For Swiss mission
internship more out of seeing how far I would get, it was more about seeing what the application process was like.
“This will give me a practical sense of climate change on an international level.
“It will be very beneficial, especially with the Paris Climate Change conference this year, which is the most likely we’ve been to consensus on climate change since Kyoto.
“My work could contribute to that, I’d be over the moon if that was the case.
“I’ve never been to Switzerland before so I’m really excited.”
Andrew, who also attended Carmunnock Primary and Mearns Castle High School, is one of just 250 interns taken on by the UN each year from 3000 applications.
He first became interested in environmental studies at school after initially considering a career in town planning.
And he hopes to go on to complete his PhD after the internship, with his idea already gaining attention.
He explained: “I felt as though I had done town planning to death, I just couldn’t do another report on it.
“My course was quite big on climate change and it’s already given me a good footing on the issue at UK level.
“I’d been reading something about space mirrors, reflecting the solar power to combat climate change, and that got me interested.
“For my PhD, I’m looking at solar-power satellites. Basically gathering energy from space and using it on Earth. You would get energy 24/7 and there is a lot more energy to harness up there.
“The angle I am taking is something that’s never been done before, it’s unique.”
When he’s not fighting to save the planet, Andrew works parttime at the Sainsbury’s store in East Kilbride’s Kingsgate, who have left his job open for him when he returns from Europe.
When looking to the future, Andrew said: “One of the rules of the internship is it’s for a maximum of six months and you can’t work for the UN for six months afterwards.
“But potentially it could be the UN I work for.
“At the minute, that’s the most likely, or potentially, if I do well in my PhD, maybe one of the space agencies.”
Andrew wouldn’t have been able to take on the internship without the Magnusson Award.
The awards, established in honour of the late broadcaster and former Rutherglen resident, Magnus Magnusson KBE, provide funding and opportunities to help students and academics in their studies or careers.
Andrew added: “The Magnusson Award means the world to me.
“Geneva is one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live and the internship is unpaid.
“Funding for this was essential, as I could not afford it myself.”
Glasgow Caley’s senior lecturer, Caroline Gallagher said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Andrew and thoroughly deserved, as he has worked hard.”
My course has already given me a good footing on the issue at UK level