This week on ‘An Interview with WiseOceans’ we spoke with Hannah Snyman from The SharkWise Project.
Name: Hannah Snyman
Role: Internship Manager
Company: The SharkWise Project
Top Tip: Open as many doors for yourself as you can by saying yes to as many opportunities as possible!
Quick Fire Questions
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
Since I was five years old, I have known that I wanted to help protect animals and the environment. Due to a strong love for the ocean, I started scuba diving when I was 17 and immediately decided that it would be the perfect way to live out my passion for conservation and the ocean by becoming a marine biologist.
2. What steps did you take or are you currently taking to achieve your career goals?
My undergraduate degree was a BSc in Zoology at the University of Pretoria. But of course, I always knew I would end up at the sea so after my undergraduate studies, I moved to Port Elizabeth and completed my BSc Honours degree in Zoology with my thesis focusing on sea turtles. I am also part of a youth group called Justice 4 Jaws, which focuses on changing the negative way that sharks are portrayed in the media. Through all of this, I have created a very good network of people with similar interests to me.
3. How did you obtain your current position?
Dr Sara Andreotti, a marine biologist specializing in great white sharks, got hold of my CV through a volunteering program that I completed with the Shark and Marine Research Institute in Gansbaai, South Africa.
4. Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love being able to scuba dive and learn more about the underwater world as a working professional. It is such an honour to be able to come into close contact with a variety of amazing underwater animals as part of my job!
5. Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?
Yes, I love being able to teach international students about life in South African waters and feed their desire to learn and spread awareness about species that may be struggling now.
6. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Things will not always work out according to plan and that’s okay! There are always options and chances are it will work out in a more interesting way if the original plan does not work out.
7. Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?
Video-making skills. But I am enjoying learning more and more about it on the job every day.
8. What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?
Open as many doors for yourself as you can. Networking is incredibly important, so get to know people in your field by saying yes to as many opportunities as possible.
9. What is your favourite marine creature and why?
There are simply too many to choose from! Although, I do have a particular appreciation for shysharks. I believe they can play a vital role in changing the media’s perception of sharks from a negative perspective to a positive one because they are so cute!
10. What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?
On my first ocean dive, we had a great hammerhead come gliding through the water over our heads. From that moment on I have always loved hammerhead sharks. Of course, my love for them has spread to all species of sharks.
Read more An Interview Blogs here
Sign up for our Weekly free Job Alert here