UCL Energy Institute


International Women's Day 2022 - Emily Jennings

8 March 2022

For International Women's Day we asked some women from BSEER about how they got where they are today, what they’re most proud of and what advice they’d offer to other women working in a similar role, read about their experiences below.

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Around the world people are marking International Women's Day. We are joining them by celebrating the contributions and achievements of women in our department.

Emily Jennings

Centre Manager ERBE and LoLo Centres for Doctoral Training
UCL Energy Institute

How did you get into your current role? 

I left university not really knowing what I wanted to do next, so spent a couple of years dotted around the globe before temporarily moving to Australia, where I worked as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator for a sustainable horticulture company in Sydney. This was an extremely fast-paced (and fun!) office environment, which set me up perfectly for when I moved back to the UK full-time and started working at BSEER as a Research Administrator. I did this role for two years before I moved into a Centre Manager position for SEAHA, which sits within ISH. I then progressed to manage both ERBE and LoLo CDT’s, which are part of the Energy Institute, and focus on energy resilience of the built environment.

What are you currently working on? 

I’ve only fairly recently moved into the Centre Manager position for ERBE and LoLo, so I’m still finding my feet, with the very welcome help of my line-manager. CDT management is extremely varied as you need to oversee all operational aspects. My main projects currently include a wide range of things:

  • A comms piece for International Women’s Day, which focuses on some LoLo alumnae
  • Re-writing the comms strategy for the CDT’s
  • Building an effective alumni network
  • Planning the annual Colloquium
  • The usual day-to-day operations of the CDT (student support, partnerships, communications, governance, and financial management)

What work achievements are you most proud of?

I am also a Green Champion for BSEER, and my ‘green’ colleagues and I have achieved the highest level of sustainability award for two years running (and looking to make it a hattrick this year!). I enjoy that I can be involved with these Departmental and UCL-wide sustainable initiatives, alongside my full-time role in ERBE/LoLo. We’ve recently ran a successful TerraCycle pilot scheme, which enabled us to recycle previously ‘unrecyclable’ items, such as crisp packets, medicine packaging and bakery wrappings. Within my role, I am proud of my general ability to pick up new information quickly (although don’t quote me on this if I’m ever stuck with a concept) and build strong working relationships with colleagues at all levels of seniority.

What advice would you give to other women working at a university in a similar role? 

I’ve found that getting involved in work that is outside of your job description to be really useful. For me, volunteering for ‘extra-curricular’ roles (well-being, sustainability, organising social events etc.), helping out other colleagues when they’re in need, and making the most of the training opportunities circulated on a regular basis, all equipped me with a great range of skills and scenarios to talk about when being interviewed for more senior roles. I found the training course on overcoming imposter syndrome really beneficial when I moved into a more senior role, and I know this is something that women are much more likely to suffer from. I’ve also found that trying to see the benefit of the elements of your role that you don’t necessarily enjoy (e.g. finance-based tasks, having difficult conversations, managing conflict) as learning opportunities, instead of shying away from them, has made me much more confident.