Let me know if you can relate to this:

 ✅ You feel uncertain about what you are supposed to be doing to make yourself competitive for careers. You’re worried if you are doing it right and that is eating away at your confidence. You are becoming more and more discouraged. 

 ✅ You wonder why you aren’t getting results, but you are doing everything right. You took all the right courses, you got hands on experience through labs, you got decent or good grades, and you even volunteered or got experience.

 ✅ You’re becoming hopeless filling out job, volunteer, or any other application after application and hearing nothing back.

 ✅ You constantly hear about people not being able to find a job and are wondering why are you wasting your time and money when you are worried that it will happen to you too.

 ✅ When you do see someone get a job, you think they are so much smarter than you and have so much more experience.

 ✅ You’re seriously doubting yourself and thinking of giving up.

 ✅ Yet, you have this inner knowing that this career is meant for you. You won’t be happy in other careers.

 ✅ There’s something still hanging on – a feeling that maybe you can make it. 

You might be looking for the missing piece that you haven’t found yet…

You’re likely wondering if there’s some secret that those successful in wildlife careers just aren’t sharing with others. That maybe there is something that you just don’t know or have, that if you did, would bring you success. 

I certainly felt this way – I kept on wondering, what was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I land a permanent job? 

The answer? I didn’t have a career plan.

I THOUGHT I had a career plan. I followed the advice everyone gave me – I went to graduate school, got my Ph.D., and followed my passion, but my passion didn’t lead me to the jobs I really wanted. 

I realized I was competitive for jobs but the ones I was competitive for were rare and/or not in my location (mostly abroad). Meanwhile, I was not qualified for or overqualified for the jobs that I really wanted. 

Once I realized this through my experience interviewing and being on the job market, as well as watching hiring committees fill in positions, I understood what it took to be a successful wildlife professional – having and executing a career plan that leads you to the exact career that you want.

Having a successful wildlife career in wildlife is so much simpler than you might think. I demystified it and made it easy to understand and implement it. I realized it could be done in a much easier way.

Stephanie Schuttler with Camera trap

Everything you want to know about wildlife careers is on the other side of The Successful Wildlife Professional

Most of everything you’ve been taught about getting a job in wildlife is WRONG.

(If you’ve even been taught anything at all!)

But most importantly, it’s ineffective.

It’s leaving you feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, confused, doubting yourself, and if you are applying for jobs, likely disappointed with very little to show for all the hours and hours you’ve spent building your career.

How do I know this? 

Because I lived it. My friends lived it. Because I’ve personally interviewed 100+ people on their inability to get a job despite doing everything right. 

From 2012-2020, I was on the job market. I graduated with a Ph.D. SUPER excited to move on to my dream job. But my dream job – or any job in wildlife – did not come easily. 

In recent years, wildlife-related jobs have increased, but so have the number of graduates. And even though there are people in their dream career, unfortunately, there are many more who aren’t and even some who leave the field completely. 

And the reason for this is because most professors, having been in academia for many years, have little understanding of what the job market is like right now. They don’t know how competitive it is and they don’t know what it takes to get jobs.

Most professors, mentors, blog posts, and books will tell you that if you follow your passion and work hard enough that your dream career will come true. That was true decades ago, but is no longer the case.

And that’s not the fault of those who teach the old paradigm – the wildlife field has changed SO MUCH and SO FAST. 

I saw the wildlife field change dramatically when I was in graduate school – a little over six years.

My name is Stephanie, a lifelong animal lover and fashion-loving wildlife biologist (hence my nickname the Fancy Scientist).

Having been a first generation college and Ph.D. graduate, I am no stranger to hard work. In fact, my dad always told me to “work with my brain and not my back.” But I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a career. I had no idea “wildlife biologist” was even a career option. 

During college, I started pursuing a career in acting and studied biology as a backup so I could become a medical doctor if acting didn’t work out. I was scared of the intense competition, financial risk, and job insecurity that came with the acting world.

Fieldwork Packing List
On safari in Kenya

My brother randomly suggested that I study abroad and I took him up on it. When searching for programs, I was drawn to one on wildlife management in Kenya amongst the pile of theater program brochures – it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I took a leap of faith and went. 

I was so relieved when I discovered my DREAM career there: wildlife biologist. Upon returning, I dove into this new career path head first.

