Marine Scholarship Programme 2022 Student Blog – Marielle
Unsure what the Marine Scholarship Programme 2022 (MSP) is? The MSP is a comprehensive nine-month training programme for six 18-25 year old Seychellois with a passion and commitment to the marine sector. Through this training we will be helping young adults to forge new careers in the Blue Economy, the biggest growing sector in Seychelles, helping to create the next generation of highly skilled professionals, innovators and stewards of the Seychelles marine environment.
My internship experience – Marielle
Young people play a critical role in addressing the challenges faced by marine ecosystems and we have the unique ability to lead others to protect the local environment. WiseOceans Seychelles, a leading Marine Conservation NGO, has offered me the opportunity as a youth to learn about the ocean and conservation issues that will be useful for a future career in marine conservation and hopefully lead to my interest in marine biology.
The goals of the internship are to help me get exposure, build my skills and get the hands-on experience needed for my further contribution to a healthy ocean and sustainable future.
In my daily task I get to interact with guests at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles on Mahé as well as at the Club Med from Ste. Anne Island, within a Marine Protected Area. I proudly contribute to the education programme at the WiseOceans centre offering people the exciting opportunity to engage with marine life up-close, first by getting them to understand the biology, ecology, and behaviour of marine species, human interactions in marine areas (both positive and negative) and good practices they should adopt. This adds to the visitor experience and gets their support and appreciation of what we do, which is necessary for our conservation efforts, while enhancing their knowledge and experience especially those who go out snorkelling with us after the information tour.
I felt particularly challenged when I had to conduct awareness programmes on my own for the first time without my experienced mentor, Liane. She first allowed me to lead a session and I used the opportunity to impress her and my guests with the knowledge I have gained in theory and making connections between the learning and the practices. In doing so, I create deeper awareness of and concern for the need to protect the marine environment from external pressures. The internship is greatly enhancing my understanding and influencing my career choice in marine conservation. In engaging with guests and staff I am also learning by doing in a fun and most memorable manner. I finally got to conduct sessions independently, involving visitor education, snorkelling trips and contributing to the coral restoration work using free diving techniques
This internship is exactly the experience I was hoping for to kick start my future career in Marine Conservation. I am learning valuable skills both in a team and independently, I am involved in fieldwork, assisting staff in daily operations, contributing research information for records, written and oral communications including interviews with the press, social media posts and news for national television. Most valuable of all, I’m getting to do the type of marine conservation work I have been dreaming of, thanks to WiseOceans and the funding partner. There are more to come while I continue my journey with the organisation and its many partners.
By taking part in the programme, I feel like I am actively contributing my share in saving our ocean, which is a worthwhile global cause. I am truly satisfied with everything happening around me so far and I am grateful for the help and guidance I am receiving from everyone.
Thank you to SeyCCAT for funding the Marine Scholarship Programme 2022
Learn more WiseOceans’ Marine Conservation work here
Learn more about our partnership with Four Seasons Resort Seychelles here