‘WWF’s internship was a starter pack for my career’ | WWF South Africa

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'WWF's internship was a starter pack for my career'

It has been the mentorship that former WWF intern Fisokuhle Mbatha received that has made the start to her career so inspired. Here’s how she describes her experience:

Former intern Fisokuhle Mbatha says she was fortunate to work under the mentorship of Johann Augustyn while at SADSTIA.

Using it wisely

In my culture, the elders say, “When you are offered an opportunity in life, appreciate it and make wise use of it”.

Today, I am proud to say that I participated in WWF’s Environmental Leaders Programme in 2017. I was offered a life-changing placement with the South African Deep Sea Trawling Industry Association (SADSTIA).

What I didn’t know is that this internship would be like a ‘mobile starter-pack’ loaded with success and providing a connection to networks through a service provider.

My internship was my mobile starter-pack that allowed me to build the foundations of my career.

Every graduate always seeks an opportunity to have foundational work experience to include in their curriculum vitae. This all started for me when I connected my academic knowledge of fisheries to the real-life work environment of SADSTIA.

WWF South Africa's Environmental Leaders internship programme helps graduates bridge the gap between academia and the world of work.

A great mentor

I was offered many opportunities to network with professionals in marine science, and particularly fisheries. At SADSTIA I engaged with professionals from a variety of different career fields. This created an amazing learning curve and insights into what I wanted to achieve with my career. I interacted with some of the staff from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which allowed me to get even more exposure in fisheries. I also interacted with my fellow interns, which helped enhance my skills and experiences.

My internship became my service provider. Working alongside professionals who are experts in fisheries made me feel motivated to be an internationally recognised Marine Scientist one day.

It also served as a key to unlocking doors. I was working with a very inspiring mentor, Dr Johann Augustyn, who encouraged me to do better every day. With the support from my mentor I felt comfortable to bring new perspectives into my workplace.

After completing my internship, I was appointed as a permanent Research Assistant with SADSTIA.

It is an immensely fulfilling feeling to know that the WWF Environmental Leaders Programme gave me connection and a network, and provided an incredible service to strengthen my career journey.

Fisokuhle Mbatha Photo
Fisokuhle Mbatha, Former WWF intern

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