Hi, I’m Daria. I’m an international student studying Fashion Buying with Marketing. I have been passionate about sustainability since the First Year of my studies when I was introduced to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and I wanted to explore it further. I like that sustainability takes into account how we might live in harmony with the natural world around us, protecting it from damage and destruction and using resources responsibly to sustain our modern way of life. 

My role at DMU is Sustainable Supply Chains Coordinator, and my job is orientated mainly around reducing University’s carbon emissions through sustainable procurement practices.

My responsibility was to work with the Procurement Team and the Sustainability Manager to embed sustainability improvements in the procurement process, including contract specification, contract management and delivery. In order to achieve this, I was doing research on Sustainable Procurement Policies of other universities and attending webinars where sustainability professionals shared examples of best practices in procurement. 

The role also supported wider engagement work with staff and students on sustainability and the SDGs by assisting the Sustainability Team in organising promotional events and campaigns. For example, I helped organise Sustainability Roadshows, where we gave students free reusable mugs to reduce single-use plastic on campus. In addition, I was creating communication material for our events, such as posters, new banner designs, T-shirts, and social media posts and working on our sustainable newsletter.

I’ve been working in a friendly and supportive team with considerable experience in sustainability across various industries and disciplines. The Sustainability Manager also introduced me to many sustainable practices that DMU is doing that helped me to participate in gathering evidence for benchmarking programs such as the Sustainability Leadership Scorecard, People and Planet University League, and Times Higher Impact Rankings. As an example, I presented the results of the Sustainability Leadership Scorecard for the past academic year to the University Sustainability Committee and Estates Senior Management Team.

The highlight of my placement in the Sustainability Team was giving a speech in front of two UN members visiting DMU in April. I had an opportunity to present to them the individual projects that I led during my placement and how they helped deliver the SDGs. I was showing them the progress on The Daria Project, which is a documented journey on social media of how I was learning how to ride which promotes SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing) and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), new water fountain signs that I helped to design and install them to promote SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), and my work around sustainable procurement that links to SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (climate action).

In conclusion, I’ve developed various skills such as CAD, project management, events planning, research and analysis, planning and organisation, teamwork, and collaboration. I’ve become confident in doing presentations, writing reports, public speaking, and problem-solving. Currently, DMU Sustainability Team is advertising the same placement role as mine. You can apply for Sustainable Supply Chains Coordinator position on MyGateway now. Here’s the link: https://mygateway.dmu.ac.uk/students/jobs/detail/2846081/2023-24-sustainable-supply-cha

I wish you good luck and determination to get a placement if you’d like to do one and not be scared to apply for this role if it does not necessarily link to your degree because there are many transferrable skills you can learn and then use in your future career.