We recently caught up with Alyssa who’s working as an Energy and Sustainability graduate at CBRE. She shared her insights into the graduate scheme, including what she didn’t expect from the role and tips on how you can follow in her footsteps.
What do you typically do throughout the day?
As an Energy and Sustainability graduate at CBRE, my typical day involves a mix of desk-based work and on-site visits, where I often find myself out to client sites for part of the day as well as conducting desktop analysis or meetings with colleagues, managers, and other stakeholders to discuss sustainability projects and strategies. I also like to spend some time researching and staying updated on new regulations and innovative green technologies to broaden my knowledge and keep me at the forefront of the rapidly evolving field. It is a dynamic role that blends data analysis, project management, and real-world problem-solving, but despite its challenging nature, it is rewarding to know that my work contributes to a more sustainable future.
What are the main tasks associated with your job?
The main tasks associated with the job are to assist in the identification, development, and implementation of sustainability and energy-related opportunities, which involves working closely with clients to understand their needs, identifying improvement measures, streamlining processes, and designing tailored strategies to reduce their environmental impact and energy costs.
In addition to these client-focused tasks, a significant part of the job also involves continuous learning through research and participating in workshops, training, and seminars. The combination of these tasks ensures continuous growth personally and professionally while making a tangible impact on clients’ sustainability journey that is economically viable, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far?
There are two important things that I have learnt so far. First, it is the interconnectedness of all things in sustainability and how each component, from energy efficiency and waste management to social equity and biodiversity, does not exist in isolation but rather deeply influences and is influenced by one another. This understanding of the complex web of relationships has been instrumental in shaping my approach towards sustainability.
Secondly, how change transformation plays a crucial role in driving operational changes towards greener practices. This involves not only technical changes but also shifts in culture and behaviour. It involves raising awareness about environmental concerns, encouraging habits that align with these principles, and fostering a culture that values and prioritises such practices. This transformation is essential to guarantee long-term success of these projects and initiatives, as it ensures that they are understood, supported, and maintained.
What’s one thing you didn’t expect?
One thing I did not anticipate is the breadth of projects and initiatives that I would be exposed to. Each has its unique challenges and opportunities requiring a blend of technical knowledge, adaptability, and a keen understanding of the specific context in each sector. This unexpected variety has not only enriched my understanding of the field but also stimulates a constant learning process.
Is there a project or task which has stood out to you?
A project that has stood out to me was working on an on-site renewable energy generation technology at a grade listed heritage site, showcasing the intersection of sustainability and cultural preservation. This project was both challenging and rewarding due to the unique constraints associated with preserving the site's historical integrity as well as adopting a forward-thinking approach to green technologies.
What’s been a highlight of working for CBRE so far?
One of the highlights working for CBRE is the ability to work on creating real, meaningful change. It is not just about achieving targets, but about making a lasting, positive impact on our environment and society. Furthermore, the culture of collaboration and support has also been a significant highlight. Being part of an extensive network of energy and sustainability professionals has provided a rich learning environment where each individual brings unique perspectives and skills to the table.
What three tips would you give to Bright Network members wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Do what you love: Choose a career path that genuinely interests you. You will find it easier to excel in a field you are passionate about and it will shine through your work.
The importance of networking: Your network is your net worth. Building relationships with other professionals in the field can provide you with insights, advice, and opportunities that you might ot have access to otherwise. Attend events, join organisations, and don't be afraid to reach out. The connections you make can open doors and help you navigate your career.
Perseverance: Starting your professional career journey can be challenging and you might find yourself facing setbacks or rejections along the way. Don't be discouraged by obstacles; instead, see them as stepping stones. Remember that each one is a learning opportunity that takes you one step closer to where you are meant to be.