12th June 2014

How does spending five weeks of your life in an office, unpaid, doing nine to five sound?


We have done just that on Work Based Learning with Green Chester in the facilities department, at the University of Chester. For how it sounds it was a massive eye opener for us to see what working in an industry would be like when we leave University.  During the last five weeks we have spent here, we have learnt more from everyone around us, especially from our placement provider, than what we would have being taught just sitting in a lecture room.

Green Impact Auditor Training

Our first big task was to train as Green Impact Auditors, with other student volunteers, at an NUS led training session. Green Impact Auditing involves the volunteers visiting the University’s Green Impact teams, and assessing whether they have done enough for the awards that they have aimed for. This provided us with a basic understanding of what Green Impact was all about, especially when we had to organise an event for the awards at the end. 

Sustainable Events

Previously we only looked at recycling in terms of holding a “green” event but for this event we had to write a detailed assessment of what the impacts of our event might be, which was totally new to us. We looked at food and drink supply chains, transport emissions, resources (eg paper and printing) and waste. Our event did not create much waste because the catering provided reusable plates and glasses and we ordered the right amount of food so there was no waste. It’s definitely something we’ll assess at future events.

DoNation's DoChester

We were also introduced to The DoNation which is used at the university to give staff and students the opportunity to pledge to do a certain action for two months, which reduces their carbon footprint. We are now part of the DoChester league, and it was great to see the departments who were fighting it out for the top spot, while other departments “didn’t try as hard”.

Social Media

A new thing for both of us was the introduction of ThunderClap which is a social media platform, which we had the “joy” of creating ourselves. ThunderClap gains a certain goal of supporters and once that has been reached, it sends out a set message on twitter and facebook at a specified time, so more people have the chance of seeing it. We had 104 supporters and our social reach was over 87’000!

Early morning joy!

One of the biggest tasks over the past 5 weeks was waking up at 7am each morning, which is a struggle for students who don’t usually quite so early. Since we’ve been here we have improved our time management, as we’ve been to going to bed early to make sure we get up for the bus in the morning. The joy! We have learnt a new skills that will benefit us in the future, no matter what industry we end up being in. At the end of the day we will take what we have experienced in the last five weeks, and keep trying to always improve. We will always remember our five week placement and the little Facilities department we owe it too.  

Photos from the night are on Facebook.

Alex and Chloe

Events Management students