Andrew to make UN impact

19 May 2015

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

A GCU student will have the opportunity to help the United Nations address global environmental problems thanks to a six-month internship and a Magnusson Award. 

While researching the use of solar-power satellites as an energy source for his degree, Andrew Wilson, a fourth-year BSc (Hons) Environmental Management student, was successful in applying for a related internship with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Responsible for addressing environmental problems at both global and regional levels, UNEP brings these issues to the attention of governments and the international community.

Andrew’s role will be to support UNEP’s Environment and Social Sustainability Framework and assist in the delivery of its climate-neutral strategy.

His Magnusson Award will provide vital financial support while he is living in Geneva, where he will be based for the duration of his internship.

The awards, established in honour of the late broadcaster and former chancellor Magnus Magnusson KBE, provide funding and opportunities to help students and academics in their studies or careers.

Andrew said: “My course has given me excellent knowledge of the field, not just nationally but internationally, which gave me an excellent chance of being accepted by UNEP.

“I believe there are 250 UN internships a year across all offices around the world, for all positions, with over 3000 applicants, so there is around an eight per cent chance of getting in.

“The Magnusson Award means the world to me. Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live and the internship is unpaid. Funding for this was essential, as I could not afford it myself. This will allow me to work towards my dream of becoming a key figure for climate change on the international stage. The opportunity to work with the UN is massive and I cannot thank the panel enough for the award.”

Senior lecturer Caroline Gallagher said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Andrew and thoroughly deserved, as he has worked hard. It is also great news for the Environmental Management programme as it reaffirms our belief in its value and the quality of the students that it attracts.”