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The Gap Year Blog

Project Development Intern: Irene Kargiolaki

12 Dec 2019 12:20 PM

Irene Kargiolaki, 25, has come all the way from Greece to join us at the Frontier Headquarters as Project Development Intern! Having studied Economics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and with a diverse background in the Tourism and NGO sector, Irene talks to us about what she’s been doing in her role…

What is your background?

I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and I am currently completing a Bachelors degree in Business. I have recently taken a break from working in the field of Hospitality and Tourism, as I have worked in high-class hotels for the last 7 years! As a student I have had the chance to work with different volunteering non-government organisations. After beginning university, I became a member of AIESEC, which was my first step to helping students travel around the world and helping communities in need.

I had the opportunity to volunteer in Nepal where I worked with Conscious Impact to help rebuild rural communities after the earthquake of 2015. Every day I got to work in the mountains, building a coffee corporation, dome houses and water tanks for the farmers with natural materials. I also got to plant trees, helping to engage farmers in more profitable farming methods. I loved my time as a volunteer in Nepal; it was magical to live in a tent and witness the breath-taking view and sunsets of Himalayas. That experience really moved me and inspired me to take the leap into the volunteer travel industry!


Why did you choose Frontier?

I realised that volunteer work is very important to me and to others and must be part of my life; but also travelling constantly around the world has shown me how much work needs to be done to improve the others’ lives. That’s the reason why I chose Frontier as it aims to conserve and develop the world.


What are your duties?

I help to ensure that our volunteers have given us all the information we need to send them away for a brilliant time overseas. I also keep our volunteers up to date with any news and ensure they have a point of contact in the UK if they need any help.


What interests you within the conservation field?

I am most interested in marine conservation. I have always been a sea-lover, and the amount we still have to learn about the ocean is fascinating! There’s so much of it to explore.


What does the future hold?

I am working towards gaining the appropriate knowledge to become a Project Manager and creating a new marine conservation project in Greece!

Who would you recommend this internship to?

I would totally recommend this internship to candidates who are interested in conservation and development, as they can improve their knowledge and be more competitive in this field by boosting their CV!