I worked extremely hard to gain research experience at three internships. I applied to and got into graduate school, worked my butt off for my Ph.D., and worked for seven years as a postdoc on prestigious research projects around the world. By the end of my postdoc, I had nearly 20 publications. 

careers in wildlife biology
Collecting elephant dung for my Ph.D. research in Gabon.

On and off after graduating with my Ph.D., I applied for permanent jobs, focusing on getting one where I now lived in Raleigh, NC. I became good at getting interviews – about ⅓ of my applications – but every time I was close to being offered the position, there was someone just a little bit more qualified than me. When talking to my colleagues who were also applying to jobs, I knew I wasn’t alone as they had the same story as me.

The worst part was, I did everything right! I had multiple publications. I wrote and received grants. I had a good network. After multiple rejections (and many tears), I started to learn it wasn’t my fault.

The field changed fast – in fact, I saw it change with my own eyes over the course of my graduate experience. With more B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. graduates, it was more competitive than ever, and I realized the advice I was given was out of date. In fact, the wildlife biology job market looked remarkably similar to the acting one I was so relieved to leave.

From each rejection though, I learned exactly where I needed more experience and became obsessed with helping the students I was mentoring avoid the same mistakes. Now I know exactly where I went wrong for the jobs I wanted. I was both under-qualified for some jobs I wanted while my Ph.D. overqualified for others.

 I wrote blog posts on my experience because everyone I knew was feeling the same way, but no one was talking about it. My blog posts reached tens of thousands of people and I realized SO MANY of them needed this help. I even wrote the book “Getting a Job in Wildlife Biology: What It’s Like and What You Need to Know.”

Here’s what you need to know about working in wildlife careers in 2024…

The truth is…

Stephanie Camera Trap
Fieldwork packing list
Setting up pitfall traps on Mount Kenya during an expedition with the Smithsonian.

I have a unique approach when it comes preparing for and getting jobs in wildlife biology. One that’s much more effective, incorporates each person’s unique career desire, and saves you time and money.

It’s likely no surprise that everyone is different, but did you also know that wildlife jobs are very different in many ways? So why are colleges still teaching a one-size-fits-all approach?!

My approach not only takes into consideration what the job market looks like RIGHT NOW, but also what kind of job you actually want!


Most people don't even know what a wildlife biologist does...

I know this because I talk to people every week and ask them what they want to be (wildlife biologist) and what they want to be doing in their job on a daily basis and through reading blog posts.

My approach is having you:

  • Look at the job boards NOW, ideally before you are ready to apply (but it’s okay if you are at that stage too)
  • Understand the jobs in depth (work place and work type)
  • Identify your dream job, and then
  • Craft your education, experience, and network (the 3 most important things to getting a job!) to that job by creating a personalized roadmap.  



About the program and why you need it:

The Successful Wildlife Professional is a 3 phase deep-dive wildlife career program taught by Stephanie Manka, Ph.D. (formerly Schuttler) – wildlife biologist with 20 years of experience across the globe, author of 20+ peer-reviewed scientific publications and the book Getting a Job in Wildlife Biology: What It’s Like and What You Need to Know, TEDx speaker, and featured biologist on What on Earth and The Proof is Out there. It is made up of 40+ webinars that you can watch whenever you want and live mentoring sessions with Stephanie twice a month. 

The Successful Wildlife Professional is results-driven. It has been intentionally designed to help struggling and aspiring wildlife biologists, ecologists, conservation biologists, and zoologists become competitive for and get jobs using the Clarity, Strategy, and Application framework.

By understanding all of the nuances between job titles and workplaces and as well as understanding what you really want in a job, you’ll be able to target a specific career objective and create a roadmap to get you there so you will be super competitive for that position.

Here is the tried, tested, and proven blueprint to getting your dream job: the Clarity, Strategy, and Application Framework.

Step 1. Clarity: Get clear and create a plan

Did you know that the experience, education, and skills for one position can be completely different than another just in the place of work? In other words, a wildlife biologist job at a NGO can have a completely different set of requirements than one at a state government or zoo.

By understanding all of the nuances between job titles and workplaces and as well as understanding what you really want in a job, you’ll be able to target a specific career objective and create a roadmap to get you there so you will be super competitive for that position.

Stephanie Schuttler looking at sunrise in Borneo Malaysia
Bamboo in Kenya

Step 2. Strategy: Get the RIGHT experience, network, education, and skills

Once you know the job and workplace that you are targeting, you can critically evaluate the gaps in your experience, education, and skills so that you can focus all of your efforts to get them and become competitive for your dream job.

