Lately I’ve had a lot of people asking HOW I managed to get this amazing opportunity. I can’t speak for what my mentors-to-be thought of me but I can tell you where I found the job posting and what I told them in my applications.
I found the posting, along with many other environment-related jobs, on the Good Work Canada Website (http://www.goodworkcanada.ca/). I was interested in another position in Kingston working with the Sisters of Providence as an intern for their heritage seed preservation (http://www.providence.ca/?cat=30). My interest in both of these opportunities arose as I my interest in using nature as a therapeutic setting grew. The sisters got back to me a while ago but I did not hear back from them. This likely turned out for the better as the experience at Bantry Bay Farm will be a more comprehensive learning experience than I would find working at the seed sanctuary in Kingston. Doubtlessly, both positions have their own unique merits and lessons. However, I have loved the Maritime provinces on every occasion I have visited and feel that I will find a much better fit on the farm in New Brunswick than with the sisters in Kingston.
My cover letter to the Bantry Bay Farm was as honest and forthcoming about my personal views and interests as possible. I have a sincere adoration and respect of the natural world that often makes any work I do outdoors very enjoyable. My easy-going demeanour and ability to work closely with just about anybody gave me confidence that I would be an agreeable team member in a farm setting. I have also spent the last few years cultivating my own green thumb so I know that I can keep plants alive. I have never had the opportunity to test my skills in a larger, outdoor, setting so working on a farm seemed like the ideal chance to do so.
Expressing my professional goals as a Therapeutic Recreation student also worked in my favour as the educational aspect of the apprenticeship made the position an ideal pairing with my personal goals and interests.
My suggestions for anybody looking to find themselves a similar work experience are as follows:
- Develop goals for yourself that are honest, achievable, and that you are passionate enough about to work hard for to accomplish.
- Look or opportunities that make good use of your skills (this sounds obvious but I believe that people sometimes try to reach beyond their abilities and are disappointed when they do not land the job)
- Keep an open mind and be flexible. If you really believe a posting is worth the experience then do not worry about other things. Sometimes the key to success is building yourself through your work and leisure (for example: my first ‘seeds’ of interest in such an apprenticeship began with hobby gardening)
- This ties into the last bit of point #3, but don’t discount your hobbies as being valuable. Chances are if you enjoy something and are passionate enough to pursue it as a hobby then doing something similar as work is going to engage you to work harder than otherwise.