GoAbroad Interview

Georgie Collcutt - Marketing and Overseas Project Manager

Georgie joined the Oyster Worldwide marketing team in 2016, following six years running Oyster's outback farm programme in rural Australia. She currently manages the Australian and New Zealand projects and half of the animal welfare projects around the world, while also managing Oyster's marketing and sales. She is particularly passionate about Oyster's work programmes in Australia, having been through the experience of working abroad in Australia herself. Georgie is on-hand to chat with prospective and current participants about work visas, touristing, the outback, cities, and anything and everything about Australia! She loves traveling, and especially staying in locations for a long period of time to really get to know how the locals live. On top of her experience with Oyster Worldwide, Georgie studied in San Francisco for a year, volunteered in an orphanage in Ghana for a few months, and she has lived in Melbourne, Brisbane, and rural Queensland.

What inspired you to work in international education?

I am a traveller myself and have lived in various locations across the world. I love helping others broaden their horizons, as well as supporting some of our fabulous projects that are so detrimental to worthwhile causes such as animal welfare, conservation and teaching in developing countries. I am particularly passionate about helping participants gain visas to experience working and living in foreign countries having done this successfully myself.

Horse-back riding in a ranch

What does a typical day at work look like for you as the Marketing and Overseas Project Manager?

When I arrive into the office, I check my emails and deal with any issues that might have occurred overnight with regard to participants travelling overseas. I spend a lot of time arranging travel and dealing with pre-departure organisation. Beyond this I work with the creative side of the business; maintaining our social media sites, branding and website content. Quite often we have visitors to the office to talk about various programmes, and other external consultants pop in for meetings. The perks of course involve the odd trip overseas myself to visit projects and take part in marketing events.

Riding on the back of a horse

Why is travel so important in the world today?

The world is more accessible today than it has ever been. It is important for people to gain a greater understanding about things they don’t understand. There is a great fear of the unknown, but hopefully desire and curiosity to learn something new will win out when it comes to that battle.

What are some of your favorite aspects about Australia and New Zealand? Why?

I am a fan of the outdoors. New Zealand is hands down one of the most beautiful and picturesque countries in entire world. Australia offers rainforest, desert, outback country, snow-capped mountains, ocean, lakes and just about every terrain going. I’ve spent a lot of time all over and have only just scratched the surface. In both countries the people are laid back, friendly and always willing to help any traveller in need.

What kind of international experiences have helped you in the role you play currently?

I lived in Australia for 6 years and ran a programme that helped working holiday makers make the transition from their home-country to rural placements in Australia. My experience with visas, transfers, admin, geography and job finding allows me to give a lot of advice to those looking to take part in any of Oyster’s work programmes in this part of the world. I studied in America, travelled South-East Asia and taught English in an orphanage in Ghana. All these experiences have helped me greatly with understanding the nature of Oyster’s diverse range of programmes, and enabled me to advise those are looking for an experience overseas.

With a baby kangaroo

What do you love most about your job?

I am passionate about travel and I get to work with our fantastic programmes every day. As a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, I can still be involved with country that I call home, and hopefully help others in the initial steps of discovering the great opportunity that this continent can offer.

What is the best destination for animal welfare travelers in your opinion? Why?

I think South Africa is an amazing place to start. We offer programmes at a monkey and baboon sanctuary, in shark conservation, at an elephant conservation centre, a rescued lion sanctuary and on a big game reserve. What an opportunity to support and learn about exotic animals and help protect some of the most fascinating species that now devastatingly face extinction.

How do you support clients throughout their time abroad?

We are in constant contact with participants pre-departure, during their stay and on return to home-country. We have projects reps on the ground in every country who are there 24/7 to assist with any issues. Our online system provides ample information about our projects, arrival, country and culture, flight and insurance advice - basically a step-by-step guide to anything that our participants might need once onshore. We also have a 24 hours emergency contact here in the UK.

Why has digital marketing grown in importance for companies like Oyster Worldwide in the last 5 years?

People have busy lives. They want a simple booking process and want to be able to do this at any time of the day from any location in the world. Social media offers great reach and networking, in most cases this is free for everyone and a great way to connect.

Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

I would like to travel to The Rocky Mountains in the US. I visited Colorado this year but sadly was unable to make it out to a ranch stay which has always been one of my dreams. I would love to visit Montana or Wyoming and spend all day riding horses and working with cattle as I used to do in Australia. It’s the best job in the world!