As we search for a new set of inspiring early-career campaigner to join us on Bootcamp 3, we want to show you what a place on Bootcamp really means.
Each week we will feature an interview with a past Bootcamper to find out what they have done since Bootcamp and what they learned while on the course.
Our first profile is of the wonderful Jannat Hossain.
Jannat is a recent Geography graduate currently working in the sustainable development sector. She’s immensely passionate about sustainability within educational institutions, inclusivity within campaigning environments, and sustainable diets! Outside of campaigning she’s a keen runner and avid scrapbook-er.
Q: Sum up your experience of Bootcamp in 3 words:
Enlightening, informative, life-changing.
Q: Tell us about a campaign/project you’ve run/been involved in since Bootcamp?
I was in the middle of launching a behaviour-change campaign at Friends of the Earth when Bootcamp took place. The course got me thinking about the direction I was headed in and I definitely applied a lot of what I learnt to the campaign.
The campaign Meat Free May was about getting people to eat better for themselves and the planet. With increasing proof of the environmental impacts of livestock production and overfishing, we wanted to promote a pragmatic solution. Eat less but better quality meat and fish. To show them just how easy this is, we challenged them to a month without either. If you can do a month you can definitely cut down long-term.
I picked up a lot of communications skills at Bootcamp and applied these to the campaign. The media skills training from John Coventry at Change.org was particularly valuable to me – he definitely helped me prepare for the media aspect of the campaign and I went onto do three radio interviews!
I’m yet to know the impact the campaign had – I’ve got a long evaluation ahead of me but people have already been in touch to say how much it’s changed their lives.
I entered the idea of Meat Free May into a Friends of the Earth competition – and won – but couldn’t bare for it to be just ‘another idea’ so devoted ten months of my life to making it happen – a pretty great pilot in its first year.
Q: What was the most useful thing you learnt/took away from Bootcamp?
The most useful things I learnt at Bootcamp were around digital campaigning skills. As someone who wants to campaign largely with grassroots groups I thought those things weren’t very important and rarely thought about them. However, Bootcamp taught me the importance of understanding and knowing the technology we use in our campaigns. Taking this into account, since Bootcamp, I’ve been using every opportunity to learn the skills I never thought I’d need – writing robust communications plans, learning how to code, building and updating websites, etc. I definitely think more about utilising innovative digital tools in my campaigning work too.
Q: What would you say to someone considering applying to Bootcamp?
Campaign Bootcamp will change your life. It will give you a crucial insight into the ins and outs of the campaigning world and the way different organisations work - from big international NGOs to tiny grassroots groups. It’s a brilliant course to go on early in your career and it will certainly help you to see the importance of being a flexible, agile and adaptable campaigner. Plus, you’re taught by some of the most talented people in the campaigning world. If you’re still considering applying, stop considering and just apply!