Uni students take a step closer to Amazon

The Lancaster team.
The Lancaster team.

A team of students from Lancaster University are one step closer to an adventure in the Amazon Rainforest after being shortlisted as finalists of npower’s national Future Leaders competition.

The energy supplier’s quest hunts for the country’s top students who have passion for ‘green’ issues and who can inspire people to live more sustainable lives.

In return, there are eight places on offer for a trip of a lifetime to the Amazon Rainforest, where the winners will witness the effects of climate change first-hand and live with an indigenous tribe for a week.

BBA Management students Iko Congo and Alex Waugh, Maths student Justin Allen and Economics student Jean Dupouy formed ‘Smart Switch’ and entered the competition earlier this year by submitting a video-entry, explaining their idea for a sustainable project in Lancaster.

Team leader Iko said: “Beyond wanting to make a difference, we entered Future Leaders because we wanted to stretch our capacities.

“We hoped it would be a good opportunity to meet other people who are also taking part in the initiative, as well as getting to know npower better.”

The team were told at the start of June that they had been successfully shortlisted as one of the final eleven teams for this year’s competition.

Since then, they have also spent three days in Malvern on a team building exercise to help develop their environmental knowledge, team-building and leadership skills – which will be needed to deliver their project over the next five months.

Iko said: “We found the weekend in Malvern very useful in helping us focus in our project towards a more specific goal. We are eager to continue developing this project, see it grow and analyse our results.”

Harpavan Khaira, Graduate Resourcing Specialist, said: “The experience of the competition will give all of the finalists key employability skills to position them ahead of their peers when making future job applications.”

The winners will also be offered a summer internship with the energy supplier, where they can gain work experience across many different business areas and experience the dynamic energy industry.

The judging will take place later this year and the teams will find out in November if they will make the once in a lifetime trip in June 2015.