Interview with Linda Hoang, Edmonton

Thu 02 Apr 2009

With just hours to till the announcement of the top 10 Best Job in the World applicants sought some answers from the top 50 that have now endured months of blogging, interviews and sleepness nights as they campaign be the first "Island Caretaker" for the Great Barrier Reef.

We received this response from Linda Hoang of Edmonston, Canada about her campaign.

1.When you started out with BJITw did you consider the amount of time that you would have to put in to eventually be the island caretaker?
I figured if I made it far into the competition that a lot of my time would have to be devoted to promoting my campaign, my video, Queensland, Australia so yeah I guess when I started I figured that this would definitely be a time commitment that I was prepared for.

2. How many hours would you estimate that you have put into your campaign?
I'm not sure about hours but ever since my video was approved and put on the BJITW website on February 10th, I have spent the majority of every day reminding people to vote for me, updating my blogs and websites, making video updates, talking to strangers both on the streets and online telling them about the contest, Queensland, and my video. Of course being a student I did have other obligations, homework, projects, studying for exams, and then working on the weekends as well as finding time to talk to the media once I made the Top 50. So it has been really busy juggling all of it but I think I've done a pretty good job and honestly it's been so much fun. Not a day has gone by since the Feb 10th where I haven't mentioned or done something BJITW-related so that's nearly 2 months of time put into all of this.

3. Who has been in the most inspirational and supportive in your campaign (outside your folks)?
The most inspirational and supportive person in this campaign outside of my parents would probably be my older brother. He's extremely supportive. He's actually getting married on July 1st so I would be missing his wedding for this once in a lifetime Island Caretaker opportunity, and he's been completely understanding of that because he really knows how much this means to me and how much I want it, and what a life changing experience it would be to get it. So he's been really great and honestly outside of that all of my friends, strangers online, everyone who believes that I can move onto the next round, that I can get this job, all of those people have been so, so supportive and I'm just so thankful to everyone.

4. There has been some media and internet coverage that has been quite critical of the campaign. Have you come in for any direct flak for your success thus far? How did you feel about it?
I have not gotten any "flak" for anything that I've said or done in my media interviews or video blogs so really my campaign has gone really smoothly, and I'm really happy about that. I guess that means I've been doing a good job right ;-)

5. What is the most important thing you have learned during the process?
The most important thing I've learned throughout this entire process is that it's so important to be yourself. I know that sounds so cliched but it's really true, like going on TV and everything I didn't try to convince people to vote for me by lying or you know representing myself differently. The person people saw, the person people see in my writing, on my websites, in my video messages and on TV, that's who I am and I think it was really important to show people me and I think it really helped in the overall process.

6. Should you not eventually become the IC, what does life look like after the dust has settled?
Should I not become Island Caretaker, but, here's hoping I do, hahaha, I will probably be doing an internship or two at a newspaper or a television station here in Edmonton (well, hopefully they'll take me). As well as traveling. As I've been saying since my campaign started, I have always been interested in traveling, in taking off and exploring the world and just having fun and this entire experience has really made me want to do that even more. I just can't sit back now. So should I not move onto the next round or become the Island Caretaker, I'm definitely planning on traveling this summer and probably after that I'm thinking about enrolling into a TV broadcasting program for some more journalistic experience because I'm young, I could become a full-time reporter at the age of 19 but I don't think a few more years of education would hurt.