Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something

Perspectives and experiences of a marine conservationist– an interview with Sarah Neill by Ussi Abuu, WildHub Catalyst
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something

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It is really important that people work together and make sure that no one is left behind. 

Together we build the new world we need.

In the past, people believed that women can not do the same work as men because of having limitations. Now the times have changed and evidence shows that women bring different strengths whilst still doing the same work as men for the same number of hours and the same responsibilities. 

Sarah Neill is a marine biologist and expeditioner with a passion for anything that swims! She gained extensive experience in marine conservation worldwide, from surveying marine mammals to the rescue and rehabilitation of marine life, and she became a regional coordinator for both the Sea Watch Foundation and British Divers Marine Life Rescue and sit on the board of the International Otter Survival Fund. Here is an interview with Sarah Neill,
By Ussi Abuu, WildHub Catalyst and Core Community Member. 

 Ussi 👨🏻‍💻
Sarah, Can you introduce yourself, what do you do professionally?

Sara: I'm a lecturer in further and higher education and a marine biologist

Ussi 👨🏻‍💻
What inspired you to become a marine biologist? 
Sarah: I had wanted to be a marine biologist since the age of 7. I was already animal mad thanks to my mother but I had a real fascination with sea life and was further inspired by a tv show called Sea Trek presented by Mike deGruy and Martha Holmes

Ussi 👨🏻‍💻
What education is needed to become a marine biologist?
Sarah: My education was GCSEs, then at A-Level I studied Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and General Studies. I then studied Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at Plymouth University

Based on your professional background, what are the top 5 lessons you can share with us?

Sarah: Advice I would give - Never give up. Be prepared to volunteer and work for free in order to gain experience and open doors. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something, I always had people underestimate me or say I was too small to be able to carry dive equipment, catch seals, do the heavy lifting needed as an aquarist etc. Whilst disheartening I never listened to it, and learned how to turn it around in interviews – “but I am small enough to climb in your tanks and clean them, I can still carry it but in more trips” etc. Stay determined, anyone can do anything they want so long as they put their mind to it.

Ussi 👨🏻‍💻
How did you hear about WildHub and why did you join?
Sarah: I heard about WildHub when I was sent a message on LinkedIn from Adam advising there were bursaries for those in marine conservation to apply for to do a WildHub course. I applied and was awarded a bursary to do the Grant Writing course :)

Ussi 👨🏻‍💻
Is there something that would make WildHub even better for you or people you know?

Sarah: To make WildHub better - I guess I still don't fully understand how to navigate it, and how the different rooms etc work so a tutorial for new members would be good

Ussi 👨🏻‍💻
Thanks, Sarah for sharing your insights and wisdom with our WildHub members and many others around the world, I particularly like your perspective or insights on marine conservation.



"Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world"

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Go to the profile of Lara Reden
almost 2 years ago

Thanks for sharing! I can definitely relate to people assuming I can't do something because of my size, and it's frustrating to hear. It's admirable to follow the path you believe in despite any naysayers. 

Go to the profile of Ussi Abuu Mnamengi
over 1 year ago

I take the time to thank you

Go to the profile of Thirza Loffeld
over 1 year ago

Thanks very much for this contribution Ussi and Sarah! Thanks also for sharing your suggestion to improve our community @Sarah Neill : I can share the happy news that we are currently designing a Member course, together with improved welcome communications to new members. Stay tuned as I will announce more soon in Our Community channel! Thanks both!

Go to the profile of Ussi Abuu Mnamengi
over 1 year ago

Thank you! For all you do is important and so appreciated

Go to the profile of Lize Gibson-Hall
over 1 year ago

Thank you so much for this interview Ussi and @Sarah Neill. It is always great to hear from another marine biology graduate from Plymouth Unviersity. I will definitely need to check out Sea Trek now! I especially love your advice on working within your own means and doing multiple trips to adapt to your own abilities but still complete the work. 

Go to the profile of Anne Mauro
12 months ago

This type of message really speaks to me. I've had many people in my career tell me I can't do things. And part of that is because I was in competitive positions that others were jealous of. I experienced the "tear this person down to get ahead" approach. Not everyone has experienced hardships like this. So to hear that others also faced resistance makes me feel better about myself and my career journey.