From living an eco-conscious lifestyle to reducing her carbon footprint, Jamila makes very careful choices in order to care for and protect mother earth. Therefore, it is only natural that she would in turn help others, especially students and youth to also make those types of empowering decisions. Her work with GreenLearning enables her to do just that and she details how in this interview.
What type of work does your current job involve?
I manage the brand, content and voice of GreenLearning Canada while developing a variety of response-generating marketing communications material. My job requires me to remain at the forefront of digital marketing technologies, paying special attention to how they help expand GreenLearning’s reach and impact and promote STEM education in classrooms across Canada.
What inspired you to pursue this career path and how did you get started in this field?
My foray into communications for environmental education and sustainable development began a little over a year ago when I moved to Kitchener to start a new chapter in my life and was introduced to GreenLearning. I love working with students and having been employed for an educational institution in the past, I believed I could transfer my skills to the role. Thus far, it has been an amazing experience. Working with a group of talented individuals who are passionate about creating positive change in the world is very inspiring.
What are some of the challenges you faced in getting to where you are now and how did you overcome them?
The field of marketing and communications is constantly changing and evolving at a pace that is faster than most people are able to keep up. With the advent of the digital age, we have seen major shifts in the way people interact with and share information. To be a successful marketing professional means that you are constantly learning and upgrading yourself. This can be tedious and expensive but I am able to stay on top of trends by being a member of both the International Association of Business Communicators and Canadian Public Relations Society. The Sustainability Network also has a great range of trainings and workshops that have sharpened my skills.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
There is so much more work to do in reaching youth and educating them about how to create a low-carbon and prosperous future. We are actually only scratching the surface where this is concerned. As people begin to feel the economic implications of global phenomenons such as climate change, there will be an even bigger need for environmental education. Therefore, I see myself working with GreenLearning not just in communications but also in a capacity that possibly enables me contribute to program development. Due to my interests in eco-fashion, it would be a great honour to author a module on ‘Making Fashion Sustainable.’
What advice do you have for students who would like to pursue a career path that is similar to yours?
Students interested in this line of career should do three things. The first is get a mentor who is already doing what you would love to do and learn everything you can from them. Second, start volunteering early in an effort to gain quality experience on your resume. Attend professional development events and connect with other people in the industry. These people will eventually become key contacts or close allies who may help your career in the future. Finally, lead by example and become the embodiment of the change you want to see in the world. Remember that it all begins you. It is easier to change the lifestyles and behaviours of others when we ourselves are doing the right thing.