“George Miles, from Intern to Co-Project Manager,
Perhentian Marine Research Project”
George completed a 2-month internship at the Perhentian Dive Project, where he learnt invaluable skills…
What were you doing before interning with Fuze Ecoteer?
I completed my BSc Marine Biology from the University of Essex, 2012 – 2015. After this, I completed my MSc Tropical Marine Biology, also from the University of Essex. This was a 12 month course and was completed in September 2017. For both degrees I was required to complete dissertations/independent research projects.
I completed no formal internship, however I did complete my PADI Divemaster qualification over the summer of 2015. This was a 2 month course which I did in Thailand, before beginning my MSc. For the work I am doing now and wish to do in the future this was crucial. Over both of my courses I also completed various placements and field courses, these were also a big bonus, especially for fieldwork.
I must admit, Fuze Ecoteer did appeal to me a lot. It was due to the fact that it was a first year project, which immediately rose some alarm bells but I think for the right reasons. I saw it as a challenge and something that, if it worked well, I could be proud of – massively due to the fact that we would be setting up our own project from essentially nothing, which is what we have done.
What has your work with Fuze Ecoteer involved?
I started out as a Research Assistant Intern – here my responsibilities included coordinating volunteers and helping with marine research. You learn a lot about problem solving in this line or work.
The program was in its infancy when I joined and I got the chance to become Co-Project Manager. This meant I got to structure the entire volunteer program (which we created from scratch), and teach it to volunteers. I gained experience in leading data collection,as well as managing volunteers, finances and logistics.
What skills did you gain and how did this help your career?
As well as the core marine conservation skills, I can definitely say I have developed my project management and people management skills.
What has been your biggest achievement with Fuze Ecoteer?
Creating an entire project from nothing, and one that we are happy with that has actual roots in field conservation work.
What is your advice to others aiming for a conservation/environmental career?
Get experience, I know it’s hard but you have to keep plugging away – and work hard at uni!
For a role like mine, you need to have patience and clarity of thought. This role is almost 50% problem solving, you HAVE to be flexible and be able to come up with your own ideas, trial and error has been a huge part of the job for us.