CEO was never tempted to give up
Occupation: Zoo curator, Amarillo Zoo
Where did you receive your education?
Iowa State University; Association of Zoos and Aquariums training courses - zoo management, elephant management and zoo recordkeeping.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
Obtaining a biology degree had provided me the basics of animal knowledge I needed to get into the zookeeping profession. My degree has aided me in getting to the levels of promotion I have obtained so far in this profession.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Getting through the testing for acceptance into vet school I found the most challenging and ultimately, I did not continue. I decided working in a zoo setting would be more of an interest for me. My desire was more to work "with" animals as opposed to work "on" animals. As the zoo curator, I get the best of both worlds.
What is the value of your education?
My educational background included classes in mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology and wildlife management. All of these courses gave me the basic knowledge to learn about the different exotic species I would encounter and work with in this job.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
I would recommend they consider volunteering in some jobs where they might have interest. By doing some research one can find out what education and background would be needed to pursue a particular career. The American Association of Zookeepers and Association of Zoos and Aquariums are good sources for someone to learn about the zookeeping profession.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
My career interests early on in high school determined my educational path. I also volunteered at the local zoo during the summer while I was in college and gained valuable experience that guided me for developing my degree program.