For my work experience this year, I have been lucky enough to have Matt Smith, a freelance consultant ecologist and expert on bees, take me under his wing for a couple of days of pond and reptile surveys. I went with him to learn about that kind of work that somebody in an ecological mindset could find, and I was not disappointed. Over our time together, we thrashed ponds to find what kind of invertebrate life we could find, discovering dragonflies, water spiders, pondweeds and even newts. Its really amazing finding out what kind of animals live in the little bodies of water so close to home, and the breadth and depth of Matt’s knowledge on the subject was astounding. We tramped through heathland after elusive lizards, instead finding birds and beetles, and we peeked under carpets in search of slowworms and snakes. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life, and it gave me a great insight into the sort of work that may be available to me in the future. I’m deeply thankful to Matt for giving me this wonderful experience.