In an effort to further career exploration through this blog, I interviewed two teens, Cassidy and Aubrey. They were generous enough to share their experiences with the teens in the Explorers Program here at the Zoo as they pursue their interests in animals. Cassidy expresses a strong interest in becoming a zoo keeper, while Aubrey just enjoyed the opportunity this event gave her to experience what she loves. Both girls were able to benefit from this event, further discovering who they are and how they want to pursue their interests.
In the following interview each girl shares their perspectives:
1. What inspired your interest in becoming a zoo keeper?
Cassidy: On a recent trip to Disney World my family and I spent a day at Animal Kingdom. While in the petting zoo area I got talking to an older man who was an educator. He told me about how he started volunteering at zoos and what schools he went to. The part that really drew me in was when he told the story about when there was a tiger that had ignored her cub, he was lucky enough to bring home the cub and raise it for 3 months before returning it to the zoo. I’ve always wanted to work with animals, and being a zoo keeper would allow me to take care of exotic animals instead of the usual cats and dogs.
Aubrey: What really encouraged me to attend the Explorer Program is that I really love animals. I’m always interested in learning about them. I’ve always loved them ever since I was little.
2. What high school classes and/or extracurricular activities do you engage in to pursue your interest with this potential career?
Cassidy: I’m home-schooled and take a few classes at Monroe Community College. My current goal is to take classes toward a biology or conservation degree. This Explorer experience is my first activity investigating careers with zoo animals.
Aubrey: Don’t get me wrong. Being a zoo keeper would be an extremely amazing and rewarding job, but the most memorable moment that changed my interest is how much time it takes from your life. You have to give 110% effort and I love to go travel and do new things all the time.
3. What new discoveries did you make about this career that you did not know before through this program?
Cassidy: I didn’t know any of the specific jobs the zoo keepers had to do. I learned about the zoo keepers doing training and more about how they take care of animals.
Aubrey: I connected with the animals, I love them! They always can make you smile by their beauty, my deepest interest is learning how the animals act around or in certain situations. To see how they react can change how you feel too.
4. What was the most memorable thing that you took away from this program pertaining to your future high school or career endeavors?
Cassidy: I liked how the animals responded to the keepers and enjoyed seeing that happen.
Aubrey: This program was really an amazing opportunity, except my interests are somewhere else.
5. Has this event motivated you to do more for your future as a potential zoo keeper? If so, what specifically do you wish to achieve?
Cassidy: I got to see the keepers in action and seeing things in person is different than reading about it. I would be interested in volunteering at the Zoo to further my experience, to learn more, and to see if I would enjoy the field.
- Caroline Riedman, intern