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Friday, 6 June 2014

My First Month In Brussels

Grand Place at night
It’s hard to believe that it was over a month ago that I arrived in Brussels and started working at Sustainability Consult.  My placement is part of the EU’s Leonardo Mobility Programme, administered by Change Agents UK.  The last month has been both busy and educational, as I have taken up the position of Personal Assistant and Community Manager.

As Personal Assistant to our CEO Kathryn, I have been working on administration, accounts and diary management.  I studied ethics at university, so being involved in the ins-and-outs of a value-based business like Sustainability Consult is of great interest to me.  Seeing ethics and business go hand-in-hand at Sustainability Consult is both relieving and refreshing!

In my role as Community Manager, I have been managing Sustainability Consult’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and our Thoughtshower blog.  As a self-confessed social media addict, I have particularly enjoyed this part of the job.  I have also been involved in organising Sustainability Consult’s community events.  My first time at Green Drinks Brussels and our Sustainability Communications Lunch with Tim Nuthall were definite highlights of my month.

Of course, it has not been all work and no play.  As well as consuming more beer and frites than I ever thought possible, I have spent my first month checking out some of Brussels’ top tourist sites.  Notable among these are the beautiful Grand Place, the truly underwhelming Manneken Pis and the fascinating Magritte Museum. 

Contrary to Brussels reputation as a boring city, I have found myself surprised by the amount on offer here.  In particular, I have enjoyed the many markets, the great wealth of independent shops and cafés and spending time outdoors in some of Brussels great green spaces.  Bois de la Cambre is an especially lovely place to spend a sunny day.   There has been a few unexpected gems too - from attending an election night party at the European Greens’ HQ, to practicing open air yoga in Parc du Cinquantenaire, and witnessing a man dressed as a wind turbine at the Brussels Environment festival! 

I look forward to many more great experiences and learning opportunities over the next three months.

Blog by Naomi Alexander, Personal Assistant and Community Manager at Brussels-based sustainability communications and PR agency Sustainability Consult. 

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