Sharing experiences, key skills and insights into life at UEA Sharing experiences, key skills and insights into life at UEA

Job Title: Animal Record Keeper and ZAM Administration
Employer: Banham Zoo Ltd (including Africa Alive! and Dinosaur Adventure)
Location: Norfolk

Please explain how your career has developed since graduating.
I worked at UEA Library as I realised I wanted to change my career path. I studied an HNC in Animal Science & Welfare at Easton College and volunteered. Completed two year course and I got my current job.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?
The work we do at the zoo and my involvement in conservation is very rewarding. I use my language extensively both within the zoo community and also the conservation work.

What steps did you take in finding employment (e.g. careers centre, job websites, networking events)?
EDP and company websites.

What are the key skills you learnt at UEA?
How to study; the importance of presentation and IT skills - many skills improved on my year abroad.

How have they made a difference in your career?
Set me apart and given me skills and confidence in areas that have helped my career progress and to get promotions that I wouldn't have had without those skills.

Do you have any tips for current students or recent graduates?
It is a competitive world out there; aim for perfectionism in everything you do.

If you use languages in your job, how do you use them and what do you use them for?
I use my language skills for communication with French and Tunisian zoos; translation for a conservation project we're involved with in Madagascar as well as writing the website for this project which is in English, French and Malagasy.

What is the professional and personal value you place on being able to speak a language other than English?
It gives you that extra edge on most graduates. It opens up many more career options including in other countries; English as a first language is highly sought after combined with at least one fluent second language. I'm really pleased I studied French.

Can you provide a short description of an incident from your time at UEA, your year abroad or your professional life which stands out (language related or not)?
I was really pleased when within three months of starting my current position my salary increased by a considerable amount and I have continued to do well with the skills I learnt from my degree.