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I am interested in wildlife conservation. How do I go about finding someone to do an informational interview with?

I am a high school student in dual-enrollment looking to learn more about different careers in conservation, possible colleges, and what courses would be required, as well as different experiences on the field and in the lab.

Thank you comment icon Hi, I do not have the answers to these questions but I just want to tell you that this is the most briliant question I have came across so far. It is so very smart for you to think of this. WOW!! Stacy Smith
Thank you comment icon Hi Kiera, I loved your original question, but unfortunately, it goes against our community guidelines as it's a safety issue. However, I still want to make sure that you can get the interview, so I tweaked your question to learn more about how you can get an information interview rather than directly asking for one! Gurpreet Lally, Admin

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Megan’s Answer

Hi Kiera,

I see you are in Winter Haven, Fl and I have a few organization suggestions you can contact.

https://naturalencounters.com
https://www.lakeregionaudubon.org
https://www.keepwinterhavenbeautiful.org
https://conservationfla.org

Reach out in an email to see about connecting with someone. You can also look into volunteer opportunities with these organizations to learn more about conservation careers.

Florida is full of conservation opportunities!
Check out aza.org (the association of zoos and aquariums) they have a lot of information about careers and colleges

Hope this helps!
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Jacob’s Answer

Exploring careers in wildlife conservation is a commendable pursuit, and conducting informational interviews is an excellent way to gain insights. Here's how you can go about finding someone for an informational interview:

1. **Start Locally**:
- Reach out to local wildlife conservation organizations, nature reserves, or environmental agencies. They often have experts in the field who might be willing to share their experiences.
- Contact professors or instructors in biology, ecology, or environmental science at your high school or college. They may have connections or be willing to share their knowledge.

2. **Utilize Online Resources**:
- Look for professionals in wildlife conservation on LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social networking platforms. Send a polite and well-crafted message explaining your interest and request for an informational interview.
- Explore conservation forums and online communities where experts and enthusiasts share information. You may find individuals willing to offer guidance.

3. **Attend Workshops and Seminars**:
- Attend workshops, conferences, or seminars related to wildlife conservation. These events are excellent opportunities to network with professionals in the field.

4. **Contact Conservation Organizations**:
- Contact renowned conservation organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Nature Conservancy, or local wildlife sanctuaries. They often have educational programs and may be able to connect you with experts.

5. **Reach Out with a Clear Purpose**:
- When contacting potential interviewees, be clear about your objectives and respectful of their time. Explain your interest in wildlife conservation, your desire to learn more about careers, colleges, courses, and field/lab experiences.

6. **Prepare Thoughtful Questions**:
- Develop a list of insightful questions that demonstrate your genuine interest. Ask about their career journey, educational background, daily tasks, and any advice they have for someone considering a career in wildlife conservation.

7. **Be Professional and Courteous**:
- Approach professionals with professionalism and respect. Treat the interaction as a formal interview, even if it's informal. Be punctual and express gratitude for their time.

8. **Follow Up and Express Gratitude**:
- After the informational interview, send a thank-you email expressing your appreciation for their insights and advice. This helps build a positive relationship for future interactions.

9. **Continue Networking**:
- Use the connections you establish during these interviews to expand your network further. Don't hesitate to ask interviewees if they can introduce you to other professionals in the field.

Remember that informational interviews are valuable opportunities to gain firsthand knowledge about the field of wildlife conservation. Be proactive, patient, and persistent in your pursuit of these interviews, as they can provide you with valuable guidance for your educational and career journey in conservation.
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