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Intern Feedback

Jodie Corral: Marketing & Events Intern

October - December 2010

After leaving university with an Art degree I realised I wanted my future to focus on working within the environmental sector and starting an internship at Frontier was the perfect way to kick start this. I was interested in working for a gap year company after my own three month project in Ghana earlier in the year.

Working within the Events and Marketing team I have been responsible for booking in schools and colleges for talks about what we do here at Frontier. This is a crucial job here at Frontier HQ as without new volunteers we cannot continue our conservation work overseas.

Giving school talks and attending university fairs all over the country has boosted my confidence in public speaking and also my UK geography knowledge! I have learnt so much about conservation work and the experience has been invaluable. The team here are fantastic and I had lots of fun and ate a lot of other people’s biscuits.

Following on from this internship I am continuing my interest in the environment and starting work as a fundraiser for a City Farm.

Alastair Hadfield: Marketing & Events Intern

June - November 2010

I have always had a passion for the environment and conservation since going on a volunteer project to Iceland. This was enhanced further throughout my 4 years at Edinburgh University studying Geology and Physical Geography when I had the chance to experience many different environmental landscapes on various fieldtrips in Scotland and also throughout Europe. Since graduating in 2009 I had been looking to get into the environmental field. Frontier presented to me the perfect opportunity to gain experience at the HQ of a conservation NGO before enhancing my experience out in the field afterwards.

For the past 6 months I have been working for the Marketing and Events team where my main duties involve presenting to audiences throughout the UK, organising interview schedules and following up on applicants, as well as liaising and negotiating for advertising space.

I have learnt all sorts of new skills throughout my time here and all the staff have been very welcoming. I am looking forward to heading out to Fiji on the Marine Conservation & Diving project where I hope to develop my skills further in the conservation field by gaining my PADI Advanced Open Water Qualification and also BTEC Diploma.

Thomas Newton: Overseas Operations Intern

June - November 2010

With a degree under my belt in Biodiversity Conservation and Management and large amounts of volunteer and field experience on my CV I left University feeling optimistic about stepping out into the big world of Environmental conservation. I soon realised though that it was still not enough for this highly competitive sector and that I still lacked key skills in certain areas. Having met Frontier whilst still at University and hearing about their London internships I knew this was the opportunity I needed.

For the past 6 months I have worked as an intern as part of the Overseas Operations team. From the off this has been different from any normal internship. Being given roles and responsibilities straight away you learn the ropes quickly and really feel an important part of this organisation. During my 6 months I have been involved in everything from staffing and re-supply to contacting university academics to book seminars for Frontier staff to attend. One of the best roles has been to travel the country to present to students myself about Frontier and the conservation work we do. As an intern at Frontier you gain a real understanding of the running of a real NGO.

My time at Frontier has been much more than I could ever have expected. Not only has it given me the opportunity to gain invaluable experience but to meet fantastic people and make great friends.

Amelia Davies: Research & Development Intern

June - November 2010

Having always had a passion for the natural world, conservation and travel, interning at Frontier seemed the perfect option to not only exercise the skills I acquired at university but to also gain some experience working in this highly competitive sector. As a research and development intern, my main role was to assist in the management of reports and field data for Frontiers Fiji marine project, which was a great opportunity to get involved with some ‘proper’ conservation research!

I was also required to write chatty news articles for the website, conduct phone calls to the field and to promote Frontier all over the country, through a series of school talks and university career fairs. Initially I was very apprehensive about conducting these presentations, but it turned out to be an aspect of the role I loved!

The skills I have gained over the past 6 months have been invaluable. Interning at Frontier is no ordinary internship; you will be valued and given a vital role with responsibilities. This coupled with the privilege of working with the lovely and like-minded staff has made it an absolute pleasure working at Frontier. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in NGO’s and conservation

Jyot Jabbal: Research & Development Intern

May - November 2010

I started my internship at Frontier in May 2010, after struggling with the job market for a few months. The position of Research and Development Intern was more than I had hoped for at the time, and exactly what I wanted.

Being a part of the Research and Development team gave me the chance to finally make use of my degree. My time here has allowed me to exercise my understanding of statistical analysis, global satellite imaging and scientific report writing. Working alongside other conservationists has been invaluable to me, and I now have a better idea about the work and effort that goes into maintaining the conservation work in an NGO.

