Gemma Cunnington graduated with a Bachelor in Marine Science (BSc) in May 2022, and is now working towards a MSc in Marine Science she hopes to complete in 2024.
“I have always been surrounded by the ocean. I developed such a strong connection to our Moana from a young age, and I’ve always known there was no other career path I’d rather take. Gaining a Bachelor (BSc) in Marine Science is just the first step of my journey with the sea.
“I graduated with a BSc earlier this year, and I am now working towards a Master of Science (MSc) in Marine Science: 240-point taught master's degree which I hope to complete at the beginning of 2024.
“My current interest is in the area of sustainable fishing and marine protected areas.
“I was inspired to pursue the postgraduate qualification because I wanted to get a taste of the research process. After getting advice from multiple supervisors, I came to the conclusion that doing a master's would be my best option.
“I knew the University of Auckland was my preferred choice of university to study Marine Science, with the Goat Island/Leigh Marine Lab facilities, it was an easy choice for me to make.
I was inspired to pursue the postgraduate qualification
because I wanted to get a taste of the research process. After getting advice
from multiple supervisors, I came to the conclusion that doing a master's would
be my best option.
“A significant factor to my experience has been the lecturers. Every lecturer I’ve spoken with is more than happy to help and try their best to further my knowledge and understanding.
“I had a summer student scholarship over the 2021/2022 summer holidays. Instead of a project, I was a research assistant for Simon Thrush’s’ sediment ecology group. This was a great opportunity and provided me with connections across the Institute of Marine Science. It also broadened my knowledge and experience in fieldwork and laboratories, confirming doing a Masters Degree was the right thing for me.
I am part of the University Marine Science Society (UMSS), where our main purpose is to connect students to the sea and help them gain a broader understanding of what working in the marine field is like. I’m in charge of creating speaker night events; where I ask lecturers, supervisors, or people within the marine world to come in and present a seminar on a chosen topic.
“I hope this qualification gives me a greater entry into the marine science world, and that it puts me on a strong pathway to a sustainable career.”