Project Heather

The EFH piloted the internship placement scheme in 2019.

The first position was offered by Project Heather who were looking for a Research Officer to conduct a range of research to support its mission to scale impact and bring it to public markets. After working with the Project Heather team to scope the role the job specification was finalised and taken to market by the EFH team.

The response from students across Scotland exceeded expectations and the EFH team had the very difficult task of presenting 10 candidates from almost 50 applicants. Project Heather then shortlisted 5 candidates for interview.

The  5 shortlisted candidates were invited to assist at the Finance for Nature Global Summit organised by United Nations Development Programme / Global Ethical Finance Initiative and they were also offered complimentary places at the EFH’s Business Benefits of the SDGs executive education 1 day course. Whilst only one position was available the shortlisted candidates were able to gain some invaluable insights and experience through these additional opportunities.

“The quality of applicants was so impressive and, if we could, we would have given roles to all of them!”

HR Lead, Project Heather

The successful candidate was a University of Edinburgh post graduate student studying for an MSc Carbon Management. The intern worked as part of a team to build a stock exchange for the 21st century, adding ‘impact’ to ‘risk and reward’. Core tasks included:

Researching sustainable financial instruments that could be attractive to institutional investors.

Liaising with public and private clients to gain investment and create collaborative opportunities in which finance can be channelled towards environmental and social impact

Responding to Her Majesty’s Treasury’s consultation enquiry for Decarbonisation and UK Green Finance (click here).

The practical experience gained at Project Heather has added value to the intern’s academic work and opened up specific opportunities to transition into a career in ethical finance.

“I attained my internship through the Ethical Finance Hub, where I was shortlisted along with group 4 outstanding candidates. In the application period, I was able to attend UNDP’s Finance for Nature global summit, with senior-representatives from highly established organisations talking about their role in using finance for good. Through this internship, I was able to establish an extensive global network within Ethical Finance, develop my presentation skills through hosting numerous events and collaborate to build a framework to measure positive social and environmental impact. I thoroughly recommend interning through Ethical Finance Hub as it has propelled me to develop my career and give me the opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale.”

Project Heather Intern

Ethical Finance Hub / Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Given the high quality of the applicants the EFH team agreed to create an additional Project Officer position as part of the internship placement scheme 2019. A number of candidates were invited to interview for the role that involved: assisting / supporting live projects; market intelligence research; and data collection and analysis.

The successful candidate was a PHD student from University of Edinburgh. Having completed an MSc in Social Research the intern was looking for practical experience to augment a PHD research project looking at Social Investment in the Scottish Third Sector.

Core tasks included:

  • Conducting research on major climate change-related reporting protocols as well as regulations/frameworks guiding ESG reporting and disclosure
  • Identifying headline facts and figures relating to the global ethical finance market
  • Completing a horizontal benchmarking exercise and identified and reviewed relevant global frameworks for an EFH advisory assignment looking at ethical statements for the Scottish National Investment Bank
  • Working in partnership with the University of St Andrews and EFH team to identify and analyse data relating to ethical funds in Scotland
  • Assisting in the planning, delivery and write up of round table events on social finance, ethical investing / banking and finance in Africa
  • Providing administrative support during the planning and execution of Ethical Finance 2019

Following the initial period the intern has continued to support the EFH providing additional resource for specific research projects.

Background

 “The environment at EFH is intellectually stimulating and the team is very supportive and encouraging. I worked on a variety of tasks, obtained new experience in consulting and management research, and attended a number of events with high-profile investment practitioners. The internship allowed me to obtain a better understanding of ethical finance and its role and importance in the context of climate emergency and other environmental and social issues, which complemented and enriched my own studies. I highly recommend interning through EFH.”
EFH Intern

“We were very pleased to add a bright, enthusiastic intern who was able to make an immediate impact into our team. With a strong research background our intern brought robust academic process and rigour to our commercially focused research. Our intern was adept researching, analysing and presenting information / data in a structured and cohesive format.”
Project Manager, EFH