Blogger: Erica Howe, Communications Manager
When I graduated from university, some 6 years ago, I didn’t have a clue what to do with my life really. I went to university in London, but staying there for the long haul was never really an option for me. I love Norfolk too much and simply couldn’t afford to live in the big smoke fulfilling student ambitions!
Like most post-grads, I very quickly took a job, needing to earn some pennies. I have certainly had some interesting experiences over the last six years, but working for the RSPB kind of happened to me by accident. I certainly didn’t have any burning dreams to work in conservation and although I love the outdoors, I had never really thought of a career in the environmental world. Now, my job isn’t exactly ‘outdoorsy’, but working for the RSPB is pretty unique and incredibly fulfilling. If six years ago, someone had offered me the chance to try this job out for a year, gain a host of experience and a flavour for working in conservation, i’d have jumped at the chance. The world is such today that you really can ‘try before you buy’.
In true RSPB style, today offered me another intriguing day at work, when I was introduced to a lovely man called Jacob. He’s a focused chap, driven by his passion for a career in conservation and making a difference to our environment. I always envy people who have this determination and self-belief. And the difference with Jacob is that he’s landed himself an even more enviable volunteer position with the RSPB that will almost certainly boost his employability! He is working full time as an intern at the RSPB’s first ever wildlife garden, learning about native plants, composting, how to encourage wildlife into your garden and how to inspire people to do the same in their own gardens. Sounds pretty idyllic to me! He also managed to hold his own on Gardeners Question Time recently so it’s safe to say, we’re throwing him in at the deep end! Flatford Wildlife Garden is a beautiful place to visit, be inspired and to learn about making your garden as wildlife friendly as possible and of course, to have a chat with Jacob.
The world today is as tough for graduates as it is for our wildlife. Organisations can be hard to get into with no experience, which presents a rather catch-22 situation. If you’ve ever had a dream career or thought of trying volunteering, then there is plenty of opportunity at the RSPB and the experience really is invaluable. And you will be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be helping the fortunes of all kinds of birds, bugs and plantlife in the process. For more information about Flatford Wildlife Garden or volunteering, go to www.rspb.org.uk
Photo Credit: Adam Murray
Article in the Eastern Daily Press on 17 Sept 2011