It has been almost six months, yet my participation at Global Landscape Forum and the Youth in Landscapes Initiative mentoring program continues to inspire me – even now. The sheer scale of it – the number of passionate people enthusiastically debating options, of solutions being proposed and of the principle of the very forum – acted as a remarkable reminder that I was not alone in my hope and determination to make our world a more sustainable place, and a friendlier place to everyone. It has given me the strength I direly need.
Having Edward Millard, the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Rainforest Alliance, by my side as a mentor only made the experience even more invaluable. His calm demeanor, patience and in-depth knowledge about environmental issues, accumulated through decades of experience in the field, was what I immediately recognised as something I aspire towards.
I was yet to find a job, and was not even entirely sure which roles (of thousands of possibilities) I would like to actively take in the field of development and sustainability. Despite that, Edward has still been able to give me valuable guidance.
I am grateful for the opportunity to see how he approaches a problem, to see what an experienced environmental professional is like in person, and what kind of lifestyle they have created. It was then I actually recognized how little I know about this field, particularly about the prospective careers and how you can build your life around this passion.
I have always longed to make a difference, and Edward has helped me figure out the path I can take to achieve that very broad goal. We have been able to talk about our struggles, career development, and the job market at present. His insights made it a more valuable career consultation than the countless sessions I have had in my university years.
I have always felt like a loner fighting for an environmental issue. For the first time in a very long time, GLF and my mentor Edward helped me affirm my aspiration, my goal and my path. I am no longer lost.