Careers as fascinating as our marine life

Marine Life Park, when it opens later this year, will host a slew of career opportunities such as: marine wildlife  veterinarian, aquarist, educator, marine mammal specialist, marine conservationist, life support system technician, park operations officer, aquatic safety officer, and  diver.

Recently, the Marine Life Park team had the opportunity to speak to some 160 students from Nanyang Junior College during EDspiration 2012 – a career, education and scholarships fair – about the career opportunities at the oceanarium.

Akira Yeo, aquarium curator at Marine Life Park and Douglas Akers, senior manager of park operations shared with the students what career opportunities lie ahead; how they came to work at Resorts World Sentosa; and their experience and own job requirements.  With the largest oceanarium in the world taking shape, a dedicated team is needed to ensure that our visitors have the best experience in the park.

The aquarium will be home to some 150,000 marine animals in 55 million litres of water! That’s a lot of mouths to feed,  care for and understand. Akira, who has been in the marine life industry for more than 10 years, started as a part-time diver at a public aquarium after completing his National Service. Being inspired by the ocean and the creatures that live in it, he went on to pursue Life Sciences at the National University of Singapore and upon graduation became a marine biologist at the same aquarium. One of the greatest challenges in his job he says, is understanding the behaviours of each and every one of the marine animals. The only way to do so is to be immersed in their environment daily!

As an aquarist, his general duties and responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining and cleaning the exhibits and habitats
  • Preparing food for the animals
  • Monitoring the nutritional needs of the animals
  • Conducting  life support checks
  • Performing regular water analyses to ensure optimal water quality standards

The next speaker for the session was Douglas Akers who is the Senior Manager for Park Operations. His experience spans 14 years. He has worked at Universal Studios Orlando, Seaworld Florida, Hard Rock Park, and Universal Studios Singapore.

“Being in operations, you will never face the exact same situation twice. School can only prepare you so much for the different types of guests you will meet. It is only when you are working on the ground that you will learn how to think on your feet.”

Doug’s responsibilities  include ensuring guests have an enjoyable time at the resort – from understanding cultural differences and working with the resort’s different business units to ensuring all the guests’ needs are met.

Although it involves working in shifts, on weekends and on public holidays, a job in park operations Doug believes  you will never be bored. Being part of this industry also will take you to new places, just as Doug is now based in Singapore!

Ms Sunitha Jayaram, geography teacher at NYJC said “I think this session shared a broad range of topics. It was good as there was the science aspect (aquarist) as well as hospitality management aspect. It was also interesting because there was the sharing of the challenges faced while on the job. This is something students need to get a sense of, to prepare them for the real world.”

The students, such as Ennabelle Huang and Kwek Min Yi said a talk like this was useful, as it showed them the career prospects available for students looking to work in the tourism industry.

Do you think you have what it takes to be in this industry? Is this a career path that you want to pursue?

If you’re interested to read more on the careers available at Marine Life Park, click here for more information.


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