To begin with, I felt it provided a wonderful opportunity to gain a wide variety of experiences in fisheries management beyond those offered in an academic setting. Additionally, as a female developing a career in a field that has historically been dominated by men, I feel honored to share in Jan Fenske’s legacy.
My main goals are to improve my professional network, to gain insight on matters related to my area of research, and to learn about the applied, real-world aspects of fisheries management in order to better guide my future efforts in fisheries conservation. Additionally, I am looking forward to making a contribution beyond the focus of my individual research by addressing a priority of a management body.
Sometimes I feel like students get stuck in an academic “bubble” when engrossed in their studies and research. I feel the experience that can be gained as a result of this fellowship will help broaden graduate students’ perspectives and appreciation for how theory is actually applied in a dynamic and politically and culturally-charged setting.
I think it’s important to have a good idea of what you want to get out of the experience in order to make more efficient use of the fellowship from the beginning. At the same time, be flexible so that you can take advantage of the advice and knowledge of your mentors.