Samantha (Sam) Collings knew from a young age that she wanted a career related to the sea.
A self- confessed “water baby” she grew up around the sea and fishing with her whānau. She is Ngāpuhi and grew up in Auckland.
Samantha’s long term vision paid off last year when she was awarded the 2017 Global Fisheries Scholarship, jointly administered by Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Māori Fisheries Trust) and Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Limited (Nissui) in Tokyo.
The Global Fisheries Scholarship is awarded to Māori seeking a career in the seafood industry and the successful scholar spends a year in Japan at Nissui learning aspects of the seafood industry from aquaculture to processing, food safety to food technology, sales and marketing.
Samantha has undergone training in Japanese culture and language and will be given further intensive language training when she arrives there in late February.
But that wasn’t a problem for Samantha as she had been prepping for applying for the scholarship since secondary school when her mother Karin spotted a story about it. Sam learnt Japanese at school and kept the clipping. She attended Auckland University gaining a conjoint degree in commerce and marine biology, always with a career around the sea in mind.
By coincidence her secondary school Japanese teacher was the same teacher for the lessons provided for her in New Zealand as part of the scholarship.
When she returns to New Zealand at the end of the year she will be looking for a role in the seafood industry.