Virginia Hooper

Impact: Our Volunteer

Virginia, an Earth Sciences graduate, wanted to apply her theoretical knowledge in practice. After taking on a paid role in her placement which lasted one year, Virginia was offered a place on an MSc at the University of Oxford. 

Impact: The Placement

Our Partner GIST conducts research and advocacy in the fields of economics and the environment. Virginia assisted GIST with research and analysis, communications and advocacy and helped to organise an international conference. 


2Way Development Volunteer: Virginia Hooper 

Prior to starting her volunteer placement, Virginia had gained an MSc in Earth Sciences. She wanted to put her theoretical knowledge into practice and gain the experience needed to embark on an international career. 

The Match 

Virginia’s skills as a researcher and communicator were well matched with GIST’s needs, and she joined them as a research assistant in 2005. Her initial placement was for three months and she spent her time working on monographs, carrying out research and analysis, and aiding her colleagues in their project to ‘green’ India’s GDP. After three months she was offered the chance to continue working with GIST, and she took on extra responsibility, a development which culminated in her helping to organise a major international conference. Virginia spent 18 months on her placement in total: “I’m so glad I stayed. It has changed my outlook on life, my career path, and has given me the opportunity for great friendship.”

Impact: Virginia’s Career Progression 

After her placement, Virginia “returned to the UK to study for an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford. My experience with 2Way Development and GIST helped me secure my place and has given me plenty of discussion material. This summer I will be returning to India to both complete my dissertation and also catch up with a number of my Indian friends.” 


“I would certainly recommend taking a placement with 2Way Development as I found the service to be friendly and flexible. If I was to give any advice, it would be to grab any opportunity with both hands.” 

“My placement in India with the Green Indian States Trust (GIST) in New Delhi, was truly remarkable. It has led to a host of wonderful opportunities, a fantastic professional network and great friends. This first step has given me substantial work experience in a developing country which is an essential prerequisite for many international careers.”


2Way Development Partner: Green Indian States Trust

The Green Indian States Trust (GIST) works in education, health and environmental investment and aims to change the way people think about the economy and the environment. It calculates and publishes the ‘money value’ of social and environmental investments that are not currently accounted for in GDP. 

Impact: The Placement

  • Virginia worked with a research team at Delhi University to analyse the economic value of India’s fresh water resources.
  • She wrote reports and took responsibility for engaging with the media and organising events to launch the results of the research.
  • Virginia engaged in editing, proofreading and communications work during her placement and helped to update the organisation’s website with the results of their work.
  • Virginia also helped to manage a conference on ‘Ecological Economics and Wellbeing’, held by the International and Indian Societies of Ecological Economics.