Camden biology major ready to care for furry friends as future vet
Puppy love might have first compelled Carla Germano to consider working with animals. But a team of Scarlet Raptorshelped ready her for a career as a veterinarian.
Thanks to the support she received from the Rutgers–Camden Career Center and Department of Biology faculty – and, of course, her own perseverance – the Moorestown resident will begin her first year at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine this fall. Carla, a 2007 Villanova graduate, was able to secure her second undergraduate degree as well as numerous internships – from the Philadelphia Zoo to the area’s only late-night animal ER – in just three years while at Rutgers–Camden.
“I loaded up on all my sciences in a major way. If it wasn’t for all the good teachers I had while at Rutgers–Camden, I wouldn’t have made it through,” she exclaims.
The Career Center, too, was instrumental in her success. “They made me feel like I could do it. Mr. Marino would say ‘let’s take this on’ and ‘you don’t need to stress out.’ I’m just really glad I came here when I did,” notes Carla of Assistant Dean James Marino, director of the Rutgers–Camden Career Center.
Originally on track to becoming a marketing professional, Carla’s career plans shifted gears when she followed a personal passion and began interning at the Gateway Animal Hospital in Wayne, Pa.
“I’m not a cubicle kind of person after all; business alone didn’t light my fire. At the animal hospital, even on early Saturday mornings, I always wanted to be there and was happy to help,” she says.
Since that first experience volunteering with animals, Carla has since expanded her skill set by working not only with a range of animals, from kinkajou to parakeet, but in a range of scenarios, like caring for a basket full of newborn puppies, treating racehorses from a mobile equine unit, and aiding gunshot wounds on urban pets in emergency care. The 2003 Moorestown High School graduate currently works as a technician at the Burlington County Animal Shelter. Even tough days here treating abused and abandoned pets are still worthwhile.
“It’s definitely not always easy. This is the hard part of being a vet, but it is still extremely rewarding and worth all the hard work.”
Carla’s concern for furry friends also made an impression on Campus, where she founded the first-ever Animal Lovers Club. The group, comprised of students, faculty, and staff, led a successful drive for needed supplies for local animal shelters.
“We tried to make a little difference where we could,” says the Rutgers–Camden biology major, who aims to specialize in small animal critical care.
Not the kid who nursed injured birds in a shoebox, Carla’s first pet was actually a kitten left on her mother’s doorstep that she successfully petitioned to keep. Her first dog has come into her life just now – an adopted Australian Sheppard named Raven – who, with cat Monty, also from the shelter, will travel with Carla to Penn in September.
Media Contact: Cathy K. Donovan