We had a chat with Kesella Scott who is a part-time MSc Aquatic Sciences student and asked her the questions that really matter. Find out about her interest in Geography, its link to Aquatic Sciences, her future plans…and her spirit fruit.
Tell me more about your personal background?
I grew up in a small village in Devon with my parents, sister and grandma. All of them are self-employed in the environmental, arts and craft sectors.I really hated school when I was growing up so I got kicked out because I kept criticising the teaching methods. So, I went travelling through Portugal, Greece, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Central America instead. Working in many different things, including bartending, child care, hotels, telephone companies for about four years.
What was your journey to choosing Geography and Aquatic Sciences to study?
As I was raised near the sea, I was really keen on aquatic wildlife. I also did a lot of volunteering, especially wildlife conservation (linked with climate change). I realised I wanted to work in that field. My boyfriend said I was a real pain because the only thing I wanted to do was watch documentaries about fishes…so why not study it? I found a foundation year in Winchester in Conservation and Ecology which was a perfect fit, but I had no qualifications, not even the GCSE! So, I had a talk with the head of the course and he asked me “is your CV real? Did you lie?”. He gave me a chance! So I did that course for two years as well as one top-up year in BSc Marine Biology at Portsmouth University. At the end, I realise I was still interested in the subjects so I looked for masters in London and found a place at UCL! I think if you go to a more scientific field you need some academic backing that require questioning and reasoning; which you don’t really need for other degrees.
Have you been drawn to Geography and Aquatic Sciences from a young age?
Yes, in primary school they called me “nature-girl” as I was constantly in the ponds, looking for stuff ! Both of my parents are keen on wildlife conservation. My mum loves birds and my dad loves insects, so they both showed me the wildlife in everything. My next door neighbour was a passionate wildlife documentary presenter, who had lots of animals; fish tanks, spiders, scorpions. I held all those animals, and I loved it. I always knew I wanted to work marine biology, and I waited for others to tell me. Going out into the world and trying things yourself is where you realise who you are. I was my happiest by the sea.
Do you have any plans for when you graduate?
I really want to get a job that I like. I’ve been working since I was 14, and now I am 25. I have never had a job that I liked, except being a lifeguard. I want a job that I enjoy and am getting paid to do something interesting. Maybe an NGO, or Natural England. Doing something on your own is really hard and I need more experience to learn first, as well as financial stability.
What is an important lessons you’ve learned?
I think questioning more. We are told certain things: go to school and do well, go to college or university and do well, get a job and earn money. Whatever we are reading, we take it as facts but we should constantly question and do our own research until you think you have a rather good understanding of it. Ask others for feedback and opinions. Question yourself as well. Why do I think that, why do I think this way?
On a personal level, what makes you angry?
We are fed a lot of misinformation that isn’t clear, and it’s difficult to change this. I think communication is really important, and the news isn’t being properly communicated. We get caught up in gossips and this frustrates me! Anybody remotely studying Climate Change realises we rely on the environment for our food, water, air, space we live in. But, the general public is not realising this, instead thinking technology will save them. There’s this weird disconnection between behaviour and reality, which is maintained by states and corporations. The realisation is too slow, and we are not thinking far enough ahead. We are thinking more about tomorrow rather than the next generations. Technologies are outdating really quickly, so we need to use them in a more sustainable way.
If you were a fruit, which one would you be?
My favourite fruit is a watermelon. I feel they are quite similar to humans: mostly water.