I was the enrichment intern at the Como Zoo. In this role, I was responsible for making and preparing various items that stimulated a natural, wild environment for the majority of the animals at the zoo. Enrichment ranged from giving animals different scents, food that they had to work to get at, engaging toys and many other fun and interesting things that stimulated the animals' senses. I wanted to do this internship because I love animals, and I got to work with all different types of wild animals. Also, I basically got to observe the animals play, and who doesn't love watching animals have fun?
Working at the zoo this summer, I realized that the animals have a wide range of personalities, something I never really thought that exotic animals would have. I really enjoy watching the animals interact with different enrichment and learning about their personalities from these interactions.
Being a student athlete in CBS has actually been fun! Obviously, it is a lot of work, but I get to be a part of two smaller groups within the U who both are extremely dedicated and hard working. They help make this challenging journey extremely enjoyable because you know they are right there with you working just as hard and supporting you.
I am planning on being a veterinarian, but right now I am unsure of what field of veterinary medicine to pursue. Working at the zoo this past summer made me really consider being an exotic animal veterinarian for a zoo. Zoos are a vital source in the conservation efforts for animals around the globe and I would love to help this cause by making sure that the animals are healthy and thriving.
I would tell my first-year self to be bold. There are so many opportunities that you think you could never pursue, but if you are bold and go for these once in a lifetime opportunities, you may just end up getting it. Even if you do not get this opportunity, it is better to have tried than not try at all.