Should I have admitted to the monkey business?
September 1, 2011 5:38 AM Subscribe
Did I say the wrong thing on my application for a vocational course?
posted by Perodicticus potto to education (6 answers total)
After a decade spent in admin/office work, I'm taking some time out of employment to get the necessary training and voluntary experience for a career change. One of my greatest passions* is for animals, nature and the outdoors. With that in mind, I've applied for a part-time course leading to a certificate in animal care. I'm told the part-time courses are relatively easy to get into, but I'm still nervous.
On my application, I had to explain why I was interested in taking the course. I said that I'd had a lifelong interest in animals, and also that I'd been encouraged by a "keeper for the day" experience at a monkey sanctuary. This involved helping the keepers out with their everyday tasks, like cleaning poo from the enclosures, chopping fruits and vegetables for the monkeys' dinner, etc. I know there are a lot of folks who like the idea of working with nice cuddly animals, but aren't prepared for the more mundane and smelly aspects of it. But this experience convinced me that I could handle the gritty stuff as well -- in fact, I liked cleaning up monkey poop a lot more than I like sitting through PowerPoint presentations!
That's what I meant to convey, but now I'm worried that I came across as a dilettante -- "I did this for one day, so naturally I can do it as a career."
What do you think? Will mentioning this experience help my application, hurt it or make no difference? If this application falls through and I need to apply elsewhere, should I take a different approach in future?
* The other great passion is writing poetry and short stories, but I don't think I could cope with the massive riches that would bring me.