An Interview with WiseOceans… Krishna Ashok from WiseOceans
We thought you might like to hear about how the WiseOceans team got to where they are today, so we’ve been interviewing ourselves this week! We peeled Krishna away from his ‘desk’ on the beach at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles to answer our questions.
Name: Krishna Ashok
Job Title: Marine Educator
- What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
I grew up by the sea and volunteered at my school’s marine aquarium department. I fell in love with this amazing world under the waves right away. It wasn’t a hard decision to work towards making the ecosystems I love so healthier and sustainable.
- What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?
I started volunteering at a very young age with my school’s marine aquarium department, I worked under different scientists to understand their approaches to science and I went to university and got a Masters in marine science. Currently, my aim to gain as much experience and knowledge as I can. Working with international organisations in places all around the world, I am hoping to gain a broader view on marine conservation and gain a holistic approach in work.
- How did you land your current job/position?
I learnt about WiseOceans when I was at university and Abbie Hine, the Founder of WiseOceans, gave us a presentation about the company. I liked the company’s approach to conservation straight away. Later, Georgina, my friend working for WiseOceans, told me about a vacancy that she thought I would be great for. A few interviews later, here I am!
- Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
My favourite part of my role is the variety of interactions that I am able to have with the variety of people. As a Marine Educator for WiseOceans I get to interact with the guests at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, with the staff at the resort, with the local school students and other NGOs working in a similar field. Interacting with this wide audience is the best way to learn about them and also to understand how different people from different backgrounds perceive marine life.
- Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?
Most aspects of my position make me feel like I am making a difference. The Marine Educator role is developed for the very purpose of making a difference, to educate people about marine life and to get them as excited as we are about the marine environment. But the aspect that makes me feel most like I am making a difference is taking first time snorkelers out in the water. Their amazement to the underwater world is very evident and their post snorkel reaction of joy and excitement is the most rewarding. You know that the experience has left an impact on them and that they are leaving with a greater appreciation towards marine life.
- Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?
As a Marine Educator, I am primarily a communicator. There are lots of aspects of communication that I genuinely did not expect I would be using. I never thought I would have the opportunity to exercise my creative and artistic aspect so much in the conservation field. I have also learnt that more languages I know, more places around the world I can work. I wish I had learned more languages in school.
- What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?
There is plenty to explore and lots of potential for work out there, so don’t have a narrow view and restrict yourself. More time you spend on the field, your interest is only going to grow and the realisation that we actually know very little about the marine environment.
- What is your favourite marine creature and why?
That’s a hard one! But if I had to pick one I’d have to go for the octopus. Its intelligence and its ability to camouflage is just one of a kind. It’s a also a great creature to draw.
- What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?
Without doubt my first ever dive. The feeling of being underwater, weightless, being able to breath and being so close to the reef is the closest I had come to being part of the marine environment. I just wanted to grow some gills after that!
If you would like to find out more about Team WiseOceans then have a look at our About Us page.