Marine Biology Major / Psychology Minor
Related Coursework In: Biology- Marine Biology, Evolution and Diversity, Wildlife Management, Behavioral Ecology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Advanced Ichthyology, Biology Statistics, Experiment design, Genetics, Organic Chemistry, Undergraduate Research.
Sorry for the official-ness. I copied and pasted off my resume haha.
First off the actual conference was a little intimidating for a few reasons. 1.I was the only one from my zoo, which means I had to step out of my shell and actually approach people and try to make friends. 2.I’m a fish keeper…there are no fish keepers there. So when I told people I was a fish keeper they didn’t have much to say to me. But if I told them I worked with fish and birds, then they would talk to me about the birds we work with. 3.This was my first conference ever. I had no idea how things worked. I didn’t know I was supposed to woo like a gibbon instead of clap. But I learned.
The people at this conference were amazing. I got to chat with so many zookeepers from so many zoos. I got to hear about how different institutions worked from the inside. I made connections that will make it easier to go visit other institutions and maybe even get some behind the scenes! Every zookeeper I chatted with was so happy to talk about their jobs. Sometimes at my zoo when we go out after work, my co-workers make the rule that we can’t talk about work. Which I understand, but I love my job so much that its hard not to talk about. I could tell that all these people love their jobs that much as well. Most attendees were around my age, maybe a bit older. And then there were the older rock star zookeepers that had been attending for many, many years. Every minute was absolutely fantastic. Totally worth the money and the time. I hope to keep going back every year.
The best part of my trip was getting to meet an online friend, Katie, in real life. She was absolutely fantastic. She definitely made magic happen. I am so blessed to have met a truly fantastic, kind, jovial person that was so easy and natural to chat with and be around. She is the greatest thing I will take away from this conference.