Follow SA’s globe hopping reporter

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Our South African Olympic team members aren’t the only ones we need to keep an eye on. Monday saw the start of another incredible journey, or rather job, for Carina van Wyk.

Winner of the South African leg of the “See the World with Spar” campaign, Van Wyk was all smiles as she packed up in readiness to report for work as a travelling reporter. Her office? Twelve countries spread across Australia, Asia, Europe and Africa.

“I’m ecstatic and I still feel surprised every time I think of it! I’ve really found a dream job and I can’t wait to embrace this opportunity of a lifetime,” said the Gauteng-based winner.

Spar South Africa launched the campaign in March with five other countries – Norway, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom and Slovenia.

The job criteria? Understand the art of modern journalism such as being able to report using various social media platforms, blogs, posting of videos and photographs, have a love for travel, have an exploratory approach to life, have good English skills – and be over the age of 18. And the job description? Have fun while discovering local communities and cultures, and be sure to keep people updated about your travels.

Having a presence in 35 countries worldwide meant that the supermarket chain was set up and able to offer the ideal conditions for such an initiative. Each of the countries undertook the task of appointing who they felt was the most suited for the job – and after a lengthy and challenging selection process, winners were chosen in each country.

Having worked as a journalist for seven years, 30-year-old Van Wyk easily whizzed through the criteria. However, her road to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was no easy task. Along with numerous other applicants she posted her application video on a site created especially for the campaign.

And, it was her witty idea to interview South Africans asking them what they most loved about our country that made her video one of the most enjoyed. Securing a spot in the final five she then faced the South Africa judging panel where she underwent what she refers to as the most “nerve wracking” interview. But the judges were surprised to later learn this as they believed that it was her “confidence, personality and valuable skills” that made her an obvious choice for the top two.

“And that’s where this exciting journey actually began,” said Van Wyk. Together with the number two contender, she made her way to Amsterdam for the final round of interviews, which included the execution of a fairly broad brief: Make a cross media report on Dutch culture, using the theme “Where People Make The Difference”.

Apart from having an awesome time, Van Wyk received a sterling score from the judges who loved her South African charm. Their comments included: “Her English skills are perfect and she could handle the job”; “Carina was motivated to fulfil her task and was enthusiastic about the theme”, and “Her personality is a mix of extrovert and introvert, a good mix for a traveller”.

Nelene Rampersad, advertising and digital manager for Spar South Africa, is delighted about Van Wyk’s appointment.

“Carina embodies all the traits needed to be the perfect reporter and we’re excited about following her online around the world. We’re all about community, so the campaign idea of someone interacting with the global community was a perfect fit for the brand.”

When asked what she’s most looking forward to, Van Wyk said: “Definitely the train trip from Moscow in Russia, through Mongolia, to Beijing in China. And the interaction with people in all the countries – seeing how they do things, how they differ, getting to know their cultures and see their countries through their eyes,” she said.

“The thought of people following me online throughout my travels really excites me. I love travelling and I love sharing my experiences with others, and I hope that this will be portrayed in the copy, photos and videos I will be sharing,” she added.

So, in true South African style, show Van Wyk your support by following her around the world – chat to her, check out her pictures and videos, offer her tips to help make her travels truly memorable and, through her, you too can see the world. - The Mercury

Hop on board by visiting www.seetheworldwithspar.co.za.

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