Student’s dream job with sun, sea, sand and Branson!



A Plymouth University student has landed her dream job working on a tropical island paradise for the ‘king of the entrepreneurs’.

She’s playing a key role to ensure that guests enjoy all the trappings of the high life when they visit Necker Island, owned by and home to tycoon Sir Richard Branson.

Gemma Brill beat dozens of hopefuls desperate to grab the opportunity of a lifetime and work as a watersports instructor at one of Branson’s flagship commercial operations.

She impressed his interview panel using the skills she learnt on her Applied Sports Science course – including marine enterprise and business management – at the University.

A typical day at the luxury Caribbean retreat sees Gemma collect new guests on a speedboat, teach watersports – such as wakeboarding, sailing and kitesurfing – during the daytime, and host those wining and dining on the island and Branson’s 32 metre superyacht in the evening.

Gemma, who has just taken up the permanent position as one of 60 fully trained staff members pandering to guests’ every need, said: “I have always dreamt of living on a desert island. I love teaching in general, but in particular watersports, so this job is pretty close to perfect for me.

“I have no doubt that I would not be in this position if it wasn’t for my course. My degree provided me with an all-round knowledge of a variety of sports. Without this, I wouldn’t have the necessary experience.”

Gemma’s delighted to be working for Branson’s empire and shares its strong values.

She said: “I really admire how he has achieved so much, yet kept such strong values around providing outstanding customer service and maintaining good relationships.

“I feel very proud to be working for someone who I share similar values with, in particular, supporting local communities.”

Gemma will be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous whilst working on the island, which is popular with the likes of Prince Charles, Steven Spielberg, David and Victoria Beckham, and Harrison Ford.

She added: “To be in the position to meet people who have accomplished amazing things in their lives will add to the whole experience.”

And when Gemma isn’t working she’ll have the chance to enjoy the island’s gentle ocean breezes, incredible white sandy beaches and bright blue skies.