Internship with Sustainability Monitor

Sustainability Monitor specialises in sustainability in the global fashion and advertising sectors.

Since 2016, Sustainability Monitor  have provided EP students with placements focused on statistical research and sustainability in specific markets.

Most recently, we caught up with Heiki Must (School of Psychology), who is currently undertaking an internship with Sustainability Monitor at Canterbury Innovation Centre.

Heiki joined the team during a transitional period, with Sustainability Monitor now moving away from the fast fashion industry to look at FMCG goods and the advertising sector. CEO Ronnie McBryde relocated his offices from Sandwich to Canterbury to be close to the University, and has found his link with the institution of great benefit so far, particularly in regards to the interns he has worked with.

Heiki has been enjoying his placement, and particularly appreciated the variety of tasks that he has been given, which include: data collection, data cleansing and transcribing, as well as data and text analysis. He has also helped with a competitive analysis of domestic appliance advertising from 20 countries. Heiki put his knowledge of Russian to good use and was instrumental in finding a Polish translator for the project. One of the university’s few Estonians, he commends the internationality of Kent University, which made the search a lot easier.

Ronnie has been flexible with Heiki’s hours and allowed him to work around his shifts at the University Nursery which is an important strand of Heiki’s Developmental Psychology studies. Heiki has found that the time spent with Ronnie has vastly improved his existing research skills, including his knowledge of software, such as SAS JMP for data visualisation. He now feels more confident that he can utilise this knowledge during future employment, and by honing his quantitative and qualitative analysis skills, he feels better prepared for the second year of his part-time MSc. He has also enjoyed learning about the finance side of business, something he had not come across during his degree and previous work experience.

He reflected, ‘it has been good to expand my skill set in this environment, and I can apply these skills to my dissertation next year’.

As a Developmental Psychology Student with a background in Statistics, Heiki brought a new viewpoint to the analysis process, which Ronnie appreciated. After watching a range of domestic appliance adverts, Heiki was able to interpret body language and context from a Psychology graduate’s perspective.

‘Both Sustainability Monitor and I have benefited from the Employability Points Scheme. It has given me an opportunity to connect with an employer who has been able to use and develop my very specific skill set.’

Ronnie highlighted the necessity of the ability to present data in an interesting way in his industry and felt that Heiki did this very well.

‘Heiki has been an ideal intern: offering solutions to complex issues based on his academic studies. His in-depth understanding of both qualitative and quantitative applied research methods has been second-to-none. I’m looking forward to working with Heiki during the academic year.’

Ronnie has been so impressed with Heiki’s performance during the first few weeks of his internship, that he has offered him a part-time role within the company, while he finishes his MSc.

In 2017, Sustainability Monitor provided Paul Mcconnell (School of Psychology) with an internship researching sustainability in global fasion. This industry is second only oil in terms of pollution, and the company was working on a comparative analysis of sustainability strategies and successes in global fast fashion in order to develop research publications.

During his internship, Paul was tasked with data visualisations and researching into the general public’s desire for the implementation of ethical standards against price.

“The Internship gave me the chance to apply all I’ve been learning in psychology to a genuine real-life puzzle.”

As a result of the internship, Paul gained vital experiecne in applying research and statistical methods into the workplace, which has helped him secure a place on the Royal Mail’s graduate programme.

The company also assisted students in 2016, through providing work experience placements to Helen Mullen (Kent Business School) and Arthur Palmer (School of European Culture and Languages). Here, the students researched supply chain management deployed by global retailers, which helped the business forecast methodologies.

“It’s been a really useful fortnight, giving me a good understanding of data collection in the real world and how that can differ from the theory taught at University…Ronnie also gave me some good advice on marketing and an insight into the different approaches made by companies in both the private and public sectors.”

~ Helen Mullen

“I gained a wider understanding of what research involves and the amount of work necessary to collect and analyse the data. Ronnie also gave great advice on marketing myself, including helping me with my CV and covering letters.”

~ Arthur Palmer