Madeline Daschbach, junior Animal and Veterinary Sciences major, attained an internship with Penn Vet Working Dog Center. Read more about her experience below!
How did you choose your major?
Ever since I was young, I have been an avid animal lover. Growing up I had a variety of animals and was always asking for more. As a preteen I began to ride horses and as I grew older I began working at the barn. When it came time to choose a major there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to work with animals for the rest of my life. For me, AVS was the only option for me.
How did you attain the internship you had?
After seeing a flyer in a hallway, I was made aware that the Penn Vet Working Dog Center was looking for applicants. Being an out of state student, it was an ideal internship to have. It would benefit my growth in the animal science industry and it allowed me to live close to home. I applied and was very thankful to be offered the position of a summer intern.
What is the biggest lesson you took away from your internship?
The most important lesson I took away my internship was how impressive the dog is and how important they can be to aid human life. I watched dogs identify cancer and explosive compound samples, find “victims” in rubble piles, and future canine police dogs find and apprehend suspects. I look forward to seeing how the relationship between dogs and humans can advance to better our world.
What is your dream job?
I would love to work with exotic species. To know more about them and to understand how they function, as a single organism or as a group, fascinates me. I plan on looking into graduate schools and making contacts with people that would allow me to work for the care and conservation of exotic species.
Who in your field do you look up?
Dr. Cindy Otto is the woman who made the Penn Vet Working Dog Center a reality. She saw the need for working dogs that we as a nation had after the September 11th attacks, as she helped the search dogs who responded to the disaster. She has a list incredible credentials and is one of the most impressive people I have had the opportunity of meeting. Without her and the center, I would not have had one of the most amazing internship opportunities. For that, I am thankful.
What is something you enjoy outside of the classroom?
I have been a horseback rider for about half of my life. It is something I am very passionate about and love to promote to others. My favorite part has always been working with the horses themselves, training them and growing with them as we formed a bond that no one else could understand. Horseback riding has shaped who I am and has been and always will be a huge part of my life.
Any advice to current or prospective students?
Coming into my major, I thought the only plausible route I could take would be veterinary school. However, I have learned through the years how many different opportunities there are in the field of animal science. This makes it even that more exciting to be a part of this career tract- our opportunities are endless.
This has been edited for length and clarity.