Skills developed through study
Gina Martin, North Queensferry Transition, Project Coordinator
Gina has worked as a part-time associate lecturer for the OU since 2005, tutoring environmental subjects. She recently took two short technology modules with the OU: T123 Sustainable Scotland and T152 Energy Measurements at Home as part of her plan for a career move into community environmental work. Shortly after she started the two modules, Gina was employed by North Queensferry Transition Initiative as Project Coordinator for their Climate Challenge Fund Carbon Cutters Project.
The content of the two modules she was studying at that time was directly relevant to the work Gina was doing for the project - her studies helped her understanding of the broader issues relating to sustainable communities. She also used the OpenLearn resources that are freely available on the OU website to study units on climate change, which helped her to gain a better understanding of the role of the transition movement.
Key employability skills
Gina found the knowledge gained through her study invaluable and feels that it has directly contributed to the successful delivery of the Carbon Cutters Project.
In the past I had mainly worked with businesses or government agencies and although I had a lot of experience of community-based volunteering, I hadn’t worked on a community project of this kind before. Being able to understand how communities can creatively influence change really helped in broadening my knowledge of the significance of communities in delivering a low carbon future. Overall it gave me a much better understanding of the motivations of the community I was working for and how I could align the project better to their needs.
Her study also provided her with important skills in domestic energy monitoring, which helped when she was talking to people in the community about energy efficiency issues.
My OU studies allowed me to be able to speak to people about my own experience of monitoring my energy use. It also gave me a much better insight into people’s motivations and barriers to change. Overall, I had a better connection with people as I was able to share their experiences.
Gina found the two modules very beneficial in supporting her continuing professional development.
I was able to parachute myself straight into two topics which were directly relevant to my job without having to do a qualification. Because there was a purpose for studying the subjects, it helped me to drive forward continuing with my studies and made them much more realistic as I could apply them in context.