Carla Taylor

Carla Taylor (profile)
Degree Title: 
BA Honours, Major in ID with Area of Emphasis in Biophysical Environment
Graduation Date: 

My first international work experience came right after my graduation in 2005, when I was selected for an internship with the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) at the University of Victoria. It was with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia and was funded through CIDA’s International Youth Internship Program. Working on a small island in the Pacific was a great experience and after the internship I was hired to write a proposal to develop a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve on a nearby small atoll (sand island).

Following this I then took a position with CAPI managing the internship program I had been a participant in and the other international work-study programs managed by CAPI.  I also pursued a Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University three years later in 2008.

A year later I implemented a project in Uganda with the Jane Goodall Institute for teachers on teaching strategies, environmental education and developing community action plans to implement in their communities. I was inspired by the passion and resilience of the students and teachers I worked with there.

Shortly there after I worked as a Jr. Delegate with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) at the Americas Zone Office with the Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU). This was a fantastic experience as I was able to work on international disaster response operations within countries across the Caribbean and Central and South America. Currently, I am working with the Canadian Red Cross on the development and deployment of Health Emergency Response Units, as well as other capacity development initiatives to assist in international crises.

I have had the opportunity to do many exciting and interesting projects, but the path was anything but direct or clear. My recommendation for anyone starting in this field is to be creative, take initiative to look for potential opportunities and to not get discouraged.