Student Vincent Oluoch - MSc Leisure, Tourism and Environment

I have always wanted to offer my services to an organization that is growing and that is concerned with conservation of natural resources and development of local communities. I found that in Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA). My search for an internship opportunity included sharing of ideas with my Supervisors in college. They helped me establish contacts with the CEO of this organization. KWCA is a landowner led national membership organization that represents wildlife conservancies in Kenya. It works with land owners to create an enabling environment for conservancies to deliver environmental and livelihood benefits.

The opportunities to interact and work with various organizations and experts in natural resource management have been amazing.

What are you doing in your internship?

My first field event was to Maasai Mara National reserve, this event was concerned with understanding the various aspects of conservancies within Maasai Mara Ecosystem. To achieve this, we conducted interviews with representatives of various conservancies. One of my main objectives of this internship is to profile these conservancies to fill a gap that is currently lacking within the organization. My report captures various aspects of these conservancies for example, rangeland management, land ownership etcetera. The Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association is currently recruiting its members throughout the country. This process has attracted about 70 conservancies out of a possible 150 conservancies. What I am also undertaking during my internship is to analyze these conservancies that have registered with the organization with a view of gaining an understanding on various differences and similarities of these conservancies.  Additionally, I am conducting phone interviews with some of the conservancies that are yet to register with the organization to understand the reasons behind their slow or non-registration.

Any outstanding stories that you would like to share about your experience?

My whole experience with this organization has been outstanding. Visiting various wildlife conservancies have been fulfilling. The opportunities to interact and work with various organizations and experts in natural resource management have been amazing.

Future ambitions

I have always wanted to go into research. That might mean furthering my studies after my Msc should opportunities arise. In the meantime, I am just doing my best to deliver my internship objectives within the given time frame.

From your experience, what would you recommend to current students looking for internship opportunity?

I think we are accustomed to organizations coming up with projects for us to fulfill, I would advise future students to be proactive, search widely the organizations that you might be interested in and do not wait for them to design a project for you, you can always identify a gap in what these organizations do and approach them with your ideas. This might prove fruitful in search for an internship. Start early and network widely. It can save you the heartache that comes with these hustles.