So, as it’s coming to an end soon, I thought I’d do a post about the degree i’m currently studying!
BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology.
The other day I was reading a post on ‘thestudentroom’ where someone had posted that they were a recent Zoology graduate and that they were willing to answer any questions anyone had regarding the sector due to many misconceptions regarding it. I was scrolling down the page, reading peoples questions and I came to one which said ‘Looking forward to your KFC graduate position?’
The rage I felt was real.
Yes, the zoology sector can be notoriously hard to get into, however, there are many of us that have and continue to work our little butts off to reach our goal! That one little line made me want to write this post so hopefully I can clear some things up.
What is it?!
So what is zoology? (I get asked this A LOT)..It’s basically the study of animals! Aspects of the subject range from physiology and biology to conservation and population management. The three optional modules I chose to study on my course are: Zoology of Aquatic Ecosystems, Impacts of Disease and Wildlife Conservation. Other options included; Animal Behaviour and Communicating Zoology. This shows how diverse the subject can be!
Jobs available upon graduating include; zoo keepers, education officers, conservationists, ecologists and behaviourists. Many people also go onto study a Masters degree in a related area.
Coming out of school I had just 4 GCSE’s (due to prolonged illness in my teens) and decided I was never going to be able to go to university because I wasn’t ‘clever’ enough. Fast forward 5 years and I applied for an Animal Management Diploma and the rest is history as they say! I really put my whole soul into the first year and it worked, I got good enough grades to skip the second year and go straight onto a uni course! I couldn’t believe I was actually going to university!
As i’m sure you have guessed, i’m a massive animal lover! I decided this was where I wanted my future to be, in something where I could really make a difference. Lets be honest, us humans can be a bunch of plums sometimes and aren’t always putting our environment and its animal inhabitants first. If I can help out even just a little bit, i’ll be chuffed!
My main love is birds. I think it comes from my Nan and Grandad who have always loved birds and have always had rescue parrots. I’ve sat in my Nan’s kitchen many a time looking through her bird books with her and she’s always been so supportive of everything I’ve been doing on this journey!
My degree has provided me with some incredible opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to get up close and personal with some incredible species. I’ve also been to some beautiful places and had some amazing experiences that never would have happened if I wasn’t studying Zoology.
So..am I looking forward to my KFC graduate job? No, because I am doing everything in my power for that not to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against working in any such place. But I’ve been there, done that. I have worked all the way through my college course and degree to support myself, most of which was spent working in Mcdonalds! I know what some people think of individuals who work in fast food places, but if you ever find yourself judging these employees keep some things in mind. Most people I worked with were studying at college or university and working in there to support themselves. Other people had been there for years, with many working their way up to management and were some of the most hard working people I’ve ever met. For two years I went to uni 4 days a week and worked 2 days a week then went full time in the holidays. Not all students just go out and get drunk (although there is always time for the odd night out to the pub! ;-)).
If you want to get a job doing what you love when you graduate from a degree like this, you gotta do some stuff for free I’m afraid! I cannot express how important volunteering is. I have carried out multiple placements and have volunteered throughout my studies. Not just because I need it for my CV but because I honestly love it! I’ve spent time in a vets, at two wildlife parks, with the RSPB and with a hedgehog rescue! I still volunteer with Prickles and Paws and have done for over a year, the work they do is inspirational. I’ve also got myself accepted as the month long residential intern with the RSPB’s Peregrine Falcon Project in Symonds Yat in June, which i’m SO excited for! Volunteering is SO rewarding and you really feel like you’re making a difference.
The best advice I can give is that things don’t just land in your lap, you have to go out and get them! I’ve spent today sending out emails with my CV to businesses/charities in the zoology sector just trying to get myself out there. Whats the harm in trying? If you don’t ask you don’t get! Networking is so important, not just in this industry but in all industries.
Do a degree for love!
I read an article on the internet today which was titled ‘Should you study something you love or a degree that will get you a job?’ I cannot say this enough, study what you love! I know there are certain people in my life that question what I have chosen to study and do you know what? I couldn’t care less. I see so many people every day going to jobs that they hate doing with a passion. They’re miserable at work which feeds into their personal life meaning they’re miserable at home. Before I started studying, I had a job which made me miserable and one day I decided this wasn’t going to be my life!
If it wasn’t possible to get a job, then the degree wouldn’t exist. If you put your mind to it and do everything in your power then you can get a job in what you want to do, even if it means doing a job you may not enjoy to start with. You WILL get there. University takes up multiple years of your life and can be an amazing experience, don’t spent it doing something you hate. I witnessed a friend choose a degree not because it was a subject they loved but because they thought there was a guaranteed job at the end, they dropped out because they hated it that much.
There are also fab jobs out there in so many industries that don’t need qualifications and going to uni isn’t always necessary to do what you love. I guess what i’m trying to say is, go out there and kick start your future of happiness people! Whether that means going to university or not, it doesn’t matter!
I’m doing what I love and have never looked back.