In the final few weeks of uni, when wallowing in deadline doom and finals stress, my somewhat eccentric lecturer decided to buoy up his seminar group up by stating that we were graduating in the worst economic climate since the 1920s… Sadly, this seems to have rung fairly true, and the last time I met up with the ladies from Cardiff, we were all working full-time for free.
Although undoubtedly I am missing the pyjama-clad lifestyle of studying history (and the termly injection of funds from the student loan company that boosts the bank balance) and had anticipated finding a reasonably paid job after three years studying, I would not take back the past three months working as a freebie intern.
I was somewhat daunted at the thought of the daily slog up to London, bleary eyed and cold on the half seven train every morning, without the promise of a paycheck at the end of it all. Yet, cliché as it sounds, the intern experience has offered me a whole new perspective - not only on my career, but also my way of life!
I applied for the Green Futures magazine internship (which is the publication of NGO Forum for the Future) because I was keen on magazine journalism, try to recycle and eat organic food when I can. However, after three months surrounded by passionate greenies envisioning the creation of a healthy, happy and balanced planet, I have been fully converted to this future ideal.
By no means am I an ideal greenie - I enjoy long hot showers and have taken short-haul flights this year – but the energy of the Forum for the Future team has certainly rubbed off on me. Not so that I feel twinges of guilt if I find myself cranking up the radiators in the evening, but that I want to use my energy to work for a sustainable future.
Hydro-powered, automated pods zooming around cities, super-efficient, self-monitoring fridges, agri-cities that cultivate food on rooftops... There's no end of green ideas bubbling away...
During my three months, the friendly idealists at Forum became a welcome counter to the brusque, grumpy-faced businessmen on the Waterloo & City line. Now I always want to be surrounded by such visionaries - working step-by-step for a cause other than an end-of-year bonus.
Following my being ‘Forumised’, a lot of my friends think I am on the road to becoming a lentil-eating, hemp-wearing, hippy. Have a look at forumforthefuture and be your own judge…