Going to the dogs
June 20, 2016 9:00 a.m. | Priscilla Rios (Marketing Student Worker)
First generation college graduate, Sara Wist, dreamt of becoming a veterinarian since she was about five years old. Working with horses for 11 years, and at animal shelters, Sara landed an internship at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.
She graduated in August 2015 with a Bachelors in Animal Science and minored in Business Administration. Like any child, Sara changed her mind several times as to what she wanted to do when she was older. She went from wanting to be a vet to getting into the theater industry, and then the music industry. Although she was interested in all of these fields, Sara explains that, “In the end I always found myself going back to the path of becoming a veterinarian.”
As a student at the UA, Sara was a part of the Equestrian Team her senior year. She competed with them through the Huntseat team. Right now she volunteers at the Pima Animal Care Center where she walks dogs, teaches them tricks, feeds them and helps out with anything the shelter may need. She explains how much it brightens a dog’s day when they are given the chance to see more than just the insides of the shelter walls and describes it as the most rewarding feeling for herself.
Aside from the Animal Care Center, Sara also volunteers at the Trak Ranch, which is run through her job at Sephora. At Trak Ranch, Sara helps feed horses and clean goat, horse and rabbit cages/stalls.
The key to landing the right internship is doing your research
Sara landed her internship at the Reid Park Zoo through research and outreach. During her research, Sara discovered that the zoo offers a variety of internships for college students, something she hadn’t even thought of before. Sara was responsible for cleaning out the pens of the zoo animals, creating and making their diets, as well as creating an enrichment for a specific animal group.
Sara’s internship was more than what she expected. She is getting hands on experience in the field she wants to go into. A big part of getting into veterinary school is having real experience with animals. Sara said, “We have to have a minimum of 500 hours of experience that includes: birds, small animals, large animals, and exotic animals.” Her services at the zoo gave her valuable experience and guided her in the right path to getting accepted into a veterinary school.
Advice for UA students? Look everywhere.
Sara says the best advice she could give to other students that are looking for a job is to do your research and “look everywhere and anywhere for something,” because there is something out there for you, it just takes some searching. If you want something badly enough, you will find a way to make whatever you are interested in a reality.