In our first IEMA Futures member spotlight we speak with Joe Nisbet GradIEMA about his career journey and experience of the environment and sustainability profession.

This year the IEMA Futures Network will be sharing stories of members and their journey towards their career aspirations in sustainability and the environment. For those who haven't begun their career journey, we hope this will provide some inspiration and insight into what your future career could hold and for those who have, this is a great opportunity to get to know more about peers in the profession and expand your network of environment and sustainability professionals.

Our first member spotlight is Joe Nisbit, Graduate Environmental Consultant at Arup. We asked Joe some questions around his involvement with IEMA and the journey to his role at Arup.

What inspired you to get into the environment/sustainability industry?

I love being outdoors and always had an interest in the natural environment. This led me to study geology at an undergraduate level which began to introduce some of the huge climate and environmental challenges we face. It’s all sort of spiralled from there!

What do you think the biggest challenges facing our sector will be in the next 5 years?

I think encouraging diversity and opening sustainability/environmental careers to as many people as possible is key. I was extremely lucky that I had the opportunity to study an undergraduate and master’s degree! Retraining people into green jobs to meet our climate commitments will also be a massive undertaking. Halting our incursion into nature to limit future global pandemics is also another very topical challenge.

Can you recommend any IEMA resources or TRANSFORM articles that you’ve found interesting recently?

There are loads! I used a lot of webinars to try and help me prepare before starting work. Some highlights were the IA specific webinars such as ‘Climate Resilience and Adaptation in EIA’, ‘Major Accidents and Disasters in EIA’ etc. The environment bill series of webinars was also really useful and are definitely worth going back to watch. I found Stephanie Wray’s article in the December issue of Transform about the complexity and interconnectedness of biodiversity interesting and it explored a lot of similar ideas to my dissertation.

Why did you join IEMA and the IEMA Futures Network?

I wanted to connect with like-minded individuals who were at a similar place in their career/studies as me. There are so many people much smarter than me in this sector and being part of a network like IEMA Futures is a great way to learn new things and socialise.

What are your top tips for people just entering the sustainability profession and wider environment sector?

I’d say be open to as many opportunities as possible whether through studies, or voluntary work, or your career. Sustainability and the environment are so broad with so many avenues to explore. Given I’m also just entering the sector, I guess this applies to me too!

If you want to know more about Joe and his career journey so far, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Would you like to share your story with the IEMA Futures network? Contact us on [email protected].

Please note: the views expressed in this blog are those of the individual contributing member, and are not necessarily representative of the views of IEMA or any professional institutions with which IEMA is associated.

Photo of Joe Nisbit Futures
Joe Nisbet

Joe did his undergraduate degree in geology and completed an MSc in Sustainability and Environmental Studies at the University of Strathclyde. This year he has begun his role with Arup as a graduate environmental consultant.