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Volunteer stories: Nick's story

Nick Baxter – Project Development Intern/Project Specialist

Nick Baxter in China

Hi, I’m Nick Baxter and I spent a year at SEED Madagascar, working as Project Development intern (later Project Specialist) on education and environment projects.

Prior to joining SEED Madagascar, my background was in science teaching. Without any qualifications or experience in development work it was difficult to see how I’d break into the field, but I applied to SEED Madagascar and got the position. It sounds dramatic, but it changed my life.

I’m now employed as an freelance expert for a technical co-operation project in China, working with both the European Union and Chinese government and putting the communication and project management insights I gained at SEED Madagascar to good use. Tellingly, I found my flat in Beijing through another SEED Madagascar alumnus – as well as elementary-level surfing abilities, amazing photographs, even better memories, and the skills and experience for my next job, I came away from SEED Madagascar with a host of incredible, inspiring friends in Madagascar and all over the world. I also worked on some challenging projects that helped me to think rigorously about the objectives of development work and how to plan and implement a project effectively. SEED Madagascar’s high standards mean that the projects I contributed to are still useful to individuals and communities in the Anosy region, and the same high standards pushed me to grow personally and professionally, and led directly to my current position. (It was also the most fun and enjoyable year I’ve ever spent.)