Alumniverhaal

Testimonial Leoni Herhaus - MSc. Marine Resource Development and Protection

After graduating from the Bachelor in Tourism I moved to the UK where I am following the MSc. Marine Resource Development and Protection (MRDP) at Heriott-Watt University.

Make the most of the minor, because this is your opportunity to figure out your specific interests beside tourism

Studying at Heriott-Watt University appealed to me, because the program only takes one year and as an EU student I could get funding from SAAS to study in Scotland. This master provides me with a good background in human impacts on the marine environment which I might need for my future jobs. I’m hoping to work on research projects about tourism impacts on the marine environment and/or work within the marine ecotourism industry.

Role of BTO in career development

The BTO program has helped me to gain basic knowledge on how to conduct research. Especially the fieldtrip to Thailand was a great opportunity to get some practical skills in researching and get an idea about possible future jobs.  During my studies the Wageningen University gave me the chance to do a minor in Norway where I was able to take marine resource management classes. This provided me with a basic idea about what I would like to do with my future, and I put my focus towards a master in marine science. It was also important for me that the program made me see the greater picture beyond the mere management side of tourism.

Student life

Student life in Edinburgh is great. There are several activities organized by the University, such as parties and touristic trips. Heriot-Watt University also facilitates a range of student clubs that cover nearly everybody’s interests. But most important are the advantages of living in a big city. The night life is great and there is always something you can do. Public traffic is another advantage of Edinburgh. Student life in Breda was also nice. A small city´s advantage is that you can reach everything by bike. The university also organized some weekend trips that I really enjoyed (eg. Paris). Furthermore, Breda is a great place to get to know other students and enjoy several small pubs in the city centre.

Future plans

I am passionate about the marine environment and I would like to protect it in order to maintain its resources for future generations. Marine ecotourism can help protect these marine resources. I would really like to research the impacts of tourism on the marine environment, working within the marine ecotourism sector. This study and hopefully future work also gives me the chance to stay close to the sea in whatever country I will go to and combine my interests of traveling and diving. 

Advice for future graduates

Make the most of the minor, because this is your opportunity to figure out your specific interests beside tourism. Also it is a great opportunity to see what other countries have to offer.