In addition to research work, Frontier has allowed me to branch out into fields I never thought I would have the opportunity to gain experience in. In the past six months I have conducted schools talks, carried out marketing calls and written news articles for Frontier, and these skills will no doubt be applicable in the future. The people here could not have been more supportive and accommodating, and I consider myself lucky to have been a part of the organisation.

Emily Lewis: Research & Development Intern

April - October 2010

I applied for the intern position with Frontier because I wanted to gain experience working for a conservation NGO.

As a research and development intern I have had the opportunity to use and develop the scientific skills I learnt at University. I have spent the last 6 months working on data collected from the Tanzania Marine project, I have gained experience analysing data, using statistical programs such as SPSS, and have been able to improve my report writing.

I have learnt a huge amount about conducting field work, and have been in regular contact with field staff in both the Tanzania Marine and Tanzania Savannah projects.

Working at Frontier has allowed me to improve and gain confidence in public speaking, through visiting schools to represent Frontier and presenting the latest science work from Tanzania Marine to the staff at London HQ.

The skills and knowledge I have gained through my internship with Frontier, I hope will help me in my future career. I have met amazing people, who have taught me a lot. Now I am looking forward to my trip out to Tanzania with Frontier in January

David Sanchez: Events & Marketing Intern

April 2010 - September 2010

I have been working at Frontier for the past six or so months as part of the events team. This consisted of booking schools and colleges to give our talks about current Frontier overseas projects, where volunteers can take part in science conservation, teaching English, health awareness and community work.

As well as being incredibly worthwhile and a boost to an individual's CV there is also a sense of personal achievement to be gained. In addition to organising school & college talks, I have also helped to book college and university career fairs as well as assisting in other Events duties such as sending the Frontier brochures by post and other related administrative duties.

The Events department like all the departments at the London HQ is very welcoming and has made these last six months very enjoyable. However, it is also a place of hard work and very dedicated workers, committed to helping raise the plight of conservation issues both around the world and in the UK. My main objective in volunteering at the Frontier London office was to gain not only more office experience but also to gain skills for working in the conservation field. I would certainly recommend being an intern for anyone who has similar goals.

Deborah Allbrook: UK Operations Intern

February - August 2010

I decided to do this internship with Frontier to get experience of working in a conservation NGO. Coming from an animal care background I wanted to get more involved with preserving the natural environment of the species I had worked with in captivity, and learning how these kinds of organisations are run.

For the last six months I have been working in the UK Operations department at London HQ. This has given me the opportunity to improve my computer skills dramatically, become proficient at admin, help to look after our potential and current volunteers, research new possible sites for conservation projects worldwide, attend and help run the quarterly briefing weekends, and also to travel throughout Britain to give presentations on what Frontier is about, something which has been invaluable for my confidence and public speaking.

The good thing about this internship was that you are given jobs and responsibilities straight away, which really helps you to learn fast, and everyone around me was always willing to help me out whenever I needed it. It was definitely hard work but I would say that the more you put in, the more you will get out of this placement.

I have come out of it with a huge range of new skills, and also an inside view of how the industry works and better understanding of what path I would like to take in the future. On top of this I have had the privilege of working with a really great team of people throughout my time here – both Frontier staff and other interns, who have made these 6 months a lot of fun. Best of all, I have now been offered an ARO position on Frontier Madagascar Marine and will be heading out to start my next adventure in January!

Ed Cremin: Research & Development Intern

February - August 2010

I have always had the desire to pursue a career within the environmental sector, with my passion for a more ecologically sustainable society driving this. Naturally then, working with Frontier was a perfect fit. Having the opportunity to work with Frontier has been an absolute pleasure. Since I started I have had a wealth of opportunities to expand on my skill set. My work encompassed writing articles, working on future funding and giving presentations all over the country. Working as an R&D intern I had the opportunity to oversee and contribute to our exciting and challenging projects in Cambodia and Tanzania. Frontier also exposed me to the operations of other departments and I was able to build on my presentation and communication skills extensively whilst interning. I now have the opportunity to travel to Tanzania for six months as a Project Coordinator and Assistant Research Officer, pursuing my dream to work with grassroots communities in a conservation setting. The experience I have gained over the past six months will no doubt prove invaluable for years to come, and I hope my Tanzanian adventure ahead of me is merely the start for things to come!