Step 3. Application: Write a competitive job application

No matter how perfect a candidate you are, if you can’t convey that  in your job application, you won’t get the job. A killer job application is key!

Stephanie Schuttler

I have helped dozens of students all over the world become competitive for and get wildlife biology jobs.

Phase 1: Clarity (Weeks 1-7)

The wildlife job market is competitive. To be competitive, you must find your speciality and go for it (a jack of all trades is a master at none). I take you systematically through every job type and workplace so you can understand the nuances in depth, presenting all of the options available to you to ensure you get the right experience, skills, and education for the job you want. Using a series of exercises, you take a deep dive inwards to identify what you truly want out of life so you can choose the job to fulfil your passion.

Once you identify your dream job, you’ll create your own customized long-term and short-term roadmap putting you in control with steps in between to get you to your dream job.

Specifically, Phase 1 includes 21 webinars and worksheets on:

  • A toolbox for you to figure out your career goals for the rest of your life
  • Why and how to identify the job you want
  • How to research and track jobs (we all know this info is so hard to find on the interwebs!)
  • Fully understanding research (I didn’t until my Ph.D. despite having lots of experience)
  • The future of research so you know how to prepare yourself for upcoming jobs
  • Career types in research, academia, education, communications, media (e.g. writing, filmmaking), and law and policy
  • Career work places including academia, government, nonprofits/NGOs, zoos, museums, consulting agencies, private organizations and Tribal Nations
  • Exercises to help you identify and analyze the best jobs for YOU
  • Templates for creating your career roadmaps including your next year and your overall career vision
  • Budget templates so you can prepare yourself financially for your future career and also use today to manage your money

By the end of the Clarity Phase, you’ll:

  • Have a clear vision of the job(s) and workplace(s) you want to pursue
  • Have a roadmap with milestones along the way directing you to know the experiences, education, and skills you will need to achieve your vision
  • Have saved money and time moving forward by only choosing opportunities that direct you towards your vision
  • Have increased confidence and certainty making decisions knowing you’ve taken the time to explore your career options

Week 0: YOU Ensure Your Own Success

  • Meet your new community!
  • All of the epiphanies and a-ha’s from my & your stories
  • Defining career success for YOU
  • Setting yourself up for success in the SWP to make the most out of your experience
    • Staying committed
    • Mindset
  • Setting goals
Successful Wildlife Professional Week 0

Week 1: Stepping into Your Successful Self

  • Getting clear is your super power: differences between wildlife biology, ecology, zoology, conservation biology, & environmental science
  • Why getting experience won’t necessarily get you a job & how to do it right
  • HOW to get clear
    • Starting you Job Tracker
    • Exercises to understand yourself deeply
  • Mindset to Success: Your Mind is Wired to Work Against What You Want

Week 2: Identifying Your Level of Research Happiness

  • Preventing the conservation career trap: TRULY understanding research & what it looks like in permanent jobs look like across different workplaces at ALL LEVELS so you know where you fit in
  • Applied vs theoretical research, and how funding affects what you study
  • Developing a winning strategy for technology shifts so that you can secure a permanent job
  • Mindset to Success: You Change Your Life at Your Identity

Week 3: Uncovering Your Perfect Career Type

  • Take a deep dive into the 6 major career types:
    • Research, Academia, Education, Communications, Creative, Law & Policy
  • Check off your career type & workplace matrix to narrow your niche
  • Understanding what you want through questions you’ve NEVER asked yourself before
  • Mindset to Success: Creating your ideal vision

Week 4: Make Your Workplace Work for For You: Exploring Academia & Government

  • An insider’s perspective of what it’s like to work at:
    • Academia: Universities & Colleges
    • Government: State & Federal
  • Every job type & examples of REAL people with these jobs
  • Create your experience matrix to understand what makes your heart sing (& what doesn’t)
  • Mindset to Success: Start identifying your limiting beliefs holding you back

Week 5: Where You Work Matters! Exploring Nonprofits, Zoos, Museums, & Sanctuaries

  • An insider’s perspective of what it’s like to work at:
    • Nonprofits & NGOs
    • Zoos & aquariums
    • Museums
    • Rehabilitation centers & sanctuaries
  • Every job type & examples of REAL people with these jobs
  • Create your experience matrix to understand what makes your heart sing (& what doesn’t)
  • Mindset to Success: Digging deeper – revealing limiting beliefs you didn’t know you had

