Internship Reflections: Prince Frank

Prince is from Antigua and Barbuda, the Island of Barbuda to be exact. He lived in England since the age of 12, when his family moved to Suffolk. He went to University at Queen Mary, University of London where he earned a Bachelor of Geography in 2015. In 2016 he earned his Master of Science in Integrated Management of Fresh Water Environments.

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Prince came to be our intern through a Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Internship programme in September. As he is finishing up his internship we stopped to ask him to give us some insights into how he felt about working here at DBML.

“The internship has given me some important new skills and insights. I have gained practical conservation experience within an international organization. I have also been given a step up in the ladder towards becoming an environmental consultant. Working for the lab has made me become more independent and responsible and helped me put skills learned at university to practice.

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By doing this internship I have learned about Coral reef predation by fire worms and great deal about how marine labs function in the local community and as a research centre hosting marine scientists from different countries. It gave me exposure to research scientists and various projects over the last couple of months.

I feel like my time was well spent here as I was able to learn a lot about the laboratory and its role and the responsibilities of a scientific officer. I managed to complete more dives in one week here than I had in the four years since I qualified. The only downside to this internship was not being informed of the remoteness of the lab and the general area. I didn’t know that there were no large supermarkets to shop at. I would suggest buying a few items at a supermarket in the larger towns such as Kingston, Ochi or Mobay before settling in. There are shops here and you can get fresh produce from local farmers, but some of your more staple items are best purchased before arriving.

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As a cultural experience, Jamaica is not so different from Antigua/Barbuda. One major culture shock for me was the differences for example catching local taxis here is not a comfortable experience but more of a roller coaster especially if you are going through cockpit country. Exploring the island using public transit is quite a culture shock.”

As a closing thought he shared a piece of advice to anyone looking at an internship here at the lab. “Time moves differently in the Caribbean, timings are merely a suggestion. Often meetings take place at different times than initially set!”

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