Morgan Puklowski told how she came across the NMIT Bachelor in Aquaculture and Marine Conservation while looking for marine studies programmes.
Morgan is in her second year of the degree and she told the room, "I get up every morning excited to learn something new."
She said the class sizes at NMIT meant they had great discussions on aquaculture issues, nationally and internationally. She also said the aquaculture projects that are part of the programme have developed her "practical and problem solving skills".
Morgan has enjoyed the many field trips so far, which have included snorkelling and kayaking in marine reserves, and aquaculture farm visits.
Morgan thanked all the industries in the room that had hosted aquaculture students on a field trip or during a work placement and she said their involvement provided a "rich and welcoming environment" in which to study.
Morgan was followed by John Jamieson who spoke with conviction that "when you find something that you want to do for the rest of your life, it is easy to get up in the morning." For John that is working in aquaculture.
John works in the industry while completing his aquaculture degree. He has come to understand the importance of the growth of aquaculture to the small communities in which many of the businesses are based. He spoke of how satisfying it is to be part of an industry helping those communities to grow and flourish.
Through his studies and work, he has realised that the most important asset for the industry is the people who are part of it. You can read more of John's story here.
The students' talks were well received by the large crowd at the annual conference organised by Aquaculture New Zealand(external link).