in my last professional role as an accountant where I walked in on day 1 of the job into a meeting room, looked at the screen that projected a spreadsheet full of numbers and I knew that I was no longer in the right place – this wasn’t the career for me. I realised I wanted to work in a space that was more meaningful and that aligned with my values – a purpose-driven organisation.
What steps did you take to turn that goal into a reality?
Once I made the decision to change my career path, I made sure to gain as much knowledge and exposure to the sustainability sector as possible – through reading, networking, reaching out to people who were already working in the space and putting myself out there in applying for roles that I had no specific relevant experience in.
It was a bit scary pursuing this path, as I didn’t have a scientific background or the work experience that advertised roles were asking for. One of the biggest challenges was turning up and saying, “This is who I am, this is what I know and I don’t pretend to have all the answers.” I knew I had transferrable skills to offer that I had gained through professional experience (e.g. project management and an ability to build client relationships). I had to be confident and to back myself. I was also persistent, because I am so passionate about sustainability.
What drew you to Edge?
A few years ago, through my beach clean-up volunteering, a fellow volunteer and I were given a pass to attend a conference that Edge were speaking at. I remember hearing one of Edge’s consultants talk about the projects he had worked on. From that moment, I wanted to work at Edge. The company and the work sounded perfect me. I wanted to make systemic changes to alter the behaviours which were resulting in the degradation of our natural environment. I got in touch with Edge and applied for whatever roles came up.
What would be your advice to someone who is looking make the move into sustainability?
Sustainability is not just about the science – it is an ever-evolving space. The work requires you to have the curiosity to learn and the passion to work in a purpose-driven environment. I’m very grateful for the development opportunities and support that I’ve been given along the way.
Identify the transferrable skills you have to offer – people skills are equally as important as understanding the technical parts of sustainability. You need to be able to engage with different audiences, manage stakeholders and work well as part of a team. Learn as much as you can about the industry, network and establish relationships.
Finally, know yourself – if you know your value, that helps guide your way to the role you could play in sustainability.