At the age of 21 and having completed 16 years of education I thought it was time to put these years of learning to good use and find myself a proper job.
Within these last few weeks I have completed my 3 year degree in Marine Environmental Science at the University of Portsmouth and have found myself in the position of being one of the few graduates to leave university with a job, and I have Facebook and my housemate to thank for this.
Sitting in the kitchen of my 4 bedroom student house in Southsea I scrolled through the 'University of Portsmouth-Marine Biology' Facebook page, and clicked on a link posted by a senior lecturer entitled 'jobs in nice places' with a link to the Wise Oceans website. Obviously I clicked on what looked like the most amazing job advertising for the 'Marine Educator at a luxury resort in the Seychelles', which turned out to be The Four Seasons resort on Mahe.
Looking over the requirements for the position, it started to look as though I could actually do this job! Although I like to think of myself as a positive person, I started to think the things that most students do, I mean, why would someone employ a 21 year old student who has not yet graduated when they could hire someone older and wiser?! It was at this point that I showed the post to my housemate, Laura, who gave me the best piece of advice she could have at that time: "well you may as well apply, the worst they can say is no".
So I started to type up my very first professional CV and found that I was able to complete the task easily, mostly because of the relevant experience I had.
I don't think I can stress enough how important it is to have experience in the area that you see yourself in. For me it started when I was 15 when I gained my PADI Open Water scuba qualification, which progressed to Advanced Open Water. I then continued this to gain qualifications in Marine Mammal Surveying through Marine Life, and for my final year project I collected data on coral reefs in Mozambique through Operation Wallacea which meant that I was diving in the Indian Ocean for six weeks, logging close to 70 dives. It was then through analyzing thousands of frames of footage that I became uncomfortably familiar with the fish found in the Indian Ocean.
There are certain skills that you pick up throughout University, including public speaking and working with Microsoft Word and Powerpoint which are required with most jobs more recently. However, if I had not had the experiences required I can be sure that my CV would have been overlooked. I am fortunate to have amazing parents who have helped me to get to where I am now, and I can start to repay them by inviting them out to the Seychelles!
The point in this blog is not only for my parents to see what I am up to (!), but also to show what I'll be getting up to whilst working in the Seychelles, which I will go into more in my next post....