Beach clean team

Make the most of your summer, boost your CV and start your marine conservation career

You’re finished with school; your exams are behind you. Maybe you’ve already secured your place in university, perhaps you are waiting to hear. Maybe you’ve decided to have a gap year or skip uni altogether. But what should you do with this summer now that you haven’t got any plans? How can you really make the most of this time? We’re here to help!


Become a valuable volunteer! Most not-for-profits and charities rely on the hard work of committed volunteers to continue to run their programmes. Whether you volunteer for a one-off beach clean or become a regular volunteer getting involved in all aspects of the organisation, volunteering is a great way to gain skills, meet people and have fun! Not sure where to start? Contact your local Wildlife Trust and have a look at our job board for current volunteering opportunities we know of.


Interning is a great way to make the step from school to working. Lots of marine conservation organisations offer internships, particularly over the summer months when the weather is good, surveys are happening, and tourists are travelling. Some internships are unpaid, some may offer food and accommodation in exchange for your time, and some may even offer a stipend or salary. All will offer you new experiences and training on the job. Do your research, get in touch with organisations that align with you and get out there!

Go on an expedition

How about heading off on a marine conservation expedition? From surveying sharks in South Africa, to counting coral in Thailand, there is an expedition out there for you! Join experienced marine biologists for week or month-long programmes that focus on training young marine conservationists, enhancing skills and enabling you to kickstart your career! Head over to our Marine Expeditions page to check out some of our favourite expeditions!

Gain work experience

Don’t worry if you haven’t got the cash to travel or need to stay at home this summer. Getting more work experience is useful, whatever the role. Whether it’s in the field, or not, you’ll pick up useful skills – from customer service to using software. Employers love to see people that are proactive and have a good work ethic. Take your CV round small businesses in your area and see if they’ve got any summer jobs going.

Complete a course

You’re probably sick of revision and exams! But learning is always helpful. Why not get qualified in something new? Think about those skills that might help you stand out from the crowd! Whether it’s a first aid course, learning a new language or getting your PADI Open Water, these extra qualifications can really make the difference when applying for your dream job in the future. Nowadays, there are loads of courses available for free online, so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your bedroom!


Get yourself out there! Send emails, visit conservation centres, and meet some people active in the field. Networking is one of the most important things you can do to get your foot in the door. Never underestimate the power of a connection and making a good impression. See if there are any events you can attend near your home and go along – it can be daunting at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will be!

Whatever you decide to do, go for it, and have a brilliant summer!

Happy snorkellers learning to snorkel!

Read our full “Interview with WiseOceans” series for more advice

Visit our job board to see current opportunities

Check out our expeditions page

See all our blogs for more top tips