Graduate Highlight - Justin Furmanek

Graduate Highlight - Justin Furmanek
Posted by Marie
On January 31, 2019
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Persistent. Dedicated. Passionate. That's what you have to be to reach worthwhile goals. Even when recent Stautzenberger College graduate Justin Furmanek thought he had no shot at getting a job helping animals due to inexperience, he never stopped trying. As a result, he is enjoying the career of his dreams today.

Mr. Furmanek has always loved animals but struggled to find a career working with them later on in life. “Most people turned me away for inexperience and not starting younger,” he explained. However, several people convinced him to keep pursuing his dream anyway. “There are three people I can thank for this,” he says. “My dad, who always had pets in the house, nurtured my love for animals and always told me it's better to get a job that I love than one I hate. I can also thank Heatherly and her husband Clayton O'Connor who met me when I was still trying to get things in order. They saw the potential in me and told me to apply for The Watering Hole at the Monsoon Lagoon Safari. If it wasn't for them, I would have never considered interning there.”

Thanks to them, Mr. Furmanek enrolled in Stautzenberger College's online animal welfare management program. Throughout the program, he continually looked up to instructor Danya Linehan “because of the compassion and determination she shows in her classes, it's a real inspiration.”  Although externships are no longer required for this program, he completed one and gained valuable experience as well as a job opportunity. “I completed an externship with The Watering Hole at the Monsoon Lagoon Safari, and they did hire me on,” Mr. Furmanek says. “It is an amazing and unique place to work for and I already learned so much. The staff is awesome to work with!” He encourages anyone interested in a career with animals to not allow age or lack of work experience to stop you. “It is never too late to pursue your dreams,” he says. “Never give up!”    

We hope Mr. Furmanek's story inspired you. Whether you are interested in the animal welfare management program or one of the many other programs offered at Stautzenberger College, please come in and talk to us today to find your career passion. Call 888.859.8225 or submit our Request Information form to learn more.