Cat Andrade: Events and Marketing Intern

February - July 2010

After graduating from Roehampton University with a degree in Journalism and Criminology I decided to reward myself by spending three months in Borneo, Malaysia embarking on various community development and sustainability projects. My time away from the UK was intense and incredibly inspiring and as a result on returning home I wanted to continue working towards helping developing communities.

I came across Frontier online and was drawn to the organisation as it was similar to the organisation that I went to Borneo with and also because of the chance to go out into the field on completion of the internship. I was slightly apprehensive committing to such a long period of time in an unpaid position however in hindsight it has enabled me to be involved with more than just events and sales and most importantly developed my skills to allow me to be a more employable graduate. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of responsibility I was given.

I have really valued my time at Frontier and have met some really great people that share my passions for travelling, conservation and mapping out a career in the non profit sector.

Sarah King: Project Development and Events Intern

February - July 2010

I graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Zoology, and a keen enthusiasm to get stuck into a career within conservation. In between volunteering around the world at various conservation sites and the field trips I undertook at University I knew that experience was paramount to being successful in this sector, and thus I applied for a London Internship in order to gain those important ‘Head Office’ skills, and learn how an NGO operates behind the scenes. I first experienced Frontier on my gap year on their Madagascar Marine Conservation and Diving expedition where I fell in love with diving, living on a beach and the underwater world, and this set me up nicely for my Zoology degree! It was because of this that I decided upon Frontier for my Internship placement.

During the 6 months I have acquired a useful array of skills and was allowed a breadth of responsibilities throughout my time here dependent on my abilities. I was initially a Project Development intern, consisting of administration for the current volunteers and also researching potential new conservation spots.

I then moved to an Events position. This role entailed liaising with educational institutions, booking and delivering events in schools throughout the country. The education events we executed allowed me to develop my presentation and communicative skills and are something that I thoroughly enjoyed! I also managed to gain good practise with office software through maintaining and implementing databases and thus my administrative efficiency and organisational skills have become much more developed.

I feel that I have gained extensive skills which will hopefully set me up for a successful career in conservation and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Frontier and encountered some lovely people along the way! And I hope to be back working out in the field very soon!

Fran Roberts: Marketing Intern

March - June 2010

I graduated from Bath Spa University last year with a degree in Creative Writing, and wanted to get experience in conservation. I went travelling before university and fell in love with it, and wanted to do something that fed into that. Frontier's aims agreed with what I wanted to do, and so I applied to join them at their London headquarters as a Marketing Intern. I ended up having the opportunity to get involved with their redesign and rewrite of the web content - perfectly fitting in with my degree! I had an amazing experience working with everyone at Frontier - I certainly became a member of the team and learnt so much, both about conservation and writing for the web. Unfortunately, my financial commitments meant that I couldn't stay, but I enjoyed my time at Frontier so much and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to gain experience with an enthusiastic ethical travel company.

James Harber: Research & Development Intern

October 2009 - June 2010

Having read a degree at the University of Reading in Biological Sciences, specialising in Zoology, and then furthered my education with a Masters in Conservation and Wildlife Management, staying at Reading for another year, I came out of University looking for an opportunity to really get into hands on work with conservation.

Throughout my studies in those 4 years it became apparent that in order to succeed in the conservation industry, it was vital to not only have the knowledge associated with the many different conservation issues in the world, but also to have the experience in dealing with them. As I had the pressure of topup fees the year I went to University, circumstances made it difficult for me to have the opportunity to take a gap year or gain work experience. Therefore I left University with a vast catalogue of knowledge of the issues, but very little experience.

Having joined Frontier as a Research and Development Intern in October 2009, I rapidly found myself given exciting responsibilities, such as writing and producing the quarterly science newsletter, and carrying out statistical analysis on data received from the field. One of the other large responsibilities was to present school talks to A level students, and represent Frontier at career fairs across the country, promoting Frontier's work. Through these presentations, my self confidence as a public speaker has increased exponentially.

