By Kelly Moir
In the Spring of 2020, I graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Psychology and Sociology. It was at the onset of the pandemic and I had moved back home to Sarnia. I had become intertwined with the Environmental sector in both Sarnia and Guelph and was continuing to learn about the climate crisis on my own time. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a job, but the environment was calling for my attention in my free time. Upon graduation, a friend and I ended up starting a digital marketing business to help small businesses in Sarnia transition to online ordering and marketing techniques. I found great joy in our work, however there was still a strong pull towards environmental work. I was continually inspired to pursue environmental work in the form of a hobby or volunteer activities.
So, when my business partner was offered a position she had been dreaming of at another company, I was left with this opportunity to pivot. I had heard of Western’s Master’s of Environment and Sustainability (MES) course through their alumni network and was attracted to it’s one year length, co-op element and course based programming. I applied and was so excited to be accepted for a September, in-person start!
Simultaneously, I had always been a big fan of Great Lakes Refill Co and had become somewhat close with owners Lisa and Melissa – even doing some social media work for them in the past. They provided me with the opportunity to work for the Ecodemy part time creating environmental education courses throughout my schooling while completing my MES degree. It was such a wonderful supplement to my own learning, as I could dive deeper into topics I may have forgotten about or had simply been introduced to throughout my program. When it came time to start applying for co-ops, I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted the opportunity to continue working with Lisa, Melissa and Tim – helping to pursue their vision and get involved in other elements of work at the Ecodemy. Now, I have been working full time for a week and have learned so much about the strong processes in place for growth. I am happy to be working alongside another fellow MES student, Chelsea, helping to build the Ecodemy to it’s full potential.