A Day in the Life of a Work Experience Student
So what is work experience like at Natural Area? Amber recently completed a week-long work experience program with us and here is what she had to say about the experience.
As it was the beginning of my work experience I was very nervous. However, these nerves were quick to dissipate as Andrew, Jess and the rest of the nursery staff were so welcoming and informative. I learnt the tips and tricks of potting on and the significance of production in nursery work. Additionally, I learnt how to take correct cuttings and was able to ask David Hancock many questions about a career in the environmental field when out collecting material from Samphire plants. I truly enjoyed my time working with the nursery as it helped develop my botanical knowledge and made me feel a part of something that will help revegetate Australia.
Seed collection with Taryn was a very interesting experience. I learnt how advantageous it was to confidently identify plants at all stages of growth and development. Once back at the depot, Taryn demonstrated how to correctly process and clean a variety of seed and the importance of cleaning and following strict hygiene procedures as a lot of the seed was sold to clients. I appreciated being exposed to seed collection as it was something I have not previously experienced.
Wednesday was a very notable day for me as it really reinforced how important it is to have a strong botanical knowledge. The task for the day was to assist Sharon in the field by taking photos whilst Sharon observed and noted the flora and fauna. Sharon was very patient and was willing to answer all my questions and I truly thank her for this. I now plan to develop my skills in GIS and CAD. This day really reinforced how important it is to have stakeholder engagement and how management plans are often tailored to the desires of the Client. Sharon, like every other Natural Area staff member that I worked with had a real passion for the environment and was truly admirable. I have learnt that successful consulting is the result of the development of communication and people skills, time and dedication to accumulate a wide range of knowledge.
Thursday I was at the Beeliar Depot. As a thunderstorm rolled in the night before I wasn’t sure what I would be facing. The team at the Beeliar Depot were also very welcoming and more than happy to help me revise certain botanical names and their importance. From this, I have created a journal and aim to further my botanical knowledge. I enjoyed getting out and hand weeding a revegetation site and enjoyed collecting the information for a monthly monitoring program. I really appreciate the effort taken to organise for me to go to a different location. I feel that this allowed me to gain different insights and perspectives.
Friday I worked within the nursery as well as cleaned and processed seed. I found seed processing and cleaning a rewarding experience; creating a usable product for the Client and the nursery. While in the nursery, I potted and propagated plants. I enjoyed the production work within the nursery, knowing that the plants grow into a quality product, which I think is very rewarding. I met another work experience student Aimee and she was very efficient and hardworking. Once the day was over it felt a bit odd as I was enjoying myself so much I really wanted to be back at Natural Area on Monday! The five days of work experience really did open my eyes to the working environment within the environmental sector. I really appreciate the effort and time put in to organise my days so I could understand the bigger picture.
Interested in our work experience programs? Check the info on our website