Auburn University has one of the most prestigious fisheries programs in the country. One student has taken advantage of not only the educational side of the program, but the working side as well.
Colin Dinken, a senior from Birmingham, Ala., has been in the fisheries program for three years after transferring his sophomore year from business. He has been working with the university for more than a year and a half.
Dinken transferred into fisheries when he decided being a business major was not for him. Fisheries caught his eye because he enjoys the outdoors, being on the water and most of all fishing.
For work, Dinken has an assortment of tasks and duties he is required to accomplish. “I research and gather data about fish for the university,” Dinken said. “A few ways I do that is through measuring and weighing fish, tracking fish and aging fish.”
Working for the university has proven that it can be full-time job. During the summer, Dinken worked 40 hours per week for the department. His time however does drop quite significantly during the school year where he works only 10 hours per week.
Unlike Dinken, most of the students do not work for the university. However, this is not because there are too little jobs for a large amount of students. The major, according to Dinken, is relatively small, containing roughly 100 students.
According to Dinken, this is one of the many positives about Fisheries: "Being in a smaller major I have gotten to be in classes with the same people most every semester and have gotten to know most of my professors well."
Dinken is planning to graduate in December 2012. From there he will look to continue doing similar work to what he is doing now, but possibly somewhere with salt water.
Until then Dinken says he will continue on with his studies and continue working for the university. The training he gets from his work within the department not only helps him advance in his field but also is enjoyable.
“One of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do for work was go to Hillabee Creek and fish all day trying to catch some fish to be tagged,” Dinken said. “Basically I got paid to do one of my favorite things: fish.”