Graduate Profile : Karl Villanueva

Where are you currently working?  I am currently working at Freycinet Experience Walk and Tarkine Trails but in April, I start with World Expeditions on the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory.

What do you love most about your job?  There are so many things, I honestly can’t choose one.  Firstly, there are the people I get to meet.  Every single person has got an interesting story to tell and they are just waiting for someone to listen.

Next are the people I work with – they become your best friends and family and you miss them when you finish a trip and you look forward to the next one with them.

Finally, but not least, are the ever-changing destinations.  I have been asked a few times ‘Doesn’t it get boring?’ but my response remains the same.  I love the detail – I love the smallest things that make it so changeable and so beautiful – the little things that without a guide, you would miss.  I have had the chance to see every flowering plant from late Autumn through Summer to Autumn again, but most of my guests will only see one part of that process – but I’ve experienced the whole cycle.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I studied the Certificate III in Guiding and the Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding and also the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation in 2016.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  Where to start!  The trainers for one!  They were amazing –  they have had first-hand experience and pass on first-hand knowledge of the industry which is invaluable.  Also the opportunity to network and meet people and future employers in the industry.  They really give you the chance to jump into your career with both feet!

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  In so many ways!  I came from a background that couldn’t tell the difference between an introduced weed and an endemic plant, or even what endemic was, but now I know them both!  The biggest thing was just how much I had to learn and just how much appreciation and love I could have, for what I was doing.  It’s so awesome to imagine where I could be in five or ten years.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  I have had a few but on two occasions, guests have told me that I made the right decision to change careers and to keep it up and never doubt my decision – that was really humbling to hear.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  David Attenborough without question.  It sounds clichéd, but he is my hero.  That being said, I’ve recently been reading a book by the Dalai Lama and he would be an extremely close second!

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Stop thinking about it and do it!  You will never regret it, but you will always envy the person you know that actually did!

 RTO Code: 60142


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