So what has she learned during her time at Isidima? We asked her:
1. What inspired you to pursue a career or to study in this sector?
I’ve always had a keen interest in development issues, especially those relating to water resource management and global warming - at the time, around 2006, the climate change buzzword was global warming and I wanted to be a part of the solution.
2. What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on during your internship?
It would definitely be a pilot project that I worked on where residents monitored water and sanitation infrastructure in their area. Working with the municipality and local partners, the data will be collated and used for future municipal operation, maintenance, planning and management of water and sanitation services. I think the coolest thing about this project is that it holds the potential to ensure that water policies are implemented effectively through the collaboration of communities.
3. What has been the biggest learning experience?
The biggest learning experience was having to produce research deliverables and reports. I learned that it is important to always strive to deliver excellence, no matter how big or small the product or service.
4. What value has this experience brought to you?
It has equipped me with the ability to clarify and focus my role within an environmental organisation and within the broader environmental sector.
5. What is the strangest/funniest thing that has happened to you during the internship, in the field or office?
The first time I sampled faecal sludge for a research project was very funny to look at as I attempted to sample as accurately as possible without getting too close to the source of the sludge – as you can imagine.
6. What is the most challenging thing that’s happened to you in the field?
Many activities forced me to push myself out of my comfort zone but these also turned out to be the most memorable growth experiences.
7. What’s the single most important piece of advice you would give to a young person planning to enter the sector?
If I qualify to give ‘the single most important piece of advice’, my hope for anyone planning to enter any sector would be that they do so by following their intuition, doing what they love and are passionate about.
8. What do you think makes our environmental future so bright?
Technological innovation has given us the ability to further our reach and impact in the sector, making this a very exciting time to be in the industry and at the forefront of the change. An exciting feat is the willingness by public and private organisations to champion environmental stewardship. We have also begun to see substantial growth in the green economy and increasing awareness in the value of greening cities.