Seven questions with... Georgia Cavanagh
4 June 2021
This week we meet Georgia, who is studying for her Master’s at UCL while working as an intern at Sustainable UCL. Here, she chats to us about singing the theme tune for an Aardman Animations show and her favourite spot around campus for vegan nutella-flavoured croissants.
What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I’m studying for my MSc in Environment, Politics and Society. While I was an undergraduate at Nottingham University, I spent all my spare time working on sustainability projects and became a passionate environmental activist. For example, I became President of the Sustainability Society, General Secretary of the Environment and Social Justice Network, Partner Relations Director of Foodprint with Enactus Nottingham (a social enterprise tackling food waste and poverty), and volunteered for various environmental charities. Building on this, I decided to undertake a module in my second year on environmental history, which inspired my dissertation on the history of Britain’s environmental movement. Ultimately, I realised that I wanted to work in the environmental sector once I graduated, and committed to further study to learn as much as I could about it. While I’m not set on a specific job, my internship focuses on sustainability communications, which is definitely an area I’m interested in, alongside campaigning and advocacy!
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
Obviously, as I started my Master’s at UCL during the pandemic, I’ve been limited in the extent to which I can get involved in the UCL community! Nevertheless, when I started my degree, I was determined to make friends despite the odds, and so created various online groups for those on my course to connect with coursemates, managing to organise events whenever lockdown restrictions permitted. The people I met through this, and our explorations of London, have certainly been the highlight of my time so far at UCL, and I hope that at some point we are able to meet up in groups of more than six!
Aside from my (limited) social life at UCL, I was approached by the Director of Six Degrees, a student-led sustainability consultancy and think tank, to establish a new UCL branch. I gathered a committee to lead our work, and we have recently recruited a team of consultants to work on our first consulting project with Wild, the ‘UK’s No.1 Natural Deodorant’ brand, who are pioneering sustainable, refillable deodorant. We also have a partnership in the works with a leading charity in the UK, which is very exciting! It’s been great to get an insight into sustainability consultancy, as an area which I had not yet looked into as a potential career path, and I am always motivated by opportunities that allow me to effect real change in the world.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to the UCL campus, so I don’t think I have any ‘hidden’ gems to share. However, if you haven’t been to the café in the Student Centre and tried the vegan nutella-esque croissant, you’re missing out…
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
Again, having moved to London during a pandemic, I don’t have much to offer. I will say that the best restaurants I’ve been to so far are Homeslice (where you can get pizzas as big as you), Halo Burger at Pop Brixton (the dreamiest vegan burgers), and Okan in Brixton Village (which has the best gyoza ever)!
I’ve also done many charity shop crawls, and would recommend Clapham especially – there are some shops there that may seem like a dead end, but once inside they have some of the best finds I’ve ever gotten!
As soon as the theatres start opening up again, I’m going to as many shows as possible...
What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-Covid world?
I hope that we take Covid as an opportunity for a fresh start in terms of our attitude towards the environment. Given the drastic changes we’ve all had to make since 2020, surely we are now resilient and adaptable enough to make further changes, with a positive impact on our environment? Although reductions in carbon emissions haven’t been as significant as we might have expected, emissions have fallen, in contrast to their steady rise for decades. I hope we take that as concrete evidence that we can do something about climate change, and use the current crisis as an incentive to avoid another one in the future.
Who inspires you and why?
It may be cheesy, but I definitely find the most inspiration from the people around me. Consistent figures are of course my parents, who have always motivated me to be the best person I can be in both work and life generally. I also love being surrounded by my incredibly talented friends, and celebrating their wins as much as my own.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I sing the theme tune for an Aardman Animations show, despite being terrified of claymation.