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Kalisha Sandland

Kalisha
Sandland

United Kingdom
NTU gave me the direction I needed and opened my eyes to a profession I never really thought specifically about but have absolutely fallen in love with.

More about Kalisha

Kalisha graduated from the BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology degree in 2015 and is now working as Animal Department Administrator and Senior Animal Keeper at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

“NTU gave me the direction I needed and opened my eyes to a profession I never really thought specifically about but have absolutely fallen in love with. The encouragement I have received from both the employability team and lecturers has helped me to progress both personally and professionally. The push to undertake a year in industry helped give me the focus and drive that I needed to excel in my final year.

“In my current role I am responsible for the care and welfare of an expanding animal collection in a relatively new wildlife park / zoo. My role also involves educating and inspiring our visitors to help conserve endangered animals and the environment. I am also temporarily overseeing the leadership of the keeping team.

“I was able to secure my first paid keeper role whilst completing my final year at NTU, assisting with the initial set up of the zoo. I have watched Peak Wildlife Park grow and I have certainly grown with it.

“I can’t highlight enough how much experience is vital and that doesn’t necessarily have to be paid experience. Attend as many field related workshops and conferences as you can, not only to learn, but to develop your network and get your face out there! Networking is so important especially in a career which is so competitive.

“I cannot thank the employability team and lecturers at NTU enough for helping me. In the future I would like to travel a lot and see more of the world - and the amazing animals of course! I would also like to get more involved with conservation, work for a zoo that is a charity and maybe undertake postgraduate study.”

"NTU gave me the sense of direction I needed, and they developed me professionally and personally. Best of all, they opened my eyes to a profession I’d never really thought about, but have since fallen absolutely in love with!"

"I’d say my proudest moment was securing a placement at Chester Zoo, working in the carnivore department. Between that placement and what we learned on campus, I built up so many networking and communication skills. That’s really helped me in my current role, where I’m working with zoos from all around the world. Multitasking, managing workloads, logistical skills - these were all things I learned on my course, and they’re all crucial parts of my work today."

"I was in my final year at NTU when I got my first paid keeper role. I’ve travelled widely since then, working with conservation programmes in South East Asia, and I now work as the Zoological Registrar for Yorkshire Wildlife Park. In my current role, I’m responsible for the welfare of an ever-expanding collection of animals, and I’m also educating our visitors about conservation and the environment."

"Looking back to my studies, I can’t emphasise enough how important experience is - and it doesn’t even need to be paid. Attend as many field-related workshops and conferences as you can, and not just to learn but to get your face our there too! This is a competitive sector, and networking’s really important. So from one NTU student to another, my advice would be simple: grab every single opportunity you can. Get involved with things you wouldn’t normally do, because the opportunities you’ve got to grow are fantastic. Build up a professional network, work hard, and make the most of those long summers with work experience or a placement. Because in the end, it all pays off!"

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