What is your current Job Title or Role?
Marine Education Officer
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
My advice would be to focus on a particular area of STEM which you think you might enjoy or are passionate about and try to learn and get as much experience as you can, whether that be through volunteering or work experience, or taking part in extra curricular activities or clubs for example. Also, get to know people in local STEM organisations and try to make a good impression, as that may make all the difference when it comes to getting that dream job! My ultimate piece of advice though, would be to keep trying and don't give up! If you want something enough and keep working for it, then it will happen...eventually!
How did you get to where you are today?
I studied Marine Biology and Oceanography at Plymouth University, after taking A-Levels in Biology, Geography and Sociology. After my undergraduate degree I stayed on at Plymouth to complete a Masters degree in Biological Diversity. I finished Uni with very little in the way of meaningful voluntary experience though and couldn't land that dream job, so I spent the next few years completing various full time-volunteer placements for organisations like Devon Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the National Trust. I finally landed a part-time job in the education team at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth and I worked there for four years, before joining Devon Wildlife Trust on a maternity cover role, based at Wembury Marine Centre. I have now been with DWT at Wembury for almost 5 years and my current role is Marine Education Officer.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
During the summer season (March-October) you will usually find me out on the rocks or under the water at Wembury, usually surrounded by lots of excitable (and very noisy!) children. I also go into schools to deliver sessions on our local marine wildlife and the seashore code and train our full time volunteers to do the same. When I'm not doing any of those things, I'll probably be up in the Marine Centre engaging with the public, looking after our cold water aquarium, doing some social media, or I'll be out and about at various external events...it's a very busy six months! Over the winter, things quieten down a bit and I work on a more in depth schools education project called Marine Wildlife Champions, as well as attending lots of meetings, writing reports and planning events and schools visits for the following year.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
I have always loved wildlife and the natural world and wanted to be involved in wildlife conservation from an early age, so getting into STEM was a natural progression for me. I'm really inspired by the Women in STEM movement and think it's really important that we show young girls all around the world that anything is possible, no matter their circumstances, if they work hard and want it enough.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
So many things!! I feel very lucky to work in such an amazing location and for an organisation which I really believe in. I enjoy meeting and working with lots of different types of people, from looking after our amazing volunteers and work experience students, to helping answer questions and queries from members of the public and visitors to the Marine Centre. But mostly I enjoy being out in nature, seeing wildlife everyday and sharing the amazing experience of searching through rockpools or snorkelling underwater with children (and adults) who have never experienced it before.
What do you like to do outside work?
I am a big fan of snorkelling (both home and abroad) and I like visiting new places and sharing lots of adventures with my rescue doggy!