Hear directly from our staff about why CIMI was the best job that they ever had!
Every day at CIMI, we got to work with a school group that came from various levels of experience with the ocean. This required adaptability, empathy, creativity, and responsibility. Being able to see kids grow and change in the few days that they get to spend here gives you hope that there can be a beautiful future ahead. The collaboration and love that flows through this place is something that I want all people to experience. Working at CIMI is fulfilling and tiring work; I went to bed and woke up smiling almost every day in the three years that I worked here. This is an incredibly unique working/living environment – it is the kind of environment asks that you show up each day as fully as you can. You are asked to put yourself out there – whether through silly campfire vibes or creating engaging lesson plans about tides, you are challenged and expected to put your best foot forward. I am now in a science teacher training program, and I feel more prepared to offer my full self to this space after my 7 seasons with CIMI.
When I’m wearing a CIMI sweatshirt, I get approached constantly by young adults who remember visiting CIMI during summer or with their school. They tell me what dorm they slept in, what color the wetsuits were, how nervous and excited they were for night snorkel, and how crazy the squid dissection instructors were. That’s how I know how big of an impact Guided Discoveries makes in the community. Personally, CIMI had a huge impact on me and my family. I learned skills and acquired tools that I use every day in my current education job. Jeff, Paul, and the CIMI community handed me responsibility and leadership roles that pushed me to become better both professionally and personally. Guided Discoveries brings together quite possibly the coolest humans on the planet to live, work, grow, and play together. My best friends came from the island, and I know they’ll be a part of my life forever more!
After 2 months of working here, I feel right at home. The atmosphere created by my coworkers and supervisors and the beautiful environment have made this job a life-changing experience. Every school I’ve had has been fantastic and I’m left in tears when my kids leave. The connections you can make here are so unique – I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world. If you are considering applying, go ahead and submit! I promise, you will not regret it!
Working at CIMI was my dream job after college. My experience there has put the most important people in my life – not only my husband (and our little humans) and some of my best friends, but the best boss I have ever had. I will measure every other supervisor by the bar that he set, and it’s extremely high. During my time at CIMI, I went on adventures with students every day. Many of those days were life-changing for one or all of us. I was in a relationship with the ocean, exploring and learning constantly. Guided Discoveries is an incredible organization to be a part of and one of the best decisions I’ve made in my adult life.
Originally, I planned to spend about a year on the island working for CIMI. When I finally left, it had been more like 7 years. Those years were the best years of my life. Not only is the work meaningful, important, and fun, the island lifestyle is unbelievable (especially if you are an ocean lover). The community alone is the best I’ve ever experienced – all of my closest friends are from the island. On top of all this, you get paid for all of these life-changing experiences, and trust me, you won’t get them anywhere else. The last thing I’ll regret in my life is spending my 20’s working with this amazing organization.
It’s almost hard to put into words how influential, amazing, and life-changing a company like Guided Discoveries is. Guided Discoveries has not only changed the lives of and made an impact on thousands of kids from across the country, it has also changed my life. From being a counselor during Sea Camp and getting to make an impact on campers, to becoming a marine biology instructor and getting to share my passion for the ocean and everything around it, I can’t be thankful enough for all the experiences, memories, adventures, and life-long friends this company has given me. Even today I continue to use the skills and everything I have learned from my 4.5 years on the island to work hard at my current job, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Guided Discoveries. I am forever thankful for the island, the people, and this company.
This island’s magic is unlike any other – its appeal stretches far beyond what it appears on the surface. I’ve been drastically changed by the people I’ve worked with here at CIMI, the memories I’ve made, the places we’ve explored, the students we’ve learned with, and the whale spouts that have, without fail, caused heart palpitations. Working and living in Toyon Bay has been an incomparably joyous and fulfilling experience, and I will always be endlessly grateful for the people who have made it so.
My infatuation for the ocean started after attending a 6th grade science trip in Northern California. It was this trip that ultimately led me to pursue a marine biology degree, working as an instructor at CIMI years later. CIMI has allowed me to be the instructor I once looked up to and make a difference in the lives of children while sharing a connection with our ocean. Having the opportunity to see kids inspired about our oceans, to grow in ways their teachers haven’t seen before, and to hear that their lives have been changed is why I love working at CIMI. I have experienced some of the most incredible social interactions with coworkers, teachers, and students, as well as incredible outdoor experiences and teaching moments of my entire life while working at Toyon Bay, and I will cherish them forever.
Working as a marine science instructor at CIMI was an absolutely life-changing and incredible experience. Through this opportunity, I connected students from all backgrounds to the ocean and made science relatable through interactive lessons in aquariums, kayaking expeditions along the coast, and snorkeling adventures during both the day and night. This experience helped me become a better educator, leader, and friend. I also gained a number of valuable skills/certifications from this opportunity – I learned how to drive a boat, became lifeguard certified, improved my diving and snorkeling abilities, and so much more! I am so thankful for my time on the island, for the people it connected me to, and for all that I have been able to accomplish since.
Working as a Marine Science Instructor at Toyon Bay provided me with opportunities for professional and personal growth, as well as the opportunity to be part of a supportive, fun-loving, and adventurous community. I continuously draw upon the skill set I gained at CIMI throughout my current position as a Program Coordinator with a non-profit in San Diego, California. Additionally, I am thankful for the lifelong network of friends that spans CIMI generations!