NZ-based investment specialists looking for a career diversion in the tropics have been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by the highly-regarded Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA).
Officially, VSA has advertised for an “investment adviser” to fill a wide-ranging one-year assignment in Vanuatu.
The VSA role involves developing an investment plan from the ground-up for the Malampa Provincial Government Council.
To be based in Lakatoro on Malekula island (the biggest of three in the Malampa province), the job would suit someone with “strong experience working in planning or investment, ideally in a government context”, the VSA description says.
As well as having a solid grasp of “investment business and financial planning concepts”, candidates would preferably have other skills including experience with bylaws, policy drafting and implementation plus “well-articulated written and verbal communication skills”.
The multi-tasking candidate would work with a small team in Lakatoro to draft, review and implement the investment strategy that will underpin economic development in the region.
Heather Ware, who recently returned from a short VSA stint in nearby Loganville (on the Vanuatu’s largest island of Espiritu Santo), said while technical knowledge was vital, “soft skills” were equally valuable to making a success of an assignment.
“It’s very important to work alongside the ni-Vanuatu people,” Ware said.
She said while prospective candidates would have to prepare for different cultural conditions, a hot climate and “basic living conditions”, there were considerable rewards in working alongside the Vanuatu people to create positive change against a beautiful natural backdrop.
“You learn to strip away concerns about your business, career and family and just focus on what you have to do,” Ware said, which in her case was to help plan a $20 million fund-raising venture to build a World War Two museum in Loganville.
She said VSA does a “fantastic job” of providing training and support to volunteers who typically give up one-to-two years of their time for to live in far-flung places with little financial recompense.
VSA provides accommodation, flights, living expenses, some etra funding and insurance cover and training; partners are also covered but volunteers cannot take dependent children.
Ware said the Vanuatu islands were a paradise for outdoors enthusiasts with world-class diving venues and other attractions.
According to the VSA description, Malekula island has a small ex-pat community and a range of activities including “football, swimming, snorkelling, tramping/walking”.
“Parts of East Coast Malekula do have sharks, but locals will let you know where it is safe to swim,” the VSA proposal says.
The Lakatoro assignment includes basic but “comfortable” furnished accommodation.
At work, the “volunteer will share an office with the investment officer and have access to a fan, a chair and a desk”.
“The volunteer will need to bring their own computer,” VSA says.
Interested candidates can download the application form here or contact Kylie at firstname.lastname@example.org .