‘Realising your dream’: Anna Gardiner


When people ask me what I want to do career wise, I usually just answer ‘Be David Attenborough’. But to expand slightly, I’d love to work on wildlife documentaries – presenting, researching, editing or all of the above. I’d like to continue writing about animals too, to develop my blog and grow its popularity, and it’d be great to get my science writing published as well! Working with science in the media is definitely the dream, because I love animals and am passionate about the power of science communication to change attitudes towards saving endangered species and taking better care of the environment.

While people do always say dream big, (and I definitely consider that quite a big dream), there are times when I feel overwhelmed with everything I want to achieve – especially because the media is a notoriously hard industry to get in to. Sometimes it can be a little disheartening and I lie down watching Family Guy instead because it’s easier than writing, or reading another scientific paper. It can really stop me being productive, so I always have to remind myself that every little bit helps and brings me closer to what I want – plus I’ve seen every Family Guy episode at least once so it’s not the best use of my time.

Another challenge for me personally, is that I find it hard to hone in on the most important skills I need to reach my goal. I’m not entirely sure what would be more desirable – if I continued studying to become more credible as a zoologist or if I keep working in science communication to gain more experience in the field. I’m quite an indecisive person naturally, and regularly flip flop between the two options – I’m still deciding right now! It can be a little stressful, but the most important thing for me is to enjoy what I’m doing and to take opportunities as they come, while always continuing to develop my skills.

Finally, financial costs can make achieving a dream job difficult too. Just recently I saw that the BBC were offering a number of unpaid internships in their U.K. headquarters – something that would offer amazing learning and networking opportunities in my dream work place. While I felt I made a strong candidate for the position, I couldn’t afford the travel and living expenses, especially considering there was no financial compensation and with my rent and university debt piled on top too – If only I had more money! It’d be great not to have to worry about costs and to really capitalise on every opportunity – I’ll just have to keep watching out for something more obtainable.

Anna Gardiner is a winner of YOA’s Writing Competition in the category ‘Realising your dream.’ Follow more of Anna’s writing on her own awesome blog ‘Odd Organisms.’ 

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