Diving with great white sharks in South Australia
Marissa did her professional placement in her home state of South Australia with Adventure Bay Charters. The company allows tourists to swim with Australian sea lions and dive with great white sharks. “I found this experience incredibly rewarding. It gave me real-life insight into the eco-tourism industry, and I even got offered a job out of it,” she says.
However, she did not accept their job offer. Instead, she returned to Townsville to start her Honours. “But I certainly now have great relations with Adventure Bay Charters. I will likely pick up some work there when I go back home for the summer holidays.”
A dream job: Working with whales and sea lions
Looking into the future, Marissa says her dream job would be a field-based marine megafauna research position. “I am particularly interested in whales, sea lions and sharks,” she says. “I would love to work alongside these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. Also, I would like to educate others about their conservation.”
Hard work pays off
For people who interested in studying marine science, Marissa has some advice.
“A passion for all things marine and a positive attitude for learning will take you a long way,” she says. “Subjects taken in high school such as biology, chemistry and maths can make the first year a little less daunting.”
She says that even for those who have different backgrounds but want to go into marine science preparatory classes and a little hard work can help. And the hard work will be well rewarded, once the field trips are on the agenda.