An Interview with WiseOceans… Steven Hsiao from Six Senses Laamu
His advice is to volunteer and participate as much as you can. Step out of your comfort zone and do things that might scare you at first. These are the skills that will help you achieve your goals.
Name: Chih Yuan (Steven) Hsiao
Job Title: Marine Biologist/Divemaster
Organisation: Six Senses Laamu
- What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
My passion for sharks. When I was little, I remembered our whole family visited an aquarium and I was captivated by these exquisite animals swimming around the massive fish tank. From that moment on, I want to learn more about sharks and what we can do to raise awareness about these misunderstood creatures
- What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?
When my obsession with sharks reached a peak after I graduated from university, I started to travel around the world volunteering/internships with different NGOs to gain fieldwork experiences. During my journey, diving along the way also became my other passion. By travelling, I gain valuable life lessons, experience different cultures and diversities, lifelong friends, and finding myself which you can never learn at home. Building these networks and connections, I was able to be who I am today and working towards what I’m passionate for.
By never giving up and pursuing what you love. Keep on trying and continuing building up your experiences. Also, a little bit of luck won’t hurt either 😉
- Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
My favourite part of my job is sharing my passion with guests and host at the resort. By combining my love for sharks and diving, I can change the public’s view on sharks being mindless killers while taking them on an amazing dive swimming with these magnificent creatures.
- Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?
By watching their reactions as I talk about sharks being at risk of extinction and changing their perceptions of sharks. Taking guests out snorkelling/diving and having them tell me afterwards that they respect these misunderstood creatures now, instead of fearing them.
- What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Participate more in volunteer/internship at a younger age and never give up when you hit a wall during your journey.
- Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?
Yes, many such as interpersonal communication, the ability to interact well with diverse cultures/ groups, as well as Scuba diving qualifications and team management skills.
- What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?
To never give up and continuing to pursue what you love, don’t let anyone talk you down for doing what you love. Start as early as possible, volunteer and participate in events/festivals to build up connections and networks. Step out of your comfort zone and do things that might scare you at first, but eventually, these will be your greatest tools to achieve your goals. Travel and see the world, experience different cultures and learn from them.
- What is your favourite marine creature and why?
My favourite animal is none other than sharks. I am fascinated by their ability to sense electric fields to hunt and navigate in the ocean. I love that sharks come in all shapes and sizes; where smallest can fit in the palm of your hands and biggest can stretch to a length of 14 meters long. There still so many questions and mysteries behind these creatures, which I find it intriguing to see what scientists will discover next.
- What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?
When I first encounter a shark just a couple of meters away from me, calmly cruising by, where our eyes met and I realized that they are one of the most charismatic animals I’ve seen.
Thank you Steven, we agree that it takes time and a lot of hard work to get the career you want but it is worth it to achieve your goals, just don’t give up!
Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly job alert email and keep an eye on our Wise Work pages so you don’t miss your dream opportunity in marine conservation.