Marine Institute

Fisheries Administration Support Stagiaire

Aimee Black - Fisheries Administration Support Stagiaire

What section and service area do you work in?

Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services 

Third level qualifications and where you obtained them?

A childhood fascination with marine life, especially mammals, led to my interest in a career as a marine biologist. I hold an Honours Bachelor of Science in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology from the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).  I thoroughly enjoyed this course as it was very hands on and helped me prepare for the practical elements of my career!  I am also a Trained Marine Mammal Observer with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee UK. After I graduated from GMIT in 2010, I worked as an environmental scientist for an engineering consultancy company.  I was able to develop my survey skills and fresh water skills in this company and gained some fantastic work experience. 

What are your main responsibilities?

Administration tasks are the main element of my job and I also spend time in the laboratory working on samples. I use Excel regularly and need good time-management skills to get reports completed for deadlines.  I was recently very lucky to spend time at sea during a survey on the RV Celtic Explorer. I was also been involved with outreach events such as the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), held in Dublin in July 2012 and school tours on the RV Celtic Explorer. I really enjoy working at events as they are a great way to meet other people in my industry and find out about various projects and research. 

What are the most interesting aspects of your job?

Working at sea! Getting some sea time was a long standing goal of mine and I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to achieve it. A place became unexpectedly available during a recent survey on the RV Celtic Explorer and I was absolutely delighted to be offered the place. I worked as a Marine Institute biologist during the first leg (10 days) of the survey and also wrote entries for the Research Vessels blog, Scientists@Sea

Why do you think the work of Marine Institute is so important?

The Marine Institute is pivotal in the conversation of the marine environment and in achieving sustainable fish stocks in Irish waters whilst protecting the entire ecosystems in which they live.

Why do you think the Marine Institute’s Stagiaire Programme is useful for recent graduates? 

Throughout my time with as the Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services Stagiaire, I have been able to draw on many of my skills that I learnt in college whilst expanding my knowledge in the Marine Sector. Stagiaires are provided with many opportunities to undertake in-house workshops and training such as Microsoft Office, and the Careers Advice session has helped me prepare for the next step in my career. The encouragement and support that has been provided to me, as a Stagiaire, has given me the confidence to take the next step in my career.

What are your best career tips for someone in your area?  

Try to get as much relevant work experience as possible. Volunteering is a great way to gain the work experience and skills you need in this area. I spent some time as a voluntary fresh water biologist and really improved my sampling experience. It is really important to know what is going on in your industry so research your area, talk to colleagues at events and keep in touch with lecturers.