Where do people do their internship? ECM Interns 2018

If you are wondering “Where do people do their internship?”, this is your post 🙂 The internship is optional, and so it is the place we do it. These are just a few words from interns this year:

Intern 1.  At the Nordic Swan Ecolabel (Svanen), in the marketing and communication department.

What is your task?:  Very varied tasks, such as writing a blog post about how the Nordic Swan Ecolabel works with the global goals, social media (texts to Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin), text to an ad, and some content on their new webpage.

Why did you choose that place?: ” I chose to do my internship at the Nordic Swan Ecolabel because I want to work at a similar place after my graduation. Therefore, I wanted to get a better understanding of how it can be in practice. Furthermore, their ambition to inspire people to a sustainable lifestyle is something that is very appealing to me.”

Intern 2.  At a US-based Asset Management Firm – London and Stockholm offices

What is your task?: Internal Research and Communication strategy for Employee Engagement, CSR and Facilities Management.

Why did you choose that place?:
” Because corporate social responsibility (CSR) and responsible investing is a growing and interesting field and I wanted to learn more about how environmental issues are discussed within the global financial industry. These are important avenues for environmental advocacy and decision making (with regard to investment decisions) and I think it is a good opportunity to gain some understanding of how environmental issues are understood and appreciated by traditionally unrelated industries.

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ECM Interns

Intern 3.  At a public sector cooperation for sustainable transport, Greener Trondheim, as well as in the general climate strategy of Trondheim municipality.

What is your task?: Working closely with a group of travel advisors – “My internship is very open, and I am building my own working days. Right now, I am working on a report and presentation based on results from a big survey of children’s modes of transport to and from schools. In the coming week we are also holding several events as part of the European Mobility week (16th to 22nd of September), which I help arrange and of course attend.”

Why did you choose that place?: “I chose to work in Greener Trondheim as it correlates with my interests in environment, infrastructure traffic management and city planning. I also found the public sector cooperation interesting.”

Intern 4. At the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD) at Uppsala University.

What is your task?: “My work includes communication around various activities at SWEDESD, amongst others the strategical and structural conceptualization of the ESD Learning Lab that currently is being established at Uppsala University Campus Gotland.”

Why did you choose that place?: The aim behind SWEDESD’s research and projects is to generate new knowledge about learning processes to advance sustainable development. SWEDESD focuses on learning environments, building teachers’ and trainers’ capacity as well as establishing synergy in learning for sustainable development, both on a regional and national level. – “I chose this place for my internship to learn more about pedagogical transformation in higher educational context towards sustainability.”

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Second year choices: Courses or internship?

This second year, and especially the first semester, leaves space for some choices:

  • You can choose to take (Sept-Oct) – Internship in environmental communication, or – The Context and Process of Research I and II: Theories and Methods, both options worth in total 15 ECTS. However, these options are not fixed. It may be the case that you´ve worked for many years, and instead of an internship, you rather prefer to take a course on another subject and university during that first period. If that’s the case, you can talk with the EC team and apply for a different course.
  • Later on (Nov-January), you can take either – The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis, and Academic Writing 15 ECTS or – Governance of Natural Resources 15 ECTS. Maybe, if you are more into learning from a long internship experience (more than 2 months), you could try to transfer credits from methods courses you´ve already taken. This would give you the possibility to extend the internship time if you wish.

It can also be the case that you may want to study abroad in the second year. It is possible to do so if contacting the department and applying for it in the first year. It will take some planning, sure, but the possibility is there! It is what I like the most about the study system here: the flexibility. 🙂

Till next post,

Ana

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Welcoming weeks 2018

I signed up last year to help out and welcome new students during the first weeks. Last Saturday, I attended a first short meeting about the welcoming weeks and planned activities we could help out with. Activities are organized by the Student Union ( Ultuna StudentkĂĄr ) and the Masters Committee.

Activities and events are generally posted on Facebook, so check them out here: https://bit.ly/2MdcWyA

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Lovely DĂ©jĂ  vu

Sunny as it was, coming back to Uppsala for the second year felt like a “DĂ©jĂ  vu”, a term which is used for when someone experiences that they’ve lived something before, although they haven’t. I suppose I pictured Uppsala in my head like a distant and dream-place during summer. So now, repeating the way to Uppsala from the airport, seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, and biking to the SLU felt familiar and unreal at the same time!

Super bad quality. I know. – But that’s a deer!!               A DEER!!

I shared these and other thoughts with a friend, and we also talked about the perceived outcomes we had from our first year studying ECM. We agreed that we couldn’t have learned more intensely within a year. Maybe we could have gone through more theory, but as she pointed out “I don’t remember most of what I went through during my bachelors, and I think I will remember last year very much”.

Putting those thoughts apart, I feel with energy to start my internship and I am looking forward to the second year ahead. I hope you too!

