Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology major Maureen Goretti spent a week in Costa Rica with Vida Volunteer, a pre-professional study abroad program that allows volunteers to gain hands-on experience in a desired field outside of the US. As a pre-vet volunteer, she worked in a pop-up clinic helping treat animal patients with anything from minor check-ups to major surgeries. Back on campus, Goretti spends her free time as a member the Leopold Wildlife Club, Zoology Club and Student Wolfpack Club.
How did this opportunity enhance your experience as a CNR student?
CNR is a great college because it offers students various experiences in the field and outside of the classroom. Thanks to the CNR Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund, I was able to go out of the classroom and out of the country to gain hands-on experience in the veterinary field. This trip was something I felt was a rare opportunity for not only CNR students, but college students in general.
Why was participating in this experience important to you?
I was originally thinking about becoming a veterinarian in aquatics. I wanted to participate in this trip to get hands-on experience in my desired field, while also studying abroad. While I did enjoy the trip and all the opportunities it offered, I’ve decided to pursue a different career path. Regardless, I am very grateful I had the privilege of going on this study abroad trip and learning about a career path that may not be a traditional route for a CNR student.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed our day hike to Irazú Volcano, an active volcano in Costa Rica closest to the city Cartago. It is now a national park where people can visit the volcano and hike along its many trails to view the crater. My favorite part was seeing all the different kinds of wildlife that inhabited that area.
Have you participated in any other hands-on experiences?
I’ve participated in Semester at CMAST, which involves a whole semester on North Carolina’s coast studying fisheries and marine science at the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST). Every day we were outside learning and working with professionals in the field. I also got to complete an internship with the North Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Any advice to incoming students?’
I would advise incoming students to do their research on different programs, opportunities and areas of study in our field. The CNR website offers a description of all their majors as well as majors similar to ones they offer. They also have special programs, such as the Aquaculture and Fisheries Scholars Program that allows students interested in aquatics health to pursue a degree in the veterinary profession. The FWCB major in CNR is also one of the last schools to offer a Summer Camp immersion experience for fisheries and wildlife students!
What do you enjoy most about being a CNR student?
I enjoy getting outside of the classroom and out into the field. The people in this college are also great. Everyone I have met are genuine people interested in helping you succeed.