During the 8 months at Frontier, I have had a plethora of different tasks set for me; writing up scientific papers, carrying out presentations regarding the various scientific projects, contacting field staff to get regular updates, writing the latest news on the Frontier website which goes out every week, and even having the opportunity to carry out some sales work, which helped further improve my confidence. However, one of the greatest opportunities which I have been presented with as a result of my work as an intern, is that I have been offered a field staff role as an Assistant Research Officer on both the Madagascar Forest and Marine projects for a year, spending 6 months on each. This experience will undoubtedly yield a unique opportunity for me to propel myself even further into the scientific community, with the valued prospect of being able to write papers that could be submitted for peer review.

My work at the London Headquarters really has provided an experience unlike any other in the field, and I am looking forward to getting stuck into some fantastic conservation work over in Madagascar this year, and the next.

Larissa Powollik: Overseas Operations Intern

February - June 2010

With an academic background in environmental economics I was less interested in the research side than the organizational side of an environmental NGO and therefore applied as intern in the Overseas Operations department. Here I got an overview of all day-to-day tasks and general organisational procedures that accompany each project phase, which lasts 3 months.

As a second aspect the internship gave me a good insight into HR activities such as interviewing new staff and advertising vacant positions on online job boards. Additionally, representing Frontier at school and university events gives interns the opportunity to see some more of London's hinterland.

To sum it up, I have learned a lot about the real workings behind a non-profit organisation. I would recommend this internship to any young and committed person with an interest in gap year travel wishing to gather first admin experience after university. During my job hunt, the hands-on admin experience acquired at Frontier has helped me a lot.

Hannah Burton: Research & Development Intern

November 2009 - May 2010

I graduated from Liverpool University in 2008 with a degree in marine biology. After travelling around the world I returned bright eyed and attempted to enter the job market. I soon realised that you need more than just academic qualifications to succeed in conservation. I stumbled across Frontier, and instantly feel in love with it's mission statement. I initially applied for a field position; however they had no appropriate positions at that time and offered me a Research and Development intern position instead. After seriously considering the financial commitment, I decided it would be the best way to gain the relevant experience I would need to succeed in the future and I have to say it has been one of my best decisions! I feared I'd only be allowed to make tea!, however Frontier really gives you the responsibility and the real experience you need to be competitive in the job market. At the end of my internship I'm now preparing to depart to the field as Assistant Research Officer. Doing this internship has really helped me understand all the logistics of field work as well as the research, and it definitely exceeded my expectations. Thank you everyone at Frontier.

Kristina Abengoza: Overseas Operations Intern

January - May 2010

I moved to London last year after completing my Master's degree in the U.S. Though I came from a science/research background, I applied for the Overseas Operations internship position for a variety of reasons. First, I wanted to build a career in the UK non-profit sector. Secondly, while I'm confident of my research and analytical skills, I wanted to build up my project management skills since I thought this would make me a well-rounded candidate.

A six-month internship was a huge time and financial commitment on my part, but I do not regret that decision. After six months, I certainly got the experience I came here for. I gained insight into how NGOs operate and the day-to-day running of overseas projects. Because my tasks are so varied and with each having different timelines, I've greatly improved my organisational and time management skills. I've always been highly organised, but it's still different from developing it in a work setting.

What I really enjoyed about my internship, apart from learning how projects run behind the scenes, are the many, many school Gap Year talks. I love travelling so it was great to see different parts of the country. These school talks also improved my public speaking and presentation skills, specifically how to interact with a different demographic (i.e. students) and cater my presentation in a way that students will find appealing.

Lastly, the people I got to work with are great! I definitely lucked out with my managers. Working for a non-profit where money can be a little bit tight, work can sometimes be stressful. But with the easy-going nature of my managers and fellow interns, and the commitment they've shown for their respective work, it makes managing stress much easier.

Like I said before, a six month internship was a huge commitment on my part. I really, truly believe that I got the experience that I signed up for and I would like to thank Frontier for holding up their end of the bargain.

Alun Thomas: Marketing & Events Intern

October 2009 - March 2010

Having graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA in Russian and Politics, I considered various options before settling on an internship with Frontier, with the hope of getting a practical understanding of event management and marketing. I have always been committed to work in a non-profit organisation of some kind, and Frontier seemed to offer a great opportunity to claim some of that elusive office experience whilst contributing to the protection of our natural environment.

