Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology major Jaspreet Pooni is deeply dedicated to conservation of endangered species. She recently traveled to Namibia, Africa to learn more about African ecology and conservation. Back at NC State, she dedicates her free time to conservation efforts related to the Red Wolf as the founder and president of Wolves 4 Wolves, a student organization at NC State that is dedicated to the conservation of endangered wolf species. Check out her conservation education outside the classroom, supported by the CNR Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund.
How did this experience impact you?
This experience solidified the fact that I wish to travel and work with exotic wildlife. In a way, it gave me a sense of direction by allowing me to establish connections within organizations that are fighting for conservation, as I hope to do. I have no doubt that I will utilize these connections as I plan for my future.
How has this experience prepared you for your future career?
After graduation, I hope to put all my efforts toward exotic wildlife conservation. To do this, I will have to be open to the idea of travelling for my job. This experience helped me get a glimpse into what my future might hold.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed being in a country I had never been in before, seeing animals I had never seen before and meeting people I will never forget. I cannot describe the happiness I felt, seeing endangered and critically endangered animals in their natural habitat, something I may not have gotten the chance to do otherwise. I loved waking up and falling asleep to the sounds of Africa, and I miss it dearly.
What did you learn about yourself during your experience?
It is interesting to reflect on, and read about from my daily journal, my time during this study abroad experience. I have traveled to India alone in the past, but my time within the country has always been spent with family. This experience was different because it helped me learn who I am, when I have the freedom to be whomever I want.
Would you recommend this experience to other students?
I would recommend finding a study abroad experience that fits well with your future aspirations and applying. Not only will you get the chance to experience another country, but by going out of the classroom and learning in a more hands-on way, you have the potential to either solidify or reevaluate those aspirations. Perhaps the experience will even spark passions that previously laid dormant.
Have you completed any other hands-on experiences?
Last summer, I interned at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, N.C. The experience taught me a lot about myself; before it I had not considered working with reptiles and amphibians and would have never guessed I wanted to work with children. During my time at the museum, I interacted with more reptiles and amphibians than I ever had before and I loved it. While conducting public programs as part of my internship, I started to realize the importance of education and how much I enjoy educating. In a way, the experience expanded my view on what the future could hold.
Anything else you would like to say?
Attending NC State has allowed me to gain a plethora of knowledge and I highly recommend participating in experiences that let you learn in a more hands-on way, such as a study abroad!