An Interview with WiseOceans… Juliet Gressle from Fregate Island Private

This week we’re with Juliet Gressle, Conservation volunteer at Fregate Island Private in Seychelles.

Her advice is to take every opportunity that comes your way!

Name: Juliet Gressle

Job Title: Conservation Volunteer

Organisation: Fregate Island Private, Seychelles

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
After swimming with dolphins when I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist and my passion for the ocean never faded since that day.  As I got older I started to realize how much humans are affecting the marine environment and how much marine life is impacted because of it, and that made me want to pursue a career in marine conservation.   
  • What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?

I starting volunteering at my local aquarium when I was 14 and I volunteered at aquariums / marine organizations every summer until I graduated college.  I took every research opportunity I could when I was in college as well.  This field is very competitive and I try to apply to as many jobs as I can and take advantage of any opportunities I get offered.  

  • How did you land your current job/position? 

I found the job listing on WiseOceans and I was so excited to apply.  I think my previous experience working with turtles and traveling to isolated, tropical locations helped me land this position.   

  • Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

Being able to see hawksbill turtles everyday in such an amazing location! They are such beautiful animals and being able to interact with them everyday is a dream. 

  • Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’? 

When we help baby turtles make it out to sea I always feel like I am making a difference.  If we didn’t translocate nests in high traffic or light polluted areas or prevent the crabs, birds, etc. from going after the hatchlings as they move down the beach, I know a lot of them wouldn’t make it.  I also feel like I am making a difference when I talk to the hotel guests about the turtles and why they are so important for the marine environment.  Education is such a powerful tool and the more people who know about the problems going on, the more people who are willing to help make a difference. 

  • What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?  

I wish I knew how competitive this field was before starting out.  But nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, and this field is definitely worth pursuing.   

  • Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?

A lot of jobs I’ve applied for not only want you to have a degree, but want you to be dive certified, have boating experience, and be profiecent in statistical software.   

  • What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?  

Take every opportunity you can and get as much experience as you can before you graduate college.  In my experience, most jobs care more about your experience than your degree.   

  • What is your favourite marine creature and why?  

My favourite marine animal is the great hammerhead shark.  Sharks are very misunderstood creatures, and most people don’t realize how essential they are for the marine ecosystem. 

  • What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?  

Swimming with a whale shark in the Galapagos Islands last summer!  It was absolutely incredible.  They are such beautiful and graceful animals and I was so lucky to encounter one.   

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Thank you Juliet, we agree that taking every opportunity that comes your way and gaining experience through volunteer programmes is a great way to boost your employability and CV.

Would you like the opportunity to volunteer with Fregate Private Island? Check out their conservation volunteer opportunities here.

Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly job alert emails and keep an eye on our Wise Work pages so you don’t miss your dream opportunity in more marine conservation.

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