The Animal Lover’s 2017 Guide to Scholarships

2017 guide to scholarships for animal lovers

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Animal lovers, if you need cash to help fund your education, you’ve landed on the right page. This is the second scholarship & financial aid list I’ve created specifically for those of you interested in animal care, protection, and conservation careers. You may recognize some of the awards from last year’s list, but I’ve added new ones, as well.

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Get Ready for the New Year: 9 Career-Boosting Activities to Start Now

Career boosting ideas for animal lovers 2017

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Hiring patterns change throughout the year. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but certain periods, like December, traditionally see slower activity, with a general uptick in hiring during January and February. Based on data from the Animal Jobs Digest Jobs section, animal care and protection jobs tend to follow this same pattern.

Why not use these slower times to prepare for the new year? You don’t need to try each of these – especially not all at once. But doing even one of these can potentially increase your chances of finding your dream animal job.

 

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Keeping Informed for the Animals: New Book Club Series Can Help

Help wildlife by saving their homes - EO Wilson Half-Earth book

By Paula Fitzsimmons

What are the biggest threats to the Grauer’s Gorilla? How about to the Monarch Butterfly or the Lemur Leaf Frog? Switching channels, do you know what political action committees do, and how they differ from nonprofits? Or which animals are protected under the Animal Welfare Act?

Why am I asking these assorted questions? Because understanding the issues impacting animals is essential to being a powerhouse advocate. It’s impossible to know everything about everything . . . admittedly, I didn’t know what the Lemur Leaf Frog looked like, or that it was even endangered, until I did a little research. But the more you do know, the more effective you can be.

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Reach Out to Potential Employers with a Letter of Introduction

Letter of introduction - Use LOI to find animal welfare job

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Searching for a solid way to reach out to potential employers? Consider sending a letter of introduction. As a freelance writer, I use LOIs to reach out to editors and clients, and ultimately land paying gigs. They’re an essential part of the professional freelancer’s arsenal, but they can also be used to land a job in just about any field, including animal welfare and care.

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Fun Career-Boosting Ideas to Try This Summer

Summer plans for animal loversBy Paula Fitzsimmons

It’s the middle of winter. Which makes it the perfect time to start shaping up your summer plans. Whether you’re a student, career changer, or are already working in the field, summertime is the ideal time to pick up a new skill or credential.

Look at the following for ideas on making the most of your summer – both personally and professionally.

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8 Ways for Animal Lovers to Find a Dream Job

Meerkat standing

By Paula Fitzsimmons

Ask ten different people working in the animal care field how they got their job, and you’ll likely get an assortment of replies. There are no right or wrong paths to gainful employment – what works for someone else may not necessarily be ideal for your situation.

Getting hired is sometimes simply the result of great timing, knowing someone who knows someone, and even luck. More often that not, it takes dogged determination and an awareness of which tools to use to your advantage.

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The Best Scholarships to Propel Your Animal Care Career Forward: A Guide for 2016

Rainforest tree frog with scholarships

By Paula Fitzsimmons

We need more, not fewer, people willing to work in careers that promote protection for animals, the environment, and the disenfranchised. These careers often require applicants to have some level of higher education – whether via certificate, technical, or college degree. Soaring tuition prices and high interest loans have made school more inaccessible than it once was. And that’s a shame . . . I believe anyone who wants to go to school to better themselves and make a difference, should have the opportunity.

All is not lost.

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Find the Right Internship for Your Animal Career

Fox image - animal lover internshipsBy Paula Fitzsimmons

The right internship can give you a definite edge when it comes time to apply for that coveted animal welfare or conservation job. It can be a solid way to make contacts, learn new skills, and gauge your interest in the field (before interning, you didn’t think animal care actually required so much cleaning duty, or that arguing an animal welfare case in court required so much preparatory work). It could also enhance your resume, CV or application – so when a potential employer asks if you have experience, you can answer with an emphatic yes.

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How Volunteering Can Help Your Animal-Centered Career – And Where to Find the Best Opportunities

Tropical green birdBy Paula Fitzsimmons

Volunteering with an animal welfare organization or rescue may not yield a paycheck, but it can offer a host of other benefits. From meeting people who can very well introduce you to your next employer (or be your next employer) to learning valuable skills, giving your time to a nonprofit charity can help build your career – and enhance your personal life.

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10 Free & Low Cost Career-Boosting Courses & Training Opportunities for Animal Advocates

10 Free & Low Cost Courses & Training Opportunities for Animal AdvocatesBy Paula Fitzsimmons

We can all benefit from learning new skills and exploring new ideas, regardless of where we’re at in our careers. The opportunities below aren’t a replacement for formal education and training, but they can certainly enhance it in different ways.

They can help give you an edge when applying for a job or seeking a promotion . . . showing potential and current employers that you take the initiative to learn on your own.

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