Week 6: Reduce & Refine Your Workplace Further: Exploring Tribal Nations & Private Organizations

  • Perspective of what it’s like to work at:
    • Consulting agencies & Private Organizations
    • Tribal Nations
  • Every job type & examples of REAL people with these jobs
  • Mindset to Success: Understanding how limiting beliefs help you so that you can FINALLY begin to reverse them

Week 7: Narrowing Your Niche & Personalizing YOUR Path to Get there

  • Combine the results of your Job Tracker analysis with your workbook answers to determine what niche is right for you!
  • Analyze your niche on the job market for availability
  • Conduct a salary analysis of your niche for the future
  • Create your personalized roadmap leading you to your niche: Use everything you’ve learned about yourself and the job that you want to create an ACTION plan
  • Mindset to Success: How your internal critic shows up and how to befriend them

Phase 2: Strategy (Weeks 8-11)

Evaluate your customized roadmap and identify the missing components you need to become competitive for the next steps leading to your dream job. Maybe you need to improve your network, get more experience, or get another degree. You will not sit back and wait! I will teach you how to take action no matter where you are in your career even if a pandemic makes you feel completely helpless.

And you will know the exact steps you need to take because you will have an in depth understanding of your career

Specifically, Phase 2 includes 8 webinars and worksheets on:

  • How to get experience
  • How to create your own legit experience that you can put on your resume if you can’t find any volunteer opportunities
  • Everything you need to know about networking: Networking in person, online, and at conferences and events.
  • Advanced education including the differences between Master’s and Ph.D.s, thesis and non-thesis Master’s, courses, and certificates

By the end of the Strategy Phase you’ll:

  • Have a template with the exact wording to use when reaching out to professors or other professionals about jobs, volunteer opportunities, and/or grad school
  • Demonstrate how passionate and serious you are about this career to employers even during times of unemployment or working in non-wildlife jobs by creating your own experiences
  • Know how to get information about the exact job you want and build a network of individuals that will help you get there
  • Know what to say to people when networking
  • Know how to maximize networking at conferences and other events – live or online
  • Be able to evaluate paid experiences, courses, degree programs, or other trainings to determine if they are worth your money and will get you closer to your goals or if they are a scam/poor use of your hard-earned money

Week 8: Breaking Through the Absurd “Need Experience to Get Experience” Paradox

  • What really counts as experience
  • How to find good experiences that get you results
  • Taking control of your experience when nothing seems to be working:
    • Create your own LEGIT experience
    • Send cold emails to gain experience and start building your power network
  • Start clearing your limiting beliefs that subconsciously hold you back

Week 9: Unlocking Hidden Opportunities: Mastering the Art of Face-to-Face Networking

  • Understanding the potential of in-person networking, what it can do for you, & how to do it.
    • What to say when you have no idea what to say!
    • How to start & carry conversations
  • Conferences & Events
    • Network with INTENTION & PURPOSE targeting the RIGHT people who will get you to where you want to go
  • Release past traumas associated with your limiting belief

Week 10: The World is Truly Your Oyster: How to Connect with Anyone

  • Learn how to network at anytime, any where, no matter what!
  • Cultivate a habit and practice of networking
  • Prepare your online presence for professionalism and results
  • Use social media to advance your career even more
  • How to use LinkedIn to get results in wildlife careers
  • Mindset to Success: Finding the abundance of evidence for your new beliefs

Week 11: Mastering Your Education for the JOB You Want

  • In-depth analysis of higher degrees:
    • Master’s vs PhD
    • Thesis vs non-thesis
    • Online options
  • How to approach graduate school and how to get in without having to apply for ultra competitive assistantships
  • The GRFP fellowship & other scholarships
  • Courses & certificates: Deciding what you actually need that will get you jobs so that you don’t waste time and $$$$
  • Mindset to Success: Embodying your new identity through energy

Phase 3: Application (Weeks 12-16)

It’s not by accident that I got prestigious jobs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, in Kenya, and at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. When I first started applying to wildlife jobs, there was ZERO information out there about resumes and cover letters for our field specifically. I diligently studied examples from the business world and adapted them to wildlife biology. In my postdoc years, once I zeroed in on what jobs I was competitive for, my job applications got me an interview 30% of the time.

