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Purdue Veterinary Technology Alumna's Workplace Really is a Zoo!

“Anesthesia for exams, lab work, administering treatments, and necropsy are some daily tasks,” explains Julia Jones (PU AS-VT ’11), when talking about a typical day on the job at the Oklahoma City Zoo where she works.  Jones found the position in a job listing on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) website, after completing a one year internship as a diagnostic intern at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.  She was hired by the Zoo in February. 

“I have been learning so much since I started at the zoo,” says Jones, who earned her Purdue AS-VT degree in 2011. “Every day is something new.  I had never worked with primates before coming to the Oklahoma City Zoo, and I now find them incredibly fascinating.”  Her advice for others who would like to work in such a setting is to, “Take any opportunity that you can when working with exotics – get in there and learn. Tell your mentors, ‘this is what I like’ and they will help find those opportunities for you.”  Jones especially credits Purdue faculty and staff.  “I would not be where I am without the help of my mentors at Purdue.” Noting that job opportunities, especially paid ones, involving exotics, wildlife and zoo animals can be hard to find, Jones even suggests taking some time to work unpaid if necessary, adding, “If you love what you do then it will be worth it in the end.”

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