‘Being with like-minded people from all different backgrounds has been so inspiring.’

Gurvinder has always been interested in working within the environmental sector, so when she saw an internship at Greenpeace, she knew it would be a great opportunity to develop her skills and understanding further. Learn more about what she’s achieved as an intern, and where it’s leading her next.


Why did you want to apply for an internship at Greenpeace?

I did my undergraduate degree in geography and my masters in international relations. After university, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I was looking at politics and climate policy research.

I knew I definitely wanted to be in the environmental space. So when I saw the internship at Greenpeace I thought it was a great opportunity to have some time to make up my mind in an environment where I’d be exposed to loads of different stuff.

What is your role?

I work as the supporter development digital intern in the retention and development team within our fundraising department. My role encompasses lots of things: on the retention side, it’s ensuring that our supporters are happy and that they’re thanked. On the development side, it’s about how we can develop our supporters to donate more if they can, or how to keep them engaged and happy with our cause.

A lot of our engagement with supporters is done through emails, social media and our Connect magazine. I’ve worked on building emails which has been really interesting and really helped develop my communication skills. I’ve also been creating a story library which contains climate justice stories from all our regional offices around the world. This is so the communications we send to supporters represent people with diverse identities and experiences. This project has been really important to me, as it has allowed me to explore the intersection between social and racial equality and climate justice.

What has been the best experience of your internship?

I built, wrote and sent out an email to our full list of supporters which is 1.2 million people – that’s pretty huge. It was a really big moment and I was really pleased with that. I was scared I’d done something wrong, but it landed really well which was very exciting.

Something I didn’t know I would be part of before I joined Greenpeace is the people of colour group. Being with like-minded people from all different backgrounds has been so inspiring. It’s been really important for me to learn from those people, and to recognise how people of colour have different struggles in the workplace in general, but in the environmental space as well. I’m so inspired by everyone in that group. It’s a great asset that Greenpeace has.

What are your next steps for after your internship?

I’ve got two next steps I’m thinking about and am in the process of applying for opportunities in those areas.

The first is policy research and communication roles within other environmental NGOs or thinktanks. I’m really interested in facilitating important research to bridge the gap between policy makers and scientists. Having a background in an environmental NGO is so important for doing that. I’ve also been doing a secondment with the politics team during my internship, so having insight from them has helped me a lot in thinking about different strategy and stakeholder engagement skills needed for these types of roles.

I’m also thinking about applying to PhDs in a couple of years to conduct research on how to ensure just transitions in the North Sea. Greenpeace has inspired me to take up that research, because I’ve been in the space where I’ve seen how difficult the conversation about decarbonising our economy is and how it impacts people, not just nature.

Would you recommend a Greenpeace internship to other people?

One hundred percent. You learn so much in terms of skills and about yourself as a person. It’s such a well-rounded experience where you get to meet some really intelligent people who are working so hard on real life issues, so it’s a really inspiring place to do an internship.

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