Hetty Upton 9th May- 4th July 2016, England

After completing my undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology, I was faced with the realisation of how competitive the conservation career industry really is. Understanding that experience is a key addition to qualifications, I began researching volunteer/intern opportunities and decided to apply for CBMWC after reading many positive comments.
 
I have taken part in various other voluntary conservation roles, but nothing honestly compares to CBMWC. This volunteer programme has provided me with the most useful experience and skills than the rest put together, as the staff are all really dedicated and enthusiastic about their roles and you can gain as much experience as you like - the more you put in, the more you get back!
 
The wide range of activities and tasks that you are responsible for as a volunteer allows you to gain so much experience, particularly if you are hoping to pursue a conservation-based career as there are research, data, field work, environmental education and community outreach aspects that you can get involved with. No two days are the same either, which makes a nice variation - some days you could be assisting with rock-pooling sessions with local schools or out surveying dolphins from a boat, whilst other days you could be helping with GIS mapping of data or even being interviewed for the BBC! It's also a great chance to gain some general customer service and communication skills if you want some more experience in these areas, as these are highly transferable into any role.
 
I couldn't believe the wealth of wildlife that was inhabiting a small town in West Wales - it really felt like you could have been in a tropical country with pretty much daily dolphin sightings and so many amazing species of sea birds, jellyfish and other wildlife to study. If I could have stayed longer, then I certainly would have! Since volunteering with CBMWC I have gained employment within the Outreach Team of my old university, which was certainly helped by the development of my communication and public engagement skills whilst based in Wales.