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Anna Usselmann - Turning her passion into a job. From Engineer in London to Outdoor Instructor

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Anna is an Outdoor Instructor working for Land and Wave in Dorset. She loves being on the water, or in the woods, every day sharing her love of adventure with everyone she instructs.

Anna has always loved being outdoors and wanted to find a job that would allow her to enjoy that all year round. From school, she followed a conventional path to university, and became a Civil Engineer working in construction.

Recently she decided to take the leap and turn her passion into a job. It was quite a drastic shift from Engineer in London, to Outdoor Instructor in Dorset, but one she is loving.

She was able to change career so quickly following an intensive Outdoor Instructor Training Course in the winter, where she gained qualifications needed for the job, and is now gaining experience every day.


Get ready for an exciting month of July on the Tough Girl Podcast, as we shine a spotlight on women working in the outdoors. Sponsored by Land & Wave - join us as we delve into their stories, gain insights, and discover valuable tips from their incredible experiences.

Don't miss out on these empowering episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - hit the subscribe button and be part of the adventure!


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Show notes

  • Anna working as a newly qualified Outdoor Instructor

  • Working for Land & Wave

  • Living in an 8 person tent on site at Land & Wave (excuse the noise from the wind!)

  • Growing up near Birmingham

  • Being a member of Scouts

  • Doing Duke of Edinburgh Award

  • Joining the University Royal Naval Units (URNU)

  • Taking a gap year after university and going travelling around South East Asia for 4 months

  • Moving to London to work in construction

  • Thinking about making a career change and wanting to work outdoors

  • Not knowing what she wanted to do

  • Making the decision to change careers and what that looked like

  • Googling - Outdoor Instructor Training (OIT) Courses

  • Picking Land & Wave

  • The challenges of the course and the realities of spending 15 weeks training in winter

  • Dealing with the cold weather

  • Enjoying spending time on the water and learning new skills (Canoeing, SUP & Kayaking)

  • Loving the variety of the work

  • What happened after the 15 week course

  • Challenges of working in the outdoor industry

  • Sharing her love of the outdoors with clients

  • What it’s like being a woman in the industry

  • Learning new skills and why it take time to build experience

  • Outdoor Instructor Apprenticeships

  • Having a long term career plan?

  • Thinking through different options

  • Why age doesn’t matter

  • Working towards her own personal goals training to become a Paddlesports Leader

  • Working towards her Mountain Leader (ML) Qualification

  • Doing her ML training with Louise Tully

  • The struggle with getting Quality Mountain Days (QMD) in while living in Dorset

  • Connecting with other women in the outdoors who are also doing their qualifications

  • Magical moments

  • Helping people to build self confidence

  • Why the first step is always the hardest

  • Remembering what it is you love about your job and why it’s important to enjoy the journey and appreciate each stage your at.


Social Media

Instagram: @landandwave

Facebook: @landandwave


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