Running for Chief Funster in the Best Jobs in the World competition

Posted on March 11, 2016

In 2013, Tourism Australia’s hosted the ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition. 34,000 people from 197 countries applied for six amazing jobs.

  1. Chief Funster
  2. Outback Adventurer
  3. Park Ranger
  4. Wildlife Caretaker
  5. Taste Master
  6. Lifestyle Photographer

Competition prize

Each of the six jobs took place in a different state or territory of Australia and came with a six-month contract with a salary package of A$100,000 (US$97,200) including all accommodations, food and expenses!

Read the press release for Canada


Popular positions

The Chief Funster position, which involves attending festivals and events, was the most popular job, with 20.2% of the applicants going for that one, followed by Wildlife Caretaker with 19.9% and Park Ranger with 17.5%. The others got about 13-14% of the applications.


Chief Funster finalist

Crazy enough – I was shortlisted! My 30-second video got me into the second round as one of 150 finalists and the only Canadian amongst the 25 people shortlisted for the Chief Funster position!

Read my acceptance letter


I was so excited for the opportunity to represent SFU, Vancouver, Canada and YouTube Partners in this international competition!

Watch my 30-second video application and see why I wanted to become Chief Funster!

Generating buzz

I couldn’t believe the news, but as soon as the finalists were announced, that’s when the real work started. The second round was all about generating buzz.

This time, finalists were selected based on their ability to generate publicity and support for their application over the course of two weeks, including finding influential figures to endorse them for their chosen job. This was not easy as you can probably imagine.

Read my press release


Thankfully, since I knew someone from the SFU Public Affairs office, they agreed to help me as SFU alumni support and sent out my press release to their contacts.

Tweeting up a storm

Since the majority of my network weren’t celebrities, but I still wanted to leverage support from my friends and family so I asked them to promote my campaign on Twitter by tweeting:

Send @salinasiu to @Australia! #Salina4ChiefFunster #BestJobs Please retweet!

Getting media attention

Tasked with generating as much PR as possible in two weeks, I was able to generate more than 22 media appearances, which included 3 TV appearances, 3 print articles, 15 online articles, and 1 radio interview.

CTV_NEWS May 3, 2013 Surrey woman shortlisted for ‘best job in the world’ [VIDEO]
NTD_Television May 3, 2013 Woman shortlisted for ‘best job in the world’ 
New Tang Dynasty
Global-news-logo May 1, 2013 SFU grad is a finalist for the ‘Best Job in the World’
Global News
sonic-radio-104.9 May 1, 2013 I was interviewed on live radio! [AUDIO]
104.9 SONiC
ming-pao-daily-news May 16, 2013 Australia Best Jobs Chief Funster Finalist, Saina Siu represents Canada
MingPao Vancouver and Toronto
surrey-leader-newspaper May 1, 2013 Surrey woman may find world’s best job Down Under
Surrey North Delta Leader
ming-pao-daily-news April 30, 2013 Greater Vancouver Chinese female hopes to become Tourism Australia’s “Chief Funster” as the Top 25 Finalist
MingPao Vancouver and Toronto
the-peak-logo May 27, 2013 SFU alumnus narrowly misses “best job in the world”
The Peak
the-toronto-star May 8, 2013 Eight Canadians make shortlist on Australia’s ‘best jobs in the world’ competition
The Star
Print May 7, 2013 Beedie graduate in running for Best Jobs in the World
SFU Beedie School of Business
huffington-post_travel-huffpost-canada May 6, 2013 Best Jobs In The World 2013: Canadians Shortlisted In Tourism Australia Competition
Huffington Post Travel Canada
darpan May 3, 2013 Surrey Woman Only Canadian Shortlisted for ‘Best Job in the World’
Darpan Magazine
Gu Han Tai News May 3, 2013 华裔应征绝世好工作 晋身澳洲玩乐达人
Chinese Community Association of Ottawa  May 8, 2013 全球最爽工作 加国8人入围2华裔女孩 
Qiao Xun  May 2, 2013
News 163  May 2, 2013
Vision Times  May 10, 2013
York BBS  May 2, 2013
All in Vancouver  May 8, 2013
Entertainment China  May 2, 2013
Canada Meet News  April 30, 2013
Lahoo  April 30, 2013
Info 51 April 30, 2013

Getting celebrity endorsements

I was up against some heavy hitters as among the celebrities recruited by finalists included a US talk show host, an Olympic gold medal winner, an Academy Award winning actress, a German supermodel, and a world champion boxer. But I reached out to my network and had some great support. Thank you everyone for my endorsements!

Simon Fraser University President, Andrew Petter

“Salina is ready and able to take on the job of Chief Funster. So what are you waiting for? Make Salina your Chief Funster, you’ll never regret it!”

Global News Meteorologist, Wesla Wong

“I vote for Salina for Chief Funster! She is amazing at social media, she has event planning skills… and she’s ready to turn up the heat in Australia!”

Mayor of Surrey, Dianne Watts

“Salina takes an innovative approach to entrepreneurship through social media. Salina would be an excellent Chief Funster and bolster the profile of Australia as a premier tourist destination.”

View letter



2009 Finalist for Best Jobs, Erik Rolfsen

“When I look back on 2009 and think about what I might have done differently to become the Island Caretaker, …I needed to be more like Salina Siu, and that’s why I’m endorsing Salina Siu to be Chief Funster for New South Wales.”

Analyzing the stats

At the end of a crazy two weeks from running around doing promotions and media interviews, round 2 was over. I collected all my stats and created a PowerPoint and infographic as my submission.

  • 8,300 page views on Best Jobs related blog posts
  • 5,378 YouTube views
  • 1,265 likes, retweets, and favourites on social media
  • 337 posts on social media from supporters using the hashtag, #Salina4ChiefFunster
  • Over 22 media appearances, which included 2 TV appearances, 3 print articles, 20 online articles, and 1 radio interview
  • Personal endorsements from the President of Simon Fraser University, Mayor of Surrey, Dianne Watts, and Global News personality, Wesla Wong.

All within 14 days and across 15 countries – phew.

Contest submission

As my final submission of round 2, I packaged my results into an infographic and powerpoint for the judges to view. I felt that this was the best way to showcase my creativity, design skills and highlight my stats.

View my infographic


Final results

In the end, I didn’t make it into the third round shortlist. The top 3 for each position were chosen and they all got to fly to Australia for a week of real-life tests and challenges.

Although, I wasn’t able to go all the way in the competition, it was a great learning opportunity for me. I gained tactical skills in media relations and interviewee protocol, as well as expanded my network and received international recognition!

I’m extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish and how far I made it in the competition out of 34,000 applications!

For Tourism Australia, it was a hugely successful campaign for them in gaining exposure and attracting young people from around the world to want to join Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program.

I’ll be coming one day Australia!


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