Specifically, Phase 3 includes 6 webinars and worksheets on:

  • Copies of all of my successful cover letters from the past 9 years so you know exactly what to say
  • A resume template – so you don’t have to stare at a blank screen!
  • The difference between resumes and CVs and when to use them
  • How to decide what jobs to apply for so you don’t waste your time and energy
  • What to include and how to make yourself sound amazing (because you are!) on a resume (with lots of examples)
  • How to draft cover letters paragraph by paragraph using the exact language from job postings so employers will know exactly why you are the right candidate for the job
  • How to write confidently and sell yourself for the position without sounding like you are boasting or bragging

By the end of the Application Phase you’ll:

  • Have a powerful resume and/or CV showcasing all of your important experiences and skills (most students miss many!)
  • Know what jobs you are qualified and therefore competitive for so you can focus your time and energy towards these jobs increasing your chances
  • Know how to show you are perfect for the job you are applying for by writing compelling cover letters

Week 12: Increase Your Interviews: Applying for the RIGHT Jobs

  • Start identifying what jobs you are competitive for so you don’t waste your precious time, energy, & emotions on jobs you never had a chance of getting
  • Understand what makes jobs less and more (at times super!) competitive
  • Learn how to gauge your own competitiveness
  • Explore the differences between resumes and CVs (& my resume/CV hybrid!) and when to use which one
  • Mindset to Success: Embodying your new identity through gratitude

Week 13: Proudly, Fiercely, & Unapologetically Show Employers Your Amazing Experience No Matter What It Is

  • Understand why the experience section FOR WILDLIFE JOBS is CRITICAL & how to make yourself sound amazing without outright bragging or feeling icky
  • Go over lots & lots & lots of examples of what to do and what not to do
  • Learn how to translate experience from non-wildlife jobs to what employers in wildlife careers care about
  • Read resumes from successful former students & use templates to build your own
  • Mindset to Success: Embodying your new identity through affirmations

Week 14: Icing on the Cake: Final Details that Make them Say Yes & Organizing Your Cover Letters

  • Other Sections to make your resume really pop and resources for government jobs
  • Learn what to emphasize in your cover letter so that you are not just repeating your resume
  • Dissect the job you are applying to and learn what is most important
  • Get organized before you start so it is SO much easier and you don’t miss anything important
  • Mindset to Success: Further embodying the new version of you

Week 15: Powerful Paragraphs, Cover Letter Sections, and Structure

  • Paragraph by paragraph, learn how to write a powerful cover letter that matches the job you are applying to exactly
  • Pull experiences and examples from your professional life that match the qualifications
  • Understand HOW to show employers you are amazing & qualified
  • Lots of examples! & my successful cover letters

Training 16: Getting the Job and Maximizing Results to Keep the Momentum GOING

  • Understand the steps after you submit your application to best set you up for success
  • Steps to ensure your success in your new workplace, maintain a positive work experience, & prevent burnout
  • Maximize networking & maintaining connections
  • End a job early if you need to & asking for letters of recommendation
  • Mindset to Success: Finding the abundance of evidence for your new beliefs
  • Maintaining your new identity: when things go wrong
You’ll also get…

Personalized Mentorship and Peer Support

In addition to all of the webinars and exercises, I am offering group mentoring designed to answer your specific concerns, questions, and the exact situations you are struggling with. As you go on your wildlife career journey, you WILL have questions. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Twice a month, I go live on Zoom for at least an hour so you can ask me whatever question you need the answers to now. Questions can range from the incredibly broad (How do I go about searching graduate schools?) to specific to you (Is this grad program right for me?). In addition to answering your question, I am also available for specific feedback during these sessions.

If you have a resume, cover letter, email, personal statement, or anything else you want me to look at, I will review it giving you exact recommendations on how to improve it to increase your chances of success. Both the questions and reviews are done in a group mentoring setting so that you learn from others. One of the biggest things I have learned in this field is that you don’t know what you don’t know. 

By listening to questions from other peers, you will learn from them even if they are at different stages than you. If you have a private question you prefer to keep anonymous I am happy to do so. You probably don’t have someone you can turn to for unconditional support that understands your professional situation. For example, you might be struggling with an advisor or a boss and not be able to ask them questions about career-related challenges you are facing because you are afraid of it affecting your job performance and recommendations (e.g. Maybe you want to quit your current job to take another, but are not sure). 

