Where do I even start? Should I start when I was applying for MISS scholarship? Should I start from my first day interning at Ocean Research or should I start when I was enrolling for my undergraduate studies? Because if it wasn’t MISS scholarship and Ocean Research, I would still be feeling lost and clueless about the career (Marine Science) I chose.
Lost and still enrolled in marine science
Everyone used to ask me “what do you want to be and why did you choose marine science”? I honestly, did not have answer until last month (July 2022). And I think it was because I grew up inland, and I get to know ocean when I found myself enrolled in Marine science. How? I still don’t know.
There was a time I thought of changing career, but I just told myself “Let me finish Diploma: Marine Science first and I will see what will happen”. I finish diploma and again, I still found myself enrolled in Advanced Diploma: Marine science, still lost and not sure if this is what I want to do. “I guess I had hope that one day I will fell in love with ocean, and it just happen”.
A life changing opportunity
Earlier this year (2022) I was on Linked-In, and I came across MISS scholarship. Although I met requirement, I had doubts about applying because I am fulltime student (currently enrolled for Advanced Diploma: Marine Science) and I am just an average student. But I end up applying and I was selected. It took time for me to believe that I am really selected because of my fears e.g., “if I will fit in”.
Ocean research internship experience
Still can’t believe I saw a Great white shark on the first day of interning at ORI. First few days was challenging but during the process of learning every day and stepping out of my comfort zone, I gradually become more confident in myself, my abilities and my contribution.
Throughout the program, I was involved in different that includes study, tracking and collection of data of Great white sharks’ and Cetaceans (Dolphins); Responding to Marine Mammal Stranding; Surveying the plastic pollution at the beach; Sea fishing; and Conducting survey on the intertidal (studying the community of intertidal species). My highlight experience was “witnessing the tagging of the Great white Shark.
Interning at ORI was one of unforgettable and rewarding experience. I am so grateful to meet incredible, smart and motivating field specialist (Lacey, Emmanuel and Charley). I got to learn how to communicate more effectively, collect scientific data using different instruments (e.g., BRUV, photo ID), and working in team. In addition, I got opportunity to improve my personal and professional skills and I believe these valuable skills have boosted my professional skills and prepared me for my future career.
Now, I confidently say what I want to be and which field of marine science I will be further my studies on. Thank you, MISS and ORI, for giving me this opportunity.
MISS provides a community and funding opportunities for gender minorities of color who wish to enter the field of shark sciences. We aim to show that there are many gender minorities of color succeeding in and interested in this field.
We fundraise and apply for grants to create paid opportunities to attempt to knock down the financial barrier into shark sciences. We encourage other organizations in our field to do the same.
MISS is a registered US nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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