Durrell Women: Fiona Marchant - Conservation Learning Manager
How long have you worked at Durrell and what does your job involve?
I have worked at Jersey Zoo for 12 years and my job as the Learning Manager means that I am responsible for the behind-the-scenes experiences and any school visits to the zoo. I’m here to make sure that a trip to the zoo is fun, interesting and allows everyone to connect with the incredible animals and the beautiful zoo itself. I also have the privilege of working alongside our amazing field teams to help them with any educational projects in Durrell’s 10 rewilding sites around the world.
What did you do before coming to work at Durrell?
Before I came to Durrell, I worked as an entertainer in an aquarium in Scotland. I could often be found dressed up as an otter or a pirate!
What were some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your career so far, and how did you overcome them?
This past year has posed some of the biggest challenges in my career so far. As a complete technophobe faced with an increasingly techy way of working to engage people, I found it a huge challenge! Being willing to learn but also being part of the fantastic Team Durrell, all with our own strengths and weaknesses, has meant that ultimately, we have adapted and succeeded.
What advice would you give to others thinking of pursuing a similar role?
Keep going. Zoo education isn’t always easy to get into, but it is incredibly rewarding and well worth the effort needed to pursue it. Do what you can to make yourself known to the organisations you like and let them get to know you and most importantly, if you really want it, do not give up. I started off at Jersey Zoo as a student 15 years ago. It took three years of keeping in touch to get a temporary assistant job and I have worked my way up from there, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Posted 11 March 2021