I am a neutral source you can turn to who always has your back! I will mentor you in a way so that you make the best decisions for you and your career whatever you decide that to be. A professor may want you to go down a certain career path – I just want you to be happy!

Group mentoring also creates a supportive environment for you to get to know peers and to start networking with others across the world.

Through group mentoring sessions every other week, you’ll have:

  • Access to a community of peers where you can ask questions in a supportive environment
  • The opportunity to ask questions on anything that comes up for you – from the specific to the general, from more personal to professional
  • Networking opportunities with peers
  • Learning opportunities from other members’ questions – you don’t know what you don’t know!


  • BONUS 1: Mindset to Success: Defeat Impostor Syndrome and Build Confidence. Stop overthinking, procrastination, perfectionism, and doubting yourself. Create the results you really want by getting rid of the thoughts in your head that hold you back. After taking this course, you’ll get things done SO MUCH FASTER and you’ll approach everything you do with more confidence. This course includes webinars and exercises that you can come back to over and over again. 
  • BONUS 2: 21 Ways to Earn Extra Money Now eBook. Start making back your investment right now. Worried about investing in yourself? You don’t have to be. This eBook includes 21 ways that you can easily earn money. Many of these opportunities you can do at home, on your own schedule, and/or in your pajamas. 
  • BONUS 3: Overcoming Resistance Workbook: Do you sit down to work, but just can’t seem to get started? Are you totally unmotivated to do what you are supposed to do? This workbook will get you to clear out all of the crap in your mind that is preventing you from getting things done and remember and tap into your true potential and purpose. 
  • Fast Acting Bonus: 2 1 on 1 mentoring calls. Enroll within the first 24 to receive 2 free one on one mentoring calls. I no longer do these so this is your opportunity to get extra coaching just with me!
  • Pay-in-Full Bonus: Overcome Overwhelm: How to Make Time, Prioritize, and Finally Stop Procrastinating Workshop. Learn how to find an extra 10 hours in your week, prioritize activities, and manage your mind so you no longer procrastinate. 
Bonus #1: Facebook Group for Support

  • Support from me & others in the program to share wins, stay focused, accountable, and to help each other troubleshoot and raise the bar
  • Connect and bond with other likeminded people in the group
  • Exclusive tips and additional materials as they come up

Bonus #2: Mindset to Success: Defeat Impostor Syndrome and Build Confidence

  • FINALLY eliminate doubt, limiting beliefs, and impostor syndrome by understanding how your mind works
  • Lots of resources to help you work through what’s getting in your way

Bonus #3: Overcoming Overwhelm Masterclass

  • Find extra hours in your week by managing your mind and prioritizing your tasks so that you no longer procrastinate or drop the ball by missing deadlines
  • Learn how to organize your time and identify the “big rocks” in your life so that the work you do will give you big results with less time and effort.
  • Schedule time for fun, relaxation, and selfcare so that you can show up as your best self.

Week 11: Mastering Your Education for the JOB You Want

  • Extra coaching call to take a deep dive into your personal situation
  • Work through challenges, unique situations, & customize your experiences even more!

You Get Lifetime Access
Which Means You Get All New Versions of The Program!



“I graduated in 2020 and struggled to get any simple seasonal field jobs – even volunteer positions. I didn’t work in the wildlife field for a year. After I joined the Successful Wildlife Professional program, Stephanie gave me specific advice on my cover letters and resumes. After a few months of joining, I am now starting my first job as a Biological Science Tech position with the USFWS.”

Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith Successful Wildlife Professional

“I created the very first wildlife biologist position not only in my city but in my county. Stephanie’s guidance focused my abilities and strengths and helped me to overcome so much of my imposter syndrome that made this possible.”

Jenny White

Jenny White Successful Wildlife Professional
“Stephanie helped me gain clarity on what I want and her resume/cover letter module helped me get the interview. I seriously cannot believe that I got my dream job! I was getting close to giving up on the field for a bit, but it only took one person to give me a chance after an interview and everything changed.”

Lisa S. (Name has been changed)
Teodora Tanase

Teodora Tanase

Who is Dr. Stephanie Manka (formerly Schuttler)? 


I am so excited to share a program that has been on my mind for the last few years. I’ve been passionate about mentoring those going into wildlife careers since I started my Ph.D. in 2006 and since then have mentored undergraduates, high school students, and even middle school students! Now in the Successful Wildlife Professional program, I mentor Master’s students and career switchