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a man standing in front of a statue

By Etienne Doyle

I came to Sea Synergy for my TY work experience after hearing Lucy Hunt on the radio in the morning for World Ocean Day the previous summer. 

I live in Dublin, so the most stressful part before the actual experience was organising accommodation, transport etc. So, I was convinced a couple of times that I would never end up getting to Waterville and doing my work experience. However, Natasha Howard, who had only been in Ireland for four months, really generously offered for me to stay with her (and her dog, Sasha) for the week.

My week of work at Sea Synergy was genuinely one of the best experiences I have ever had. I, along with two other students, during the week when working in the office, were give tasks such as stock taking, identifying mermaid purses and shells as well as which species they belong to, and designing poster templates for events such as ‘Seashore Safaris’ and the ‘Dark Skies Festival’.

When working outside the office, we went to schools in Cromane, Cahersiveen and Tralee to help Natasha deliver The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme for primary schools, which involved spending time on the beaches helping the students out rock-pooling.

I think I matured through the experience of going to work, as well as being away from my parents for the week and having to take responsibility for myself. I would really recommend anyone looking to do work experience in the marine field to contact Sea Synergy, since just being in Waterville for the week I could really feel the enthusiasm from these people and the desire to share their knowledge about the world of marine biology, and in turn encourage others and I to purse a career in this field. Before coming to Sea Synergy, I was quite unsure of what I wanted to do after school but now I have a clear picture!