An Interview with an Education Development Officer in a Rainforest



 What would your advice be to someone who would like a career in this area?

 Try and gain as much voluntary experience as you can!

Getting a position working in the zoo industry is tough; there is a lot of competition for all roles from education through to keepers, so you need to make yourself stand out. There are no two days the same when working with children and animals so having a flexible and adaptable attitude and being able to think on your feet is a very useful skill to have, as is being willing to turn your hand to any job or challenge thrown at you.

Good communication and people skills are important, as is being enthusiastic and positively engaging people is a big part of the role, you can’t be afraid to speak to people!

As Head of Department, I manage a team of 20 part time staff and volunteers; I also have to speak with teachers, schools and members of the public on a daily basis, as well as working with other Department Heads and Senior Management here and liaising with others in the zoo community from different collections. 

It is a fantastically rewarding job, but it can be hard work, long hours and unpredictable, so having a sense of humour helps!

 What do you do when you’re not working?

 I enjoy traveling and have been lucky enough to visit some amazing places through my work and studies, which has allowed me to qualify as an Advanced PADI scuba diver and also indulge in my passion for wildlife and nature photography.

I’ve recently started learning Latin and Ballroom dancing and I enjoy going to gigs, the cinema and pub quizzes with my friends.