Ana

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The last weeks!!! :O

It is time to…

Home Exammmssss!!

Yeah, not just one, but two! YEYYY :’D. The weather is being fantastic these days, tempting all of us to avoid our computers and visit the lake for a swim. A short swim, I suppose, because water must be freezing. Still, it is very tempting.

Home exams are good anyways… I would say that the upside is that you know that it all depends on you, on how you manage and invest your time in reading and writing. This takes quite a lot of pressure away, and somehow you are sure that you’ve written what you knew, wanted and needed. However,  you have to be very good at structuring your argument within a limited space, and this blows away the possibility of “just write that, and let’s see”, which I used quite a lot in past written exams when having to memorize. So, I would say there is more pressure on your comprehension and discussion skills.

If you haven’t done home exams before and feel weak on those skills like I did, then seek support on your classmates as we were advised to do in the introduction course… yep, and now we’ve finished…

Time flies! …It is time to go home now 🙂

Have a good SUMMER, and do not hesitate much about studying here…  It is a life experience, I highly recommend it.

 

All the best,

Ana

 

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Reflecting on EC projects

The process of carrying out our new project is quite similar from the ones we did before, which makes the process smooth and organized because we all know that we need to contact interviewees in advance, coordinate with other groups, book a meeting time, carry out the interview and then analyze their answers to our questions applying theories. In this project, we all applied three theoretical frameworks: the mentor perspective, which allowed us to consider the lessons which could be learned for future projects, the meta-theory perspective, which looks at engagement and highlights the discourses and assumptions shown by different actors, and the critical perspective, which has allowed us to look more closely at different theoretical perspectives in social science and how these may apply to the data.

However, I must say that the process of carrying out another of these projects is as engaging as it was the first time. In my view, having the opportunity to meet up with professionals is just unique and valuable in many ways:

  • First, interviewees are generally open to talk and willing to help you because you are a student, thus almost anything they say comes with years of experience and goodwill, which is great to listen to.
  • Second, how many times would you have the opportunity to be curious and freely ask questions that come up when the interviewee is talking about the challenges they face? and, what a better excuse to ask than “having to” because it is the topic you are doing research on?
  • And third, the interview is a memory that you create together with your groupmates, and the act of questioning and finding answers, even if little, may also have an impact on the interviewee.
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Visiting Biotopia

Yesterday we went to Biotopia, an educational center focused on raising interest for species and promoting visits to nature areas in the region. The place is quite well located within the city, and they were open to the general public, school visits and… us!

What I take with me from the visit is seeing the size of a “real life” moose, the dedicated guide and the ending discussion we had with him about methods on how to raise interest for nature, engage the public and its difficulties such as:
– The age of the participants: Aimed visitors were kids from 6 to 12, but 2 years old kids also went there. The center had to adapt the facilities for kids and their parents. However, many visitors are also retired, thus how to cope with all ranged of age is a challenge.
– Outdoor activities: A mismatch between school time and nature, thus when nature is at its best (now in May), students may not be able to experience it.
– The team and its resources: They are a small team who work together to design activities, and have to establish priorities and manage their resources wisely.
– Improvement and feedback: how to formulate the questions was a challenge for them. A classmate proposed the idea of organizing a birthday there, which could combine the interest for a person’s birthday with the interest for nature.

Here is the link to Biotopia:

In English

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Communication strategy: Our last project!

About a month ago we finished the Communication Theory part of the course based on readings from “Craig & Muller (2007). Theorizing Communication: Readings Across Traditions.” book, and formed groups for a new group project.

The groups were created according to our interests, meaning with this that some of us proposed an idea and had to carry an improvised campaign for a theme we wanted to do research on, whereas others chose a theme among those which had been proposed.  I almost happen to work with two old groupmates, and we kind of repealed each other just for the fun of working with new people! haha

Corporate Engagement is the theme my group and I did research on, focusing specifically on the work NGOs do on this matter, and trying to find out in what ways they approach companies and what sort of barriers they may encounter.

 

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What’s a communication strategy?

After spending time with the reading group preparing a presentation for the class on  “Community-based social marketing” (Mckenzie, 2009), presenting a synthesis of the main messages and attending to the other group presentations on different strategies, I could say that my knowledge has expanded quite a lot.

There are communication strategies suitable for different purposes, such as Interpretation described as the mission-based approach to communication aimed at provoking audiences the discovery of personal meaning and forging of personal connections with things, places, people and concepts” (Ham, 2013), which could be applied for environmental education. There were also other readings on communication strategies focused on advocacy campaigns and message construction, and on environmental communication for civic engagement.

Luckily for you, our reading is partly available on the internet, so take a look:

Mckenzie-Mohr, D. 2009. Fostering Sustainable Behaviour. The entire book can be found at: http://www.cbsm.com

Ham, S. 2013. Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose. Fulcrum Publishing.

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