Established in 1965, HAWS assists over 6,000 animals and welcomes more than 31,000 human visitors annually. As an "open admissions" shelter we lead the community in animal welfare and assure sanctuary for all animals in need, regardless of age, health or temperament. HAWS is a non-profit, entirely donor-fund organization with an active humane education program, and both wildlife and companion animal rescue services for Waukesha County.
HAWS License #267280-DS
HAWS Executive Director, Lynn Olenik, shares insight on getting into the field of animal welfare.
It’s Graduation Season! Congratulations to all of the graduates from college, high school and even those moving on from middle school. We learn at such a young age that change happens and the future isn’t always clear.
While talking with one grad recently, I was asked “How do I get a job like yours?” Education is a great start, but how do you get experience?
Training for this job started years ago with my interest in animals and a willingness to learn everything I could from the opportunities presented. Those were not always the jobs I’d hoped for, but there is something of value to take away from each position you hold.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in an organization and learn what you like, what you don’t like and to network with like-minded individuals. It’s often the way you hear about other opportunities and learn what is available in a field that may interest you. But remember, volunteering is a great way to get a job reference only if you do your best and treat it seriously.
Part time work in the field you love, though it won’t be enough to sustain you long term, is another way to gain experience. I worked in a dog kennel, vet clinic and trained dogs, all part time to keep my passion alive while I networked and honed my business skills in places not animal related but with great training programs.
So as you graduate and look at a tough job market, remember you can use and increase your skills if you are creative, ambitious and willing to help while you learn.
By the way - At HAWS, we also have a new crop of graduates...from our KITTY COLLEGE! Learn more here, or stop by our Kitten Shower on June 28th for a sneak peek...