Hi Will, how about you start by introducing yourself?
I’m 23 and I grew up in Sevenoaks, Kent in England. I studied Russian at Exeter University for 4 years and I was really lucky to be able to spend a year abroad in Russia, studying at language schools in Yaroslavl and St. Petersburg. I lived with Babushkas and experienced the freezing winter (-20 degrees) of Russia.
Did you know much about AXA before playing The Great Global Adventure?
My family have their healthcare through AXA, so I was definitely aware of them before. But there’s so much I didn’t know about AXA, like the great work they do as part of their corporate responsibility program.
How did you find out about The Great Global Adventure?
I was looking on the AXA website for graduate schemes when I noticed the Great Global Adventure. It just seemed like such a phenomenal opportunity, so I played the game.
What was it like being one of the final four contestants?
When I was told I got down to the final four, I was on the train. I really wanted to scream and shout, but I had to be very reserved. It was so surreal, I couldn’t believe it. That was the moment where it all became very real.
What was going through your mind when you found out that you were the winner?
I couldn’t believe it. There was this moment of disbelief, where I thought,
“Is this a dream? Am I going to wake up now?”
I was just so overwhelmed. There were so many people there who were saying congratulations, it was really special.
What are you looking forward to the most on your adventure?
I absolutely love trying new foods, so I’m really looking forward to tasting the local cuisine. I can’t wait to meet new people, learn different phrases and hear the stories people have to tell.
In terms of work experience, as AXA is developing great new initiatives in Asia, I’d really like to do one of my placements there if I can. As for volunteering, I can’t wait to get stuck in and do something worthwhile, like the project in Vietnam, where AXA and CARE planted mangroves to help reduce the effects of wind and waves.
If you had to conquer one fear while you’re away what would it be?
I really don’t like spiders, so I think that would be the one. Well, I say that, but I could be in a jungle somewhere with a tarantula on my shoulder and I might think differently!
Name one thing you’d like to learn how to say on your travels?
I want to make sure that in every country I go to I can say hello in that language.
And finally, which one of these Chinese street foods will you try if you have the chance: Deep Fried Massive Spiders, Scorpion on a stick or Duck feet!
If I had to choose, I’d say the spiders – as it could help me conquer my fear! But really, I think I’d try all three, after all I want to experience as much of each culture as I can.