Swimming With Sharks for that NS Credit

Hello! My name is Victoria Kline, and I am a Junior at Pitt graduating in the Fall of 2020. This summer, I am going to the Bahamas to study Shark Ecology and Tropical Marine Biology at the world famous Bimini Shark Lab!

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One of my earliest memories is from around the age of 8ish. Yeah– that’s super late in my life. Not totally sure what happened there, but anyways– I remember leafing through this old book I found in the new house my parents had just bought. It was called Fish Do the Strangest Things. Reading it (and rereading it too many times to count) changed the trajectory of my life. This book sparked my interest in life underwater, and ever since finding it dusty on a closet shelf, I have been obsessed with marine life. Growing up, I would draw anatomical diagrams of my favorite types of jellyfish and dream of being the next Jacques Cousteau. I can’t go to a new city without visiting its aquarium, and anyone who knows me knows that it’s dangerous to bring me into a pet store. I’ll head right to the fish aisle, and you won’t be able to get me out without a marine creature in hand.

So flash forward several years– this will be my second study abroad experience. I spent last summer working a marketing internship at a creative boutique in Prague through Pitt’s IIP Program. It was there that I decided that working a marketing job for the rest of my life was the last thing I wanted to do with my life. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I would much rather pursue my passion of marine biology– a field I always wished I had gone into before committing to Pitt and pursuing a business degree. My plan is to apply to law school this summer and pursue environmental law. Then, I will use my degree to work in the aquaculture industry and make the fishery more humane, while using my business undergraduate degree to simultaneously make it more lucrative.

The class I’m taking in the Bahamas is through the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. Honestly, if I could go back in time, I would have gone here for my undergraduate degree and chosen one of their majors. (A little too late for that though since I only have 12 credits left of my degree at Pitt.) I was actually supposed to take the class last year, but unfortunately, it was canceled due to low enrollment. I hope that this class feels more like fun than work. Additionally, I hope it gets my foot in the door to potentially intern at the Bimini Shark Lab after I graduate, before law school.

 

I look forward to updating you all on my trip later in the summer!