Wednesday, 17 April 2013

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Mareike Dadges

MAREIKE Dadges is a 24-year-old German university student, studying International Tourism Management and currently working as an intern with the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site team and living in Dorchester. She is from a region called Schleswig Holstein in north Germany, which borders Denmark, and grew up on the coast of the Baltic Sea. 

WHY did you come to the UK?
I came to visit a friend in Devon about 2 years ago and ever since I keep coming back. This time I arrived in February to begin my work placement in March.

HOW long are you staying?
At the moment I'm living in Dorchester and will stay until summer. Afterwards I'm planning on going to Amsterdam to continue my studies in an exchange semester before heading back to Germany in winter. So I'll leave the UK in summer but I'm planning on coming back next year after finishing my degree to live and work here.  

TELL us about your course in International Tourism Management… 
It’s called international because we study English and Spanish and it is part of our curriculum to spend at least one semester abroad. In the tourism part we learn all sorts of things related to the tourism industry, about different destinations, how the government gets involved, socio-cultural effects of tourism and we discuss topics like trends in tourism, for example sustainable or eco-tourism. The management part covers, for example, the areas of business studies, finance and accounting, marketing and economics.  After the first year we were able to specialise in certain topics like hospitality or tour operators. I chose to focus on leisure, culture and event management as well as marketing.   

WHAT do you do as an intern with the Jurassic Coast team?
I'm doing various different things, like working on the social media appearance. I look at different ways how to use these communication platforms to increase the interest in the site and its geology. I'm also involved in the development of a new visitor information leaflet and I've been helping with the organisation of the schools day at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival. I'm really happy to be able to help at the festival as well. 

WHAT made you want to join the Jurassic Coast team?
Basically, two things lead to the decision to do my placement here. Firstly, I've visited Jurassic Coast last year and besides being really excited about finding an ammonite, I just absolutely loved the landscape and the area, so I decided I wanted to come back. Secondly, I thought it would be a good idea to do my placement in a heritage site because I'm interested in destination management and I've written an assignment about the use of the heritage status in tourism-destination marketing. So I decided it was time to compare this theoretical knowledge to “the real world”. And what makes the Jurassic Coast even more interesting compared to other sites is that it keeps changing due to erosion and I find that really exciting. 

WHAT do you like about living in this area?
I enjoy living close to the coast, every weekend I can go and explore a little bit more. There's so much to see and it's very different to the coast I grew up on.  

HOW does it differ from life in Germany?
It seems to me that people around here a little bit more relaxed. The supermarkets - they are massive - I often find myself spending too much time in there, getting lost and leaving with half of the things I wanted!

IS there anything you would add to or change about the local area if you could?
The weather! I think I might be a bit unlucky to be here this year, I keep hearing people saying “this time last year it was warm and sunny”. 

WHAT are your personal interests or hobbies?
Traveling (not a surprise). I like to explore new places and try local food or take a cookery class because I love to cook and bake. And I like water sports like scuba diving, swimming and kayaking.  

WHERE is your ideal holiday destination and why? 
That depends on the time of the year and what I want to do, I guess. Right now I would be very happy to go to a warm place with a sunny beach and a nice reef to snorkel along, because it's been a long and cold winter.   


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