“I have to thank the ISA Green team for the career I have today. What started off as recycling things in the hallways has snowballed into a profession in sustainability.”
Meet Nick Carmont, Class of 2016 graduate, currently working as Co-founder and CTO of Connect Earth (Forbes 30 under 30), after studying Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.
What were your most memorable experiences at ISA?
I remember when I first started at ISA. We had just moved from Spain and we were settling into a new life in the Netherlands. On my first day, I was assigned a buddy called Hugo to show me around the new school. Fast forward to today, Hugo is one of my best friends and we regularly meet up in London. Even though we are now spread all across the world, I still consider my ISA friend group to be my closest friends.
A standout memory that comes to mind is the unforgettable Gold Award scheme trip to Provence, France. Together with my friends and under the watchful eyes of Mr. Gielty and Mr. Lundin, we camped in open fields and took wrong turns whilst later realizing that blue trails on the map were rivers. We still joke about these memories today and are keen to plan a Platinum Award Scheme (with hopefully better mapping skills).
How did your time at ISA impact your life?
ISA’s influence on my life has been immeasurable. It’s where I found my core group of friends, I was exposed to a lot of different topics and experiences and learned a lot which shaped me as a person. The best teachers that you remember 5 years out of school are often the ones that have taught you something inside and outside of their subject.
It’s also funny how small the world is. A lot of ISA experiences follow you into the future and create new paths. Even though my friends group at ISA is spread across the world and living different lives, we are still very close and are creating new memories together. We even came together to run the Edinburgh Marathon last year.
I have to thank the ISA Green team for the career I have today. What started off as recycling things in the hallways has snowballed into a profession in sustainability. We were lucky to have Peggy Brannigan running the green team at ISA, whose sustainability grant I later received on graduation. With this grant, I started a project with 13 engineering students to recycle plastic bottles into 3D printer filament using machines. Today, I run a sustainability startup for a living and the first person I came to for advice on this was Peggy.
What is your current career, and why did you choose that path? What advice do you have for others looking to enter into your field of work?
I’m currently the co-founder and CTO of Connect Earth, a startup that simplifies access to carbon footprint data and tools through code. Our carbon insights have helped more than a quarter of a million people to better understand their carbon footprint. We work with global institutions like SAP to help embed carbon insights tools towards their end users. Having started the business only 2 years ago, my co-founder and I had the honour to be recognized in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for social impact this year.
My advice for anyone considering being an entrepreneur is to just get started. It’s often easy to overthink things and get scared about uncertainty, but if you’re really passionate about something don’t let anything get in your way.
What advice or insights do you have for our current ISA students?
When I was at school there were many times I felt insecure, shy, and unsure of myself. At the time I thought those were negative feelings and tried to get rid of them. In hindsight, not only do I now see these as a superpower, but I actively try to seek discomfort in my life because I know it pushes me towards growth and better things. My advice to anyone who feels unsure of themselves is to think of these feelings as a gift rather than a curse. Don’t lean away from discomfort, embrace it.