Having completed my 6-month contract, I am pleased to say that my duties have stretched well beyond the kettle and the photocopier. I was initially restricted to basic office administration, and any intern may sometimes need to act forcefully to ensure that they continue to develop during their time at Frontier. However, this is all a lesson in self-assurance, and I did become closely involved in organising and co-ordinating events, vetting applicants to Frontier and handling initial enquiries.

As a result my attention to detail, use of my own initiative in the workplace and competence with office software has improved considerably. The school and university events I have attended around the country have allowed me to see much more of the UK and have made me a more disciplined public speaker. I have learnt much from my colleagues here in the office about effective management, customer service and professionalism.

In the short term I will be looking for similar office work back up north in Sheffield, and I am hoping to start a PhD in Russian Intellectual History in September of 2011. I'd like to thank all at Frontier for a very friendly, supportive atmosphere and wish everyone the best for the future.

Genevieve Finerty: Project Coordinator Intern

August 2009 - February 2010

Having graduated from Imperial College with a Bsc in Biology in the summer of 2009, my original plan was to take a year out to travel after university; however I was pointed in the direction of Frontier by a friend who had noticed the internship opportunity. It was actually the first (and only) thing I had applied for and I was very pleased when they offered me a place in UK Operations.

During my six months I have gained a solid amount of office experience and consolidated my Microsoft Office skills. There is quite a large administrative side to this role, which can seem a bit tedious at times, but there are more interesting sides of it to balance that out! The role relies upon you having strong organisation and time planning skills and to be self motivated when it comes to getting on with your work - all good skills to be able to demonstrate on your CV.

As well as work specific to this role, Interns also represent Frontier at events such as school talks and fairs. This was a bit daunting at first, but was really useful in the long run as a way to gain some experience in giving presentations.

I enjoyed working with all the people in the office - although hectic at times, it has quite a relaxed feel to it, which makes for a pleasant work atmosphere. I am now going on to study a Masters in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation with a view to working in the conservation industry. Frontier provided me with an interesting insight into how a conservation NGO works as well as providing me with some good experience to put down on my CV.

Alison Hyland: Research & Development Intern

July 2009 - February 2010

Having graduated from university in November 2008 I was finding it quite difficult to get a job, or even an interview, as those advertised were generally looking for someone with professional experience. I feel the Research & Development internship has been a great opportunity to gain experience in environmental research and this will stand me in good stead during my future job-hunt. Indeed, I have already been offered two interviews in the coming weeks and I feel that this can largely be attributed to my experience with Frontier.

I feel I have gained a lot throughout my six months with Frontier. In particular my presentation skills, and confidence when presenting, have improved considerably which I think will stand to me throughout my career. In addition I have gained experience in different styles of writing, especially publicity materials such as articles for the newsletter and website, which I didn't possess previously. In regards to research I have become more comfortable with using SPSS and statistical packages I previously hadn't used; minitab and sigmaplot. Also, having a background in natural resources meant I didn't have much experience in conservation or species research so it was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge in this field. It has been great working with both Mark and Elise, in particular I enjoyed the direction and structure that Elise has brought to the Research & Development department.

As my first job after university it has been a great stepping stone which I hope will lead to a future career in environmental research or education. The internship gave me the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that my academic career hadn't so I feel it has been invaluable in terms of future job prospects.

Melanie Welfare: Overseas Operations Intern

August 2009 - February 2010

I came to the Frontier internship by a slightly roundabout route, not coming straight after university as have many of the other interns. But I knew that I wanted to get experience in a conservation organisation and when I saw the internship, I felt it would be the perfect way to gain relevant skills and knowledge.

Since I started the internship in the Overseas Operations Department, I feel that I have learnt a wide variety of new skills and improved my abilities in many areas. Organisation is a key a part of the smooth running of any NGO and I definitely improved my capacity in this area even though at times it seemed that no amount of organisation would get everything done! That said, the atmosphere and staff of the office meant that even when things were at their busiest, working at Frontier was always relaxed and fun. This is probably the key part of working at Frontier that will stick with me- the people that I have met and worked with. Everyone here has similar goals and interests which means that the staff get along well and that has made a huge difference to the time I have spent at Frontier.

