fbpx

Gersey Vargas Alumnus Profile: From Curiosity to a Ph.D. in Restoration

A big part of my mission as a wildlife biologist is to empower and prepare aspiring and entry-level wildlife professionals so that they can secure good jobs in this competitive career and carry out their life’s purpose. As a  result, I offer a variety of programs for those who want to work with me and take charge of their career. Here, you’ll learn about the successes of my students so that you can be inspired and see what is truly possible for you when you have clarity, strategy, and a competitive job application. 

When I first met Gersey, he had some great experience as a museum curator and taxonomist, studied birds, insects, and iguanas, and even had a Master’s degree. But like many students, wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do in a conservation career and didn’t effectively convey all of his amazing experience on through his resume – he unknowingly held back!

During mentoring sessions, we spent time exploring possibilities and talking about what different career options could look like. 

SWP Alumnus Gersey Vargas

When Gersey found the perfect Ph.D. opportunity for him, he decided to apply. Through group mentoring in the Successful Wildlife Professional, he started networking with the advisor before he submitted his application, had a preliminary Zoom interview, and was encouraged to apply. We spent multiple sessions improving his resume and cover letter and made sure to show off what amazing experience he has. Like most people, he didn’t realize the full extent of everything he had done and therefore help back on his initial job application drafts. But we worked on it back and forth until he was ready to submit. He was quickly interviewed and accepted for the position!

Meet Gersey:

Hi! I’m a Colombian biologist raised in the US. I lived in the US until I was 16 and then moved to Colombia where I completed my bachelor’s degree in Biology. My favorite wildlife animal groups are insects, birds and mammals. I enjoy doing sports and wildlife photography.

Where are you currently in your wildlife career?

I am about to start my Ph.D. at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences investigating the potential of using horses to restore and maintain biodiversity in semi-natural grasslands and abandoned farmland in boreal Sweden and to develop guidelines for grazing strategies that promote biodiversity.

What's your dream job?

I want to work in consulting or a research institute that works in applied ecology research related to ecological restoration or biodiversity conservation.

SWP Alumnus_Gersey Vargas

What is a hardship you have overcome in your career?

Feeling like nobody understands what you do or what a biologist does in general.

What kind of impact do you want to have in your career?

I want to work in biodiversity conservation projects to help conserve the biodiversity we have.

"I have always loved animals...I wanted to know what they do, eat and how they interact with each other."

How did you know you wanted to go into this field?

I have always loved animals, but more on a curious aspect. I wanted to know what they do, eat and how they interact with each other. When I was in about 8th grade I learned that biologists exist and that they work in studying animals and figuring out what they do, and that just clicked with me. I decided to study biology and never went back.

What's a moment of success you've had in this career?

SWP Alumnus Gersey Vargas

I think I’ve had many moments of success in this career, just by traveling around and seeing so many beautiful animals and ecosystems. But I think the biggest moment of success so far was being accepted to do my Master’s with Tropimundo (Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s degree in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystem), thanks to this master’s program I was able to accomplish my dream of living in Europe (I lived in Belgium for 6 months and Italy for 1 year) with a full scholarship, while also making amazing like-minded friends with similar interest in life.

What is the biggest takeaway or most important lesson you have learned from the Successful Wildlife Professional?

The biggest takeaway I learned from the Successful Wildlife Professional is that you can achieve what ever you put your mind to. I always kind of knew this, but this program helped me reaffirm this belief and gave me more skills and tools to work towards what I want in life.

"You can achieve what ever you put your mind to..this program...gave me more skills and tools to work towards what I want in life."

What was your life/career like before the Successful Wildlife Professional? What was it like after?

Before the Successful Wildlife Professional I was just looking for jobs or PhDs that I could do based on my previous experience and skills. After completing the program I have more of a target oriented mindset, I can identify what skills and experience I want to have and what certain jobs or opportunties can give me those skills and experiences to reach my dream job. I feel more confident in what I want to do and how to obtain it.

SWP Alumnus Gersey Vargas

What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining the Successful Wildlife Professional, but is on the fence?

I was in a similar position when thinking about joining the Successful Wildlife Professional, I thought to myself, will it be worth the investment? What really motivated me was thinking about how important it is to think about our future and to have an actual plan instead of just jumping around different jobs or study topics. Once you have a clear picture of what you really want, it is a lot easier to work towards that goal and reach it. You could probably figure it all out by yourself instead of paying for a mentorship, but it will take a lot of time and work. Why go through all the headache of trying to dig deep inside yourself to know what you want all alone when you could have a wonderful person like Dr. Stephanie Manka, who has already done the work and is willing to help, guide you in the right direction. This program will help you set yourself up for the future, by the end you will have a lot more clarity on what you probably what to do and how to reach it yourself and become a successful wildlife professional. You learn so much about yourself, the different wildlife careers possibilities and how to obtain these careers through the mentoring sessions, video recordings and self-reflecting worksheets and work material. Invest in yourself and take the program so you can have a more clear picture of the future you want for yourself.   

"You learn so much about yourself, the different wildlife careers possibilities and how to obtain these careers through the mentoring sessions, video recordings and self-reflecting worksheets and work material."

Continue to follow Gersey’s success and adventures on his Instagram

If you’re ready to get results like these and go after your dream career in wildlife, then I’d love to meet you! Check out my programs page to see how can work together. 

You May Also Like

You May Also Like

Love this post? Share it with friends!

.

I understand that inbox can be a lot and I respect your decision. If there’s anything you’d like to share or discuss with me in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

.

I understand that inbox can be a lot and I respect your decision. If there’s anything you’d like to share or discuss with me in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

.

Before we say our goodbye, I want to remind you that you have been an essential part of my journey. If there’s anything you’d like to share or discuss with me in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

.
online course

Join the Free Training

And get the 100+ Job Titles .PDF FREE!

Join the Waitlist

Free Download

The Ultimate Organizer
to Discover the Right Wildlife
Job for You

GIVE IT TO ME