Macquarie marine science graduate shares her love of the ocean
What happens when you live on Canada’s beautiful west coast? Well, very often you develop a love for the ocean. That’s what happened to former OzTREKK student Jasmine Wei. Not only did she head to Australia to further her studies and to follow her passion, but now she’s also working back in Canada in a field she loves!
OzTREKK had a chance to chat with Jasmine to find out more about how she liked the Master of Marine Science and Management program at Macquarie University!
What is your background and why are you interested in marine sciences?
Growing up in Vancouver, I’ve always had a love for animals and the outdoors. I first became interested in marine sciences when I was in grade 6 during a week-long field trip at the Vancouver Aquarium. I was fascinated by all the different kinds of animals from sea stars to whales found in our oceans. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto with a double major in Zoology and Genetics & Biotechnology with the intention of pursuing a career in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals while learning about animals on the side to feed my interests. Within a month of graduation, I realized that I really wanted to devote my life to protecting and preserving our oceans and the life they hold. It is ridiculous how little we know and understand about our oceans, and how under appreciated they are among the general public. Now with more climate change impacts on the rise, marine sciences will be more important than ever.
Why did you choose to study Master of Marine Science and Management at Macquarie?
I was having a hard time deciding between a couple amazing university programs, but it really came down to the courses. The Master of Marine Science and Management program at Macquarie University offered such a broad range of topics to choose from that really allowed me to cater to my interests and career path. The program was also offered in partnership with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, which made it really unique. Macquarie University is also home to many great researchers and ranked top 50 in the world in Earth and marine sciences. So why not?
Did you enjoy your program? Any surprises?
Yes! I loved my program. It was definitely more challenging that I thought it would be going in. Looking back, I can’t believe how much work I actually did during my degree, and how almost all of that work was applicable to actual marine science jobs in the real world. I loved having class once a week at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science in Chowder Bay with students from the other three partnering universities. I got to meet so many different and amazing people along the way.
What are you enjoying most about your time in Australia?
The weather and the animals! All my friends and family back home were always jealous of me posting selfies with kangaroos, koalas and quokkas. It is also so different waking up in the morning to the extremely loud magpies, cockatoos and kookaburras on campus, rather than the sweet songbirds back home, but you learn to love them (or at least some of them). Learning to scuba dive was also an amazing experience and I’m so glad I chose to do it in Australia. I also love meat pies. I don’t know why they don’t exist everywhere else in the world, but they should.
What are you up to now?
After graduating I did a bit of travelling and now I’ve moved back home to Vancouver, BC to start the dreaded job hunt. Currently, I’m interning at the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a conservation research unit called Project Seahorse. We’ll see what happens next!
Congratulations on your Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence Award! Can you tell us about it?
The Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence is awarded to students who have maintained a Distinction or High Distinction for every unit of study taken during their program. I am definitely extremely proud to have qualified for this award; it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears!
Any tips for future OzTREKK students thinking of studying in Australia?
Do it! I guarantee you won’t regret it. Every school that is available through OzTREKK has amazing programs and you really can’t go wrong. Plus you’ll make so many international connections along the way that could really be beneficial for whatever your future has in store for you.
What is the Master of Marine Science and Management?
This interdisciplinary and cross-institutional degree is unique in Australia, and gives you in-depth knowledge in a range of disciplines in marine science and management.
Study at up to three of the four participating universities. Students enrol at one of the partner universities where they complete six of eight subjects. Two of the remaining subjects can be chosen from a list of electives across all participating universities. The core subject involves a seminar series at the newly built teaching facilities at SIMS taught by leading Australian and international marine scientists. The unit culminates in a research project taking advantage of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System database.
This degree is suitable for students seeking a broad base in marine science as qualification for entry into the field including those wishing to gain new and specialised skills in a range of theoretical and practical applications. It is also suitable for professionals looking to extend their area of expertise and acquire knowledge of managerial practices.
Program: Master of Marine Science and Management
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 1.5 years
- Australian level 7 bachelor’s qualification or recognised equivalent in science, marine science, or a related discipline
- GPA of 2.50 (out of 4.00)