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Careers in sustainability talk – Nikki Van Dijk

Published on 28/06/23

Year 12 student Beth H reviews the careers in sustainability talk by Nikki Van Dijk.

We were thrilled to welcome Nikki Van Dijk, a chartered environmentalist and currently a Discipline Lead at Mott MacDonald specialising in climate change resilience. Nikki’s research focuses on how organisations manage risks from climate change and incorporating long term resilience into strategies, programmes, and projects. With a BA in Geography from the University of Cambridge followed by an MSc in climate change from UEA, Nikki started her career working with Atkins as a graduate climate change consultant. This was a graduate role, targeted specifically at graduates looking to build a career in a certain industry or discipline. After completing several professional qualifications, Nikki’s career progressed at Atkins as she became a charted environmental specialising in climate change adaptation with the UK water sector. Eventually, Nikki found herself working at Mott MacDonald as a Technical Director. In this role Nikki advises her team and clients on the best long term sustainable choices to make for their businesses and the climate.

Nikki came to Stephen Perse Foundation to give us an insight into careers in sustainability and how sustainability includes so much more than just geography. Nikki shared some example degrees of the people she works with, they include geography, natural sciences, earth sciences, environmental sciences, and environmental economics along with many more. Nikki also explained some of the roles available at Mott MacDonald surrounding sustainability. Carbon Specialist, Climate Resilience Consultant, Contaminated Land Consultant, Data Scientist, Ecologist, Environmental Coordinator, Environmental Economist, Environmental Engineer, GIS Specialist, Heritage Consultant, Hydrologist, Landscape Architect, Marine Scientist, Noise and Vibration Specialist, Ornithologist, Soil Specialist, Waste Consultant, Water Resources Modeller. As you can see there is a wide range of opportunities surrounding sustainability and there really is something for everyone. I think that it is especially important that younger generations are made aware of this vast selection as we need to create a more sustainable future for everyone. 

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