This week we’re with Shannon Mone, Assistant Animal Care Manager at Seal Rescue Ireland.

Her advice is gain as much experience as you can through volunteering and to not be afraid to apply for jobs that seem out of reach!

Name: Shannon Mone

Job Title: Assistant Animal Care Manager

Organisation: Seal Rescue Ireland

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
Humans are a detriment to our ocean. Being able to offset some of the negative effects is hugely rewarding.
  • What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?

Experience is very important. I started volunteering when I was 16 years old. I have always been very passionate about what I wanted to do and this led me to complete a Bachelors degree in Marine Science. After college I had an internship and continued training in different skills such as oil spill response and boat handling.

  • How did you land your current job/position? 

I am very active on job boards and frequently applied to jobs that even seemed a stretch. Seal Rescue Ireland was a dream job and I did not think I would get an interview but they were impressed with my experiences and I got the job!

  • Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

The most rewarding part of my job is working working hands-on with the animals. Watching them recover from illnesses or injuries and seeing them return back to the ocean, it is just amazing.

  • Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’? 

Seeing a formerly sick seal return to the ocean is immediately gratifying but educating children on ocean conservation and inspiring a new generation of marine scientists can be very inspiring.

  • What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?  

That every interaction is a networking opportunity and can help you in the future. Make sure you remember names and get phone numbers!!

  • Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?

Plumbing, learn about plumbing. Non-profit pool drains never seem to want to work. I am still learning how to fix broken systems. 

  • What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?  

We need you now, more than ever!

  • What is your favourite marine creature and why?  

I love northern elephant seals. Their physiology is the coolest and the babies are the cutest.

  • What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?  

I was diving in the kelp forest and the sunlight was coming through the canopy as if I was in a storybook. It was the most peaceful, beautiful thing I have ever seen.


Thank you Shannon, it shows that persistance and confidence in applying for jobs can land you your dream role.

Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly job alert emails and keep an eye on our Wise Work pages so you don’t miss your dream opportunity in more marine conservation.