Lizzie Prior

“I didn’t do any volunteering during my undergraduate degree so this became a massive challenge once graduating and looking for work.”

As a Beach and River Clean Project Officer I work on delivering our partnership with Waitrose to build our engagement with our beach clean work. I also lead on the planning and analysis for our flagship beach cleaning weekend, Great British Beach Clean which occurs every year in September.

Did you always want to be in this role?

I always wanted to work in marine conservation. I was never sure in what capacity. I found it all interesting (and still do!) it wasn’t until I did my undergraduate degree that I began to form some ideas of the area I was interested in. This did however get turned on its head when I did volunteering work out in the Philippines. This is where I did my first beach clean and had my first taste of community engagement.

How did you get into this role?

I volunteered at MCS as an office sea champion because I happen to live not far from the office. I initially didn’t have a car so it did take around 2 hours door to door to get to the office but I didn’t mind as I enjoyed my time when I was there. I mostly did admin work but I also form time to time did presentations on behalf of MCS and helped out as a researcher. A job then came up at MCS in their beach cleaning programme, perfect!

What would you say was your biggest challenge getting to where you are?

More and more people are getting undergraduate degrees and Masters, so you need more on your CV to stand out. I didn’t do any volunteering during my undergraduate degree so this became a massive challenge once graduating and looking for work.

What’s the best bit about your job?

Working with a great team of passionate people but also working with a fantastic network of volunteers up and down the UK from all walks of life and all working towards the same goal. It’s an awesome feeling.

What bit of advice would you give your younger self?

To my late-teen self it would be to volunteer and as much as possible. It’s such great fun, and you learn so much on what you find interesting and meet lots of great people who work in the fields you may, one day want to work in. I started volunteering in my early twenties but wish I had started years before.

What’s your favourite sea creature?

Oo this is a tricky one. It’s between an Orca and a Nudibranch. Contrast I know!

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