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A 'Best Job in the World' Candidate Sets Her Eyes on the Prize

March 30, 2009 at 10:49 AM | by | ()

We spent some time the other day talking with Angelene Orth, a candidate for the Tourism Queenland's "Best Job in the World" contest in which hopefuls are vying for the chance to work on an island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months.

The responsibilities of the Island Caretaker/Travel Correspondent job (salary: $150,000 AUD plus living and transportation costs) include "taking care" of the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the area and reporting back to the world wide web via video, photos, blogs and other "media commitments."

Orth, 27, and already employed by public relations firm Weber Shandwick, told Jaunted that she's got what it takes to leave the New York behind and settle down for six months Down Under.

When we asked her why she wanted to apply for this job, we could almost anticipate her answer. Who wouldn't want to leave the big bad city of New York behind to spend six months on a small island, exploring the Great Barrier Reef and living in "a big house with a washer and dryer inside?" (Yes, the winner of this job gets to live in some huge $4 million house.) And it's no surprise that after making many headlines, the "Best Job in the World" contest garnered nearly 35,000 applicants from 200 countries.

But despite the contest's popularity, especially in this recession, Orth says she also has the right kind of social media savviness to promote the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding islands.

"I already do this in my job now, which is to promote destinations," she said. Her client list includes another set of islands, the Bahamas. For the record, her employer has been "very supportive" of her "Quest for Queensland.

Obviously, she has her own blog (Big Apple Angie) and like any good travel blogger, she also Facebooked and Twittered her entry in the contest. Since readers got to vote for the Top 50 candidates to be considered for the job, asking for votes via these new social mediums turned out to be pretty important. Orth scored the number 12 spot with 5,931 votes.

The contest is now moving towards its second to last round of selection. Tourism Queensland will pick their top 10 candidates from the entire batch of applicants and announce the new group on Thursday, April 2nd via IslandReefJob.com at 7pm EST.

The top 10, including wildcard candidate Clare from Taiwan, will fly to Hamilton Island in early May to go through the final selection process. Then, finally, the winner of "The Best Job in the World" will be announced on May 6.

Orth, who's never been to Australia before, said if she wins she can't wait to start exploring the islands. And she's preparing for visitors. "I'm inviting all my friends to come and visit me. My sister is planning to come for a while. You can visit too!" she told us. Um, yes. We will seriously take you up on that offer. Don't complain when we show up there with our scuba diving gear!

For more on what Angelene Orth would do if she won "The Best Job in the World", go here.

Related Stories:
· Island Reef Job [Official Site]
· Quest for Queensland [Big Apple Angie]
· Dream Jobs, Nightmarish Storms and Yet Another Fare Sale [Jaunted]

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