U of G Student Makes Top 50 Vying for Best Job in the World

March 03, 2009 - News Release

A University of Guelph student is one of the top 50 candidates for a dream job in Australia.

Mitch Moffit, a President's Scholar and third-year biological sciences student, was shortlisted along with six other Canadians out of over 34,000 people from 200 countries who applied for "The Best Job in the World." Applicants were asked to send in a 60-second video explaining why they are the best person for the job of caretaker on Hamilton Island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Moffit’s creation is a musical number shot recently on a snowy day in downtown Guelph.

“I’d been working on a bunch of different ideas for quite a while when finally that one came to me,” said Moffit, who has been active in music and theatre since his high school days.

To help with the production, the Bishop Macdonell graduate tapped into his connections in the performing arts and at Synn Studios. With Reading Week looming, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to get everyone together on time and it was a mad rush to record the vocals and shoot the video, he said.

Moffit learned he made the cut on Monday while at rehearsal for the musical Fame!, which is to be presented by U of G’s Curtain Call Productions at War Memorial Hall March 19 to 21.

“I knew when they’d be making the announcement, so I kept checking my laptop. When I didn’t see anything, I figured I didn’t make it,” said Moffit. But he decided to check one last time. “I yelled out: ‘I got it,’ and everybody started clapping and cheering.”

The winner will spend six months Down Under promoting the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, and will earn about $100,000. According to the promotional website, the caretaker will be required to “collect the mail,” “feed the fish” and “clean the pool” while living in a three-bedroom home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as to blog about his or her sun-baked adventures around the Great Barrier Reef.

Regardless of the outcome, there’s a good chance Moffit will end up in Australia in the near future. He has applied for an exchange with James Cook University in Townsville, a coastal city of about 140,000 in northern Queensland and a major base for tourism in the Great Barrier Reef. He’s already heard from a number of potential colleagues there who said they’ve voted for him to win the job.

“I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t get it. I’m just really happy to have made the top 50.”

Tourism Queensland will narrow the short list to 10 candidates and then give the world a chance to pick an 11th.The most popular short-listed candidate will receive a wild card to interview for the job.

Voting ends March 24 and the winner will be picked May 6.

You can watch Moffit’s video and vote at islandreefjob.com.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1