"It’s ok to not have a detailed 5-year career plan. Stay open to opportunities as they present themselves; remain committed to professional and personal development, and importantly, do things that are fun and fulfil a sense of purpose."
As the Volunteer & Community Engagement Manager for Wales, I’m responsible for developing and delivering a range of marine conservation events and activities, including our citizen science and education programmes. You can find out more about these on our Volunteering page. I also work closely with the Wales Conservation team to support their policy & advocacy and project work.
Did you always want to be a Volunteer & Community Engagement Manager?
Not specifically, but I’ve always loved working with others and engaging with people from all walks of life – so I followed that love into this role!
How did you get into this role?
I had been with the Marine Conservation Society for about a year, working as a Research Assistant for our Wales Conservation and Clean Seas teams. While I remain very interested in research, I had been keeping an eye out for internal opportunities to explore and grow my skills and experience in engagement-focussed work. This opportunity presented itself, and I jumped at it.
What would you say was your biggest challenge getting to where you are?
Believing in myself, and my abilities. As a young person, you often self-doubt your skills and the value you can bring to a team and an organisation – and, when you do land what feels like a dream job, you can often be faced with a sense of imposter syndrome. It took a mixture of building professional confidence and entering a warm, supportive working environment to help me through this.
What’s the best bit about your job?
Building relationships with people, and spending a lot of time outdoors. No two days are the same. One moment, you may find me on a beach running a beach clean and litter survey or seaweed survey with a local community group; the next, I’ll be meeting with a Member of Senedd to advocate for the importance of volunteering and citizen science.
What bit of advice would you give your younger self?
It’s ok to not have a detailed 5-year career plan. Stay open to opportunities as they present themselves; remain committed to professional and personal development, and importantly, do things that are fun and fulfil a sense of purpose.
What’s your favourite sea creature?
Nudibranchs, 100%. It’s all about the small stuff!