In November 2019, I started working as a science communication volunteer here at the MBA and as my time is now coming to an end I am sitting at my desk taking a moment to reflect on everything I have done during this period.
After four years of University education, I really didn’t know what I was going to do next: not ready to start a PhD but still wanting to be involved in all things marine science. With an interest in science communication and an understanding that many jobs now require you to have some degree of social media experience, this volunteering placement seemed like the perfect opportunity.
First, let me tell you about the view from this desk or even better let me show you….
As a person who has always been adverse to a desk-based job, this view and the openness of Plymouth Sound definitely makes sitting at a desk bearable and actually quite pleasurable whether it’s just being able to look out the window and see the ever-changing, wild Plymouth weather, or going for walks at lunch time. People have always said that the location of the MBA is one of the things that makes it so special and unique and not to sound like a broken record I can confirm this is true!
So enough about the view, what have I actually been doing? Well from the very beginning it was made clear that the communications work was quite varied, routine in parts but there would be lots to get involved in. Most of the work I’ve carried out is either working on The Marine Biologist (the MBA magazine for members) or general communications tasks (including writing press releases, social media, website blogs and supporting admin work). Alongside these key responsibilities, multiple other opportunities have come up to help at different events as well as collaborating with membership and outreach teams, and the National Marine Biological Library.
Here are my top four highlights from my four months here….
1. Helping at the YMB Summit and presenting my MSc research to 60 young marine biologists.
2. Attending the two-day Coastal Futures 2020 conference with Kellyanne, the other science communication volunteer (see previous blog here) and helping directly with @thembauk Twitter account.
3. Writing multiple pieces for the next edition of The Marine Biologist magazine. Very excited to see my name in print!
4. Running the MBA Instagram (@thembauk) account with Kellyanne and watching our number of followers grow.
The MBA is flexible with the amount of time volunteers are able to give, and it is understood that you might be interviewed for paid roles elsewhere. Sadly, I am having to cut my time here short as I have been offered a full time job but I can say with confidence that the role I have now got would not have been offered to me without the experience I have gained in my four months at the MBA.