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“What Ambios does is completely unique.   You can find conservation training anywhere but I don’t think there’s another place that offers this level of practical tuition and immersive learning with such a current, sector-leading approach.”

I first came across Ambios through a vocational training course in Norway, straight out of my Zoology degree.

I don’t think I was under any illusions that finding work after University might be tough, but was surprised at just how difficult it was.  Right from the start, I’d made sure I’d done lots of practical work experience and volunteering but despite this, I was finding it impossible to demonstrate the professional experience employers wanted, without being able to gain a job to earn it.

Thinking about how to better arm myself for work, I looked back at Ambios for help and signed up for a 9 month traineeship. It turned out to be my first real experience of a proper working job.  Long term volunteers take on more responsibilities for managing the bunkhouse and helping things run smoothly and training was so experiential I felt reassured I was gaining real relevant skills that would actually equip me for a role in the conservation sector.

Just by chance, around half way through the course, a job came up within Ambios itself.  I had been feeling rather anxious about my time running out and I was feeling the pressure to start the job search again so I sat down with the team to discuss it.  That was a reality check – despite already working here, I knew the competition would be fierce, but the team was really encouraging.

Getting the job does feel incredibly liberating – like all my hard work has eventually paid off.  I had no idea what I was in for, trying to break into this industry, and without Ambios, I doubt I could ever have gathered the right mix of skills, learning and experience.  I still sometimes feel quite out of my depth, and I’m definitely still learning and I think that demonstrates the depth of the sector and why it’s so important for graduates to have such a strong skill set from the start.

Being here at Lower Sharpham Farm has also transformed my own insights and opinions.  The whole ethos of the farm is very connected to nature, and the way learning is imparted is non-judgemental, loosely directed but thought-provoking.  My thoughts have been challenged and I’ve seen people come with their own views and leave with a new mindset – it’s really mind-opening.

I’ve also been quite amazed to witness the success of other graduates, hearing about fellow students and how successful they’ve been in terms of their careers. It does fill me with positivity and when the time comes to move on from here, my prospects are better than they’ve ever been.”

Philip Wilson 


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