I applied for and was accepted onto DWT’s undergraduate student attachment programme, which I undertook in the 2011/12 Zimbabwean academic year. The programme covered everything from project planning and execution, analysing, report writing and how to communicate wildlife research. These skills were further strengthened with the opportunity for fieldwork in Matobo National Park and with the surrounding communities; accompanying and assisting experienced DWT research personnel was incredibly valuable.
These learning opportunities covered fundamental areas which neatly complemented and filled out the remaining gaps from the teaching that I had received from my university. Along with insightful research supervision from DWT, I was able to apply these acquired skills in carrying out an impeccable independent piece of ecological research, for which I was awarded a Distinction by my university. On completion of the 4th and final year of my degree, I was accepted to re-join DWT to run the Matobo Biodiversity Monitoring Programme, during which time DWT continued to provide opportunities to further develop in the areas of statistical analysis and geographic information systems software. DWT also helped facilitate my attendance and presentation at a regional conference abroad.
The skills and experience I gained with the support of DWT enabled me to gain acceptance onto a fully-funded conservation skills programme in Tanzania, the United States and a Masters degree at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.