Meet undergraduate student Jessica Maiorino

Jessica Maiorino

Jessica Maiorino is currently an animal science student and earning her second degree. After previously obtaining a degree in criminal justice, Jessica realized her true passion was for animals. She has returned to college with the hopes of becoming a vet someday. Jessica takes on all of her experiences with an enthusiastic personality, and her passion has continued to drive her forward throughout her college career. Read more about Jessica’s experiences during her time at UConn.

What attracted you to UConn? I was initially attracted to UConn because of the hands-on animal science program. I had a friend who graduated from here as pre-vet, and I was able to learn a lot about the program from her.

What is your major, and why did you choose it? My major is animal science. I previously received my associate’s degree in criminal justice from Housatonic Community College. I was not very interested in the field and wanted to go back to school to earn a second degree. I have always loved animals so animal science on the pre-vet track seemed like a fitting choice for me.

Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? Participating in Little I was very memorable for me. I showed a dairy cow, and it was the first experience I ever had working with large animals. This experience was a tremendous opportunity for me because I hope to be a large animal or exotic vet.

Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. My sister works for Mystic Aquarium training sea lions and beluga whales. I enjoy visiting to learn about her job and the animals she works with. In general, whenever I visit a zoo, I love to speak with the zookeepers to learn about their job. Another beneficial experience for me has been working in an emergency vet office. It has given me a lot of practical experience for my future.

What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? For me, being an older student, who has returned for a second degree, has been a challenge. I also face things that other students do, such as being away from home for the first time and balancing work with school.

When do you expect to graduate? What then? I expect to graduate in May 2019 and hope to attend vet school. I would love to work in a zoo setting or conservation center so I can gain more experience with a wider variety of animals.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I have had a much different path as a student because I am back for a second, completely different degree. It was important for me to take the time to figure out what I liked and did not like, so that I will eventually have a career that I am passionate about.

By Erin Norris