When I first applied for the Marine Hub internship, I had high hopes and dreams, but I also felt overwhelmed by the competitive application process. However, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the five interns, which felt like a true blessing. My initial expectations were to meet experts in marine conservation, explore the marine environment through snorkeling, and learn about the power of communication and education in raising awareness. To my delight, my experience at the Marine Hub far exceeded these expectations. I not only gained extensive knowledge about marine ecosystems, their challenges, and opportunities, but I also had the chance to snorkel and witness the breathtaking beauty of the oceans. The internship left me feeling inspired, fulfilled, and excited about the potential impact I can have in marine conservation.
Developing writing skills and blogging
During my time at Oceans Alive, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in various projects that allowed me to hone my writing skills, which is one of my passions. As part of the communication team, I was entrusted with various writing assignments for Oceans Alive and my own projects. Seeing the stories I wrote featured in newsletters gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment. One of the most fulfilling experiences was working with the community on beach cleanups, where I not only contributed to protecting marine life but also helped the community generate revenue by selling the collected trash. These experiences not only helped me learn and grow but also gave me the confidence to start sharing my blogs. Through my internship, I gained knowledge about the marine environment, making it easier for me to write about what I had learned. I also developed excellent communication skills, allowing me to effectively convey my ideas. With this newfound confidence, I was able to design my website and create educative content like posters, guidebooks, and articles that incorporated my improved writing skills and newfound design knowledge. The Marine Hub program has been instrumental in pushing me to pursue my passion for writing and communication, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Challenges and learning opportunities
One of the main challenges I encountered during my internship was the need to understand the marine environment, which I saw as an opportunity for growth and learning. Snorkeling provided me with firsthand encounters with fascinating marine creatures, but I often found myself unaware of their identities. To overcome this challenge, I engaged in independent research using books and the internet to learn about the marine life I encountered. Although my understanding is still evolving, I am committed to continuing my education on marine animals. Overall, my internship experience was enriching, as it gave me a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of marine life. Witnessing the negative impact of human actions on the marine environment further inspired me to deepen my love and appreciation for marine life and biodiversity.
Community interaction and observations
My time at the Marine Hub provided me with valuable insights into the livelihoods of local fishermen and fishmongers. It was truly an eye-opening experience to witness firsthand how these communities depend on the ocean for survival and how dedicated they are to protecting it. I was particularly moved by the sight of children and adults coming together to clean the beaches, demonstrating their understanding of the impact of plastic on marine life. Additionally, I learned that fish is a staple in their diet, and their commitment to improving their livelihoods was admirable. Organizations like Oceans Alive played a crucial role in teaching coastal communities about permaculture, providing them with an alternative food source in their backyard while preserving the marine environment.
Alignment with career aspirations
One of my primary objectives when applying for the Marine Hub internship was to write my first blog on biodiversity conservation for my website. This was a goal that I was determined to achieve, and fortunately, my time with the communication team, led by Daisy Onkoba, helped me acquire the necessary skills to develop my stories and start writing. I have always aspired to become a writer and advocate for biodiversity, and the Marine Hub provided me with an opportunity to explore this interest further. Through this experience, I have gained valuable knowledge and developed various skills that will assist me in continuing my career in this field. As I continue to learn and grow, my aim is to make a positive impact on the world and contribute to the betterment of communities.
Lesson learned and advice for future interns
Looking back, if I had the chance to redo my internship, I would focus more on working directly with the community and writing about their stories in the field. Additionally, I would dedicate more time to snorkeling with an expert who could provide deeper insights into marine life, allowing me to explore even further. Future interns are fortunate to have the opportunity to work in a field they are passionate about and be part of the Marine Hub, where they can learn, experience real-world situations, and work with experts who are willing to assist them in their learning journey. My advice to them would be to seize this opportunity wholeheartedly and utilize it to make a meaningful impact through their actions.
Significant connections and collaboration
One of the most special relationships I formed during my internship was with my fellow interns. It was truly incredible how we seamlessly collaborated, supporting and assisting one another in fulfilling our assigned tasks. Additionally, working with the talented staff at Oceans Alive provided me with exceptional opportunities to gain a profound understanding of my strengths, empowering me to achieve concrete and noteworthy outcomes.
Future plans and impact
The Marine Hub has been an excellent platform for me and anyone passionate about biodiversity conservation. It fosters a mindset that not only creates solutions but also designs them based on a deep understanding of the situation in the field. My experience there was unforgettable and compelling, and I am not content to stop there. With my love for biodiversity and writing, I aim to continue sharing stories that raise awareness about the need to conserve marine and wildlife ecosystems on my website. Currently, I am developing a project to establish biodiversity conservation clubs in schools to educate younger generations about the importance of our ecosystems. I believe they will grow up to be the best advocates for biodiversity. As I pursue further studies, I am eager to expand my knowledge and develop new projects to help communities learn more about the significance of biodiversity.
The ALU School of Wildlife Conservation is the first of its kind on the continent, dedicated to growing the next generation of world class conservation leaders in Africa.
The continent needs home grown African leaders to spearhead new and innovative approaches in the business of conservation.