“For me, choosing to do the Marine Biology BSc degree at the University (UoL) was straightforward. I’ve always been intrigued and inspired by the oceans and known that I want a career in marine conservation. I chose to study at the UoL because of the reputation that preceded it. As a highly respected redbrick institution with an excellent School or Environmental Sciences and connections to many world-renowned organisations, I was confident that the skills, knowledge and experience I would acquire would set me in good stead for my future career.
After studying for three fantastic years in Liverpool, I graduated with First Class honours in July 2014. In December of the same year I began an internship in London with the International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) - a small, non-government organisation (NGO) that develop and support responsible pole-and-line and handline tuna fisheries, in order to meet the growing market demand for sustainable fish and improve the livelihoods of the coastal communities dependent on the fisheries.
I have been working with IPNLF for two years – during this time my role has grown steadily from Communications Intern, to Communications Coordinator, and I now manage a small, budding Communications team. Through a range of tools such as IPNLF’s website, publications, newsletters, social media, press engagement and event outreach, I share the inspiring stories of the responsible fisheries that IPNLF work with to galvanise market support for the tuna fisheries and the work that IPNLF does. Working with this small but mighty NGO has given me some fantastic opportunities: from participating at a workshop with the world’s leading sustainability NGOs in Bangkok; observing the Marine Stewardship Council stakeholder committee meeting in Bali, to fishing skipjack tuna with pole-and-line from a Maldivian dhoni in the Indian Ocean.
My undergraduate course at UoL helped me to get my ‘foot in the door’ and supported my career since in many ways. Firstly, specialised modules, such as contemporary marine biology (Yr3) and resource exploitation (Yr2), taught the key, global seafood sustainability issues and the organisations working to tackle them. Secondly, the in-depth analysis that I undertook for my final year dissertation refined and demonstrated my research and analysis skills. Thirdly, through field and overseas trips I learnt about strategic communications and their importance for effective conservation. And lastly, via the UoL networks I was able to connect with IPNLF and secure my initial internship role.