In terms of new/ improved skills, I feel more confident in a range of areas. These are all skills I can take forward in a general way- talking to variety of people in a range of situations, working with and understanding databases (!) feeling more comfortable and capable in an office/ logistics/ organisation type role and taking part in interviews for new staff members- are just some examples. I have also gained a huge insight into the way an NGO runs behind the scenes. This specifically will be a great help in the career I hope to have, setting me up well for future roles and providing with contacts in the area I wish to pursue next.

Overall, I have really enjoyed this internship and feel that it was the right step to have taken at this time. I hope now to take all that I have learnt here and in other roles and use it to get a great job and do something worthwhile!

Lizzy Ward: Research & Development Intern

July 2009 - January 2010

I graduated from university in June 2009, and was really excited to get the Research & Development internship so soon afterwards. My degree was a BSc in Zoology, and I have always been very passionate about the natural world, conservation and travel. This internship therefore satisfied most of my criteria for a perfect job, giving me experience in the environment and conservation sector whilst opening up opportunities to travel and research abroad. I was very interested and enthusiastic about my degree but I was keen to gain an insight into how conservation works from a practical point of view.

The Research & Development internship is very diverse. It has given me good experience in the more scientific side of the job such as scientific reporting, data analysis using SPSS and conducting literature searches. I have also been glad of the chance to be involved in the development of the projects, particularly writing a grant proposal and researching potential projects and funding opportunities. I have enjoyed the variety the internship brings in having to switch from very formal scientific language in the reports, to writing more chatty and entertaining news articles for the website and science newsletters.

The side of the job that I have enjoyed the least is the school talks, although this is the are of the job that I have got the most our of from a personal perspective. I am not a natural speaker, but it has been valuable experience and I feel a great deal more confident as a result. I also found calling the field staff a little daunting, mainly because of the time delay which makes a fluent conversation quite difficult! However, I feel my improved public speaking and communication skills will be invaluable in the future.

In the future I hope to do a PhD, but my internship with Frontier has been a worthwhile change from academia and has provided me with essential skills that my degree did not. My experience as an Research & Development intern has also prepared me well for the next six months working as an assistant research officer on the Cambodia project. I look forward to getting out to the forest, so that I can put all that I have learnt at LHQ into practice.

Rachel Williams: Marketing Intern

July - December 2009

I applied for Frontier soon after graduating from university and in July 2009 began my internship with the Marketing department. Having done a gap year myself and been part of various volunteer projects throughout university, I was excited to get involved in a more ‘behind the scenes' role and learn more about how NGOs operate with Frontier. While my personal interests have previously been in teaching English and community work, after working with so many enthusiastic conservationists at Frontier I've definitely learnt more about the great work and crucial research volunteers do around the world- and if anything, my species knowledge has vastly improved over the last 6 months!

It's hard to define what my job description has been since it's been so varied and I've had the opportunities to get involved in so many different types of projects. Throughout my internship I designed a new Frontier poster, created a presentation, managed the email campaign, designed newsletters and even had the opportunity to write the content for the new Frontier travel advice website, Gap Year Advice. I've been very fortunate to work for some incredibly encouraging and supportive managers, Ian and Jen, who have pushed me to stretch my abilities but also apply my talents, particularly my creative and writing skills, to any job at hand and also learn some invaluable new ones, such as HTML and web management despite me being a complete novice. Jen devised a great structure to the internship by assigning specific projects for me to take on, allowing me to be in control of all aspects from initial research to completion and then see how these projects will ultimately benefit the organisation. With appraisals throughout the internship, I've been able to see where I've improved since I started and also learn what aspects I can still improve on for future jobs.

As my first 'real' job after university, Frontier has been a great welcome to the working world and also has been an exciting introduction into the world of NGOs. Thanks to the experience and knowledge I've gained from my internship, I've already got another job lined up for the New Year. In future, I hope to continue working in the NGO sector but ideally somewhere a little more exotic than London- spending 6 months looking at all the fantastic volunteer photographs has only made my feet itchier to get overseas!