If you ever wanted to gain experience for a career in conservation, Frontier is the place to start!
After graduating from university, I found it hard to apply for jobs relevant to my chosen career. I did some field based internships and when I heard about Frontier, decided to apply for one in their head office, to gain some more relevant to project management. After my internship in their research department finished, a full time role opened up and I got the chance to continue working in their operations department to help manage their field projects. This is probably one of the most “hands on” roles in the whole organisation as you get to see what all of Frontiers group projects are doing around the world and also help to direct the research efforts of each country. Another perk is that every so often, you get to go there in person. This summer, I had the chance to go all the way from London to our project in Fiji on the other side of the world, to give them a little bit of a hand while our new field staff settled in during our busiest time of the year.
I’ve travelled to many countries around the world and been involved in lots of projects like Frontier, but this was my first chance to be the one organising things from the ground. There was much to do but I was determined to give it my all and keep things ticking over for the 3 months I was there.
What does a day in the life of Frontier Fiji’s project coordinator look like? Well, you get to meet lots of people from the many organisations that we work with to set up placements for all of our volunteers. There’s also lots of things to maintain on and around camp so you become quite the handyman too! When someone gets sick, you become quite skilled at navigating the jungle that is Fiji’s healthcare system. You also get to see the front of Nadi international airport more often than the average holiday maker as you wait for next month’s new volunteers.
When you’re not being Project Coordinator for the day, there’s lots to still help out on. From driving our research team on the boat to their next dive site, writing up our science reports or meeting with members of the Mataqali – our family away from home in Fiji. Sometimes, you even have to attend the occasional official ceremony, which, in true Fijian style, are always very much done on Fiji time!
Working in all of the different roles with Frontier has certainly been an experience I won’t forget any time soon and I’m sure all of the skills I picked up in Fiji will come in useful somewhere else in the world.