Staff Spotlight: Andre van Dyk

Creative Director


Earlier in my career, I worked on creative projects for retail companies, FMCG brands as well as startups in quite a corporate environment, but my love and passion for our planet, animals, the environment, climate, and people, naturally changed my career path to join GVI as creative director. It is such an amazing privilege to be able to have a career where you know all your efforts have a purpose and will make a lasting impact globally.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I have had so many great travel experiences, and it is difficult to choose between them! I would say the best ones were the ones where I lived with locals in other countries, truly experiencing their cultures and making lifelong friends. Also, every time I pack my suitcase to go somewhere is always a highlight!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My whole perspective on the value you can add with your skills, knowledge, and talents to our planet and people changed drastically. I've also realized the importance of constantly growing, and learning. At GVI we not only place a high value on professional development but equally so on personal development. Not only did GVI make me grow professionally, but I think I became a more grounded and agile person.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

The stories that usually stand out the most to me, are the ones where students/participants go onto one of our GVI programs and describe the whole experience as life-changing. Stories where it changed and advanced their careers. Stories where the impact of our programs inspired and catapulted them to go on to achieve great things.

A recent mission, value & impact story (we call it an MVI at GVI):

"Having finished my education about 4 months before my next step (university) I wanted to fill the time with something worthwhile. I knew that I wanted to travel and do something related to conservation. GVI allowed me to both travel to a new country, Costa Rica, and help with its biodiversity. With various activities, beach cleans and counting turtle eggs in the dark. Not only that, but in the month I stayed on the Jalova base I gained insight about birds, turtles, amphibians, jaguars, and butterflies through training, surveys, and the staff's enthusiasm on the topic. Having developed a fascination I have kept learning since I’ve been back home. Aside from all of this, I would like to say I grew as a person; I started to understand myself better. The opportunity to emerge yourself this much in a project still feels unreal. My stay was short I must admit, but that is why I’ll be going back in a few months to do a 6-month internship." – Tea Sirolla

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Haha, the list is endless! GVI recently developed new programs where you do both online courses and in-country fieldwork, combined into one very substantial program. I would definitely go for one of those because as a full-time employee, it gives me the opportunity to do the online courses part-time, and then go on to one of our bases in a different country to gain hands-on practical experience. Even though our GVI People (community development) programs are great, my passion really lies in GVI Planet (conservation) programs.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are ethical. We believe that collaboratively we can make a difference as a global family. We are a bunch of very committed and passionate people. We are constantly developing and improving. We're honest and transparent. We have fun.

I'm proud to be part of the team on a daily basis, but I really have to commend GVI on how we pulled through when Covid-19 happened, and how the whole team worked together to make sure that the support for our participants was of an exceptional standard. And to this day, our safety and support are really something we value highly.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

You have to put your participants, students, and partner organizations where you run your projects first. You have to make sure that your programs live up to the standard that they expect. Your programs should not only leave a lasting impact in the communities or environments where you run projects but should also benefit and impact your participants. You need to be trustworthy. You need to have empathy.