The 18 finalists in the “Best Jobs in the World” campaign have been chosen and they are all in preparation for an intense weeklong interview process in Australia this upcoming June. Throughout the time the finalists will be in Australia, they will undergo various challenges, interviews, and media events to test their every angle. How far will these competitors go to achieve their dream? Will they crack under the pressure?
Over the last couple of weeks I have been closely following all my social media networks and have observed the finalists and their ability to effectively rally support for their submission. Through various social media tactics, newspaper articles, and T.V appearances – the quality of talent is astonishing.
As Tourism Australia’s Canadian Travel Guru who will be heading down to Australia on June 3rd 2013, I have established a strong connection to one of the competitors and luckily had the chance to speak with him a bit further.
Greg Snell, a 27-year-old adventure tour guide from Oshawa, Ontario is in the running to secure the position as South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker.
“As Wildlife Caretaker you’ll swim with sea lions, come face to face with great white sharks and assist with conservation projects. Your duties will allow you to explore our amazing environment by foot, kayak, bicycle, and boat, taking only photographs and leaving only footprints. On Kangaroo Island you’ll talk to wallabies and cuddle koalas, sunbake with seals on the pristine beach at Seal Bay, feed echidnas in untouched bush land, and play with dolphins in the crystal clear waters.”
Seems like a dream job to me? Keep reading to see first hand what Greg had to say about the job and his position in the “Best Jobs in the World” contest.
Hello Greg! How are you doing?
G: Hi, I am well, cheers!
Care to tell me a little bit about yourself?
G: Sure thing, I am a traveller who lives for the moment and dreams of the future. I am one who relishes in the experience. I smile and laugh, cry and bleed. The greatest parts of life are the people you meet, the places you see, and the friendships you create. The world is in constant motion, and I will never get caught standing still. I was raised to take full advantage of every opportunity that crosses my path. I love life, and live in a way that embraces patience, compromise, and acceptance of another’s culture, habits, needs, and addictions.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
G: Adventurous, Ambitious, and Confident …..can I add Rugged?
Congratulations on making it to the final round of the “Best Jobs in the World” campaign! How does it feel to make it so far and to be the only Canadian selected?
G: Thank you. I feel absolutely elated. I am extremely excited to be a top three finalist for the position of Wildlife Caretaker. It feels amazing to be the only Canadian left in the race. Australia and Canada have a close knit connection and every year there are literally thousands of Working Holiday Visas granted to young Canadians looking to work in Australia and vise versa. I am excited about representing young Canadians working in Australia in the sector of travel and adventure tourism. There’s nothing like Australia and this Canuck wants to put that to the test!
How did you find out about the “Best Jobs” contest put on through Tourism Australia?
G: I was aware of the campaign that Tourism Queensland launched in 2009, but unfortunately missed the deadline to apply. Since then I have always hoped that a similar contest would re appear in the future. In the mean time I continued to follow my dreams of travel and exploration, and what do you know, almost four years later we once again have the opportunity to apply for the ‘Best Job in the World’.
What makes you the best candidate for the Wildlife Caretaker position?
G: I took a look at the six job vacancies and picked the one that best suited my professional career and personal interests. I work in an environment that resembles a zoo with no fences. I am in constant contact with wildlife from all corners of southern South America. From the caimans of the Brazilian Pantanal to the penguins in southern Patagonia, I have researched, and been immersed in, the natural wildlife and habitat of the Southern Cone – gaining a deep appreciation for its diversity and fragility. My personal travels revolve around visiting national parks, searching out rare and endemic wildlife and photographing their beauty at every opportunity possible.
I am also a certified dive master and have scuba-dived in the Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Strait of Magellan (incredibly cold). Through these experiences I have developed a strong commitment to understanding and preserving marine environments and their fascinating inhabitants.
How do you feel about the adventure you are about to take part in in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully the next year if chosen for the position?
I am very excited to be one of the final three for the position of Wildlife Caretaker. My education, work experiences, and travels for the past nine years have fully qualified me for this job. Since I began travelling, I have documented my experiences and adventures through photographs and videos, becoming more proficient with focus and time. I fully understand the value of photo-journalism and am expecting to share this experience in Australia with the world. The next couple of weeks are going to put these skills to the ultimate test. Producing engaging content in a short period of time with limited resources in remote locations, sounds perfect! If I win the position this position I will share the experience with the world!
How do you feel about thousands of Australian applications being submitted and not one being selected? Are you surprised?
G: I feel that the out of the top 150 there were outstanding candidates with outstanding campaigns, including all of the Australians. I think that one of the main concepts behind the ‘Best Jobs’ campaign is to promote travel to Australia abroad. What better way to that then having internationals come work in Australia and promote their experience back home (most likely via social networking). I am looking forward to traveling to Australia and promoting Australia back in Canada, and around the world.
What’s your most memorable “wildlife” encounter during your many years of travels?
G: Ohh, nice, that is a good question! Tough one, seriously. If I were to pick one it would be Great White Shark Cage Diving off the coast of South Africa.
The best places in the world to view and study Great Whites are coastal South Africa and South Australia. There is relatively little known about Great White Sharks and these marine communities are continually observing the sharks and trying to monitor their behavior. There are apparently only about 1000 Great Whites left on earth, which is a staggering statement considering they have been in existence for 220 million years. The population around the Cape of Good Hope is the most prevalent with an average of 300 sharks visiting the coastal waters at some point during the year. The sharks are apex predators and it was amazing to view them in their natural environment, truly awe inspiring to be face to face with such a powerful creature.
Once the shark catches the scent of the dive boat, the crew pulls a massive rotting tuna head towards the cage enticing the shark to follow. If it works they consecutively yell, “Down!” right as the shark crosses the face of the cage. At the exact moment I heard the yell I took a deep breath and dropped to the bottom of the cage. Looking up quickly I let my eyes adjust to the figure of a giant Great White passing within a foot of my face. I caught the eye contact a couple of times and couldn’t help but think it was looking straight at me. After two sessions I had seen four different sharks, was extremely cold, and well impressed with the morning. This species is something we know so little about and yet are destroying its habitat at an abominable rate. Great Whites are some of the most misunderstood creatures on earth and I am saddened to know that there existence hangs in the balance. If you ever get the chance to go Great White Cage Diving, I would highly recommend it.
How far will you go to became South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker?
G: If there was a box to think inside of I would think from the outside, then convince you that the box doesn’t actually exist. There is absolutely no limit to how far I will go to obtain this job. The trick is staying focused on the information that matters and continuing to live my life to the fullest. The world is in constant motion and I will not get caught standing still.
Thanks for your time Greg and I wish you the best of luck in the final stages of the competition, also… see you in Australia!
If you haven’t seen Greg’s application video to make it into the top 3 finalists for the Wildlife Caretaker position – make sure you check it out here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n4PMWkIcaA
Also, make sure you join his Facebook Fan Page to support him in his quest as Wildlife Caretaker. https://www.facebook.com/GregSnellWildlifeCaretaker
The competition is heating up and I can confidently assume they are starting to feel the pressure. It’s going to be a close race to the finish line, but for the lucky 6 who secure the “Best Jobs in the World,” it will be without a doubt an experience of a lifetime.
The passion and commitment all the contestants have shown to achieve their dreams is extremely inspiring and has made me reconsider what is important to me in life. Living life to the absolute fullest and having no regrets.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain