We asked the 26-year-old what motivates him.
1. What inspired you to work in the sector?
My passion for the environment started in high school with my geography teacher while we were doing maps and other outdoor activities. One project that inspired me was community clean-up which initiated recycling for the community.
2. What’s your favourite memory of your internship?
That has to be the Green Careers Programme. I loved interacting with students and sharing my career journey with them. I was able to motivate them to study what they enjoy and are passionate about. It gave me the chance to tell them where to look for jobs and raise the issue about the scarcity of skills in the sector.
3. What value has this experience brought you?
It’s allowed me to develop as a person and proved that I made a right choice of career. I have grown my work ethic and improved my research skills. I wanted to gain valuable work experience and learn to cope in a work environment while making a positive difference where I am.
4. What has been the biggest learning curve?
Sharing with students what skills are needed in the sector and I also learned about new careers like Statistical Ecologist.
5. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you during the internship – in the field or office?
The funniest thing that has happened to me was when I had to wear the panda suit during Mandela Day in 2015 and had to do the Madiba Jive at the office. Every time I think about the Madiba Jive I just laugh because it was so funny.
6. What advice would you give to a young person planning to study?
Pursue a career that you see yourself doing for the next 20 or 100 years. Don’t be driven by the salary you will be earning but by the happiness you will be having every day you wake up to begin your day.
7. What do you plan to do after the internship?
I want to work as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer or Skills Development Officer. This will depend on the availability of opportunities and employment. Further to this I want to support at least one student who wants to study towards a degree or diploma by giving financial or moral support as a result of giving back to the community and making a difference.
8. What do you think makes SA’s environmental future so bright?
Young people want to be part of the solution in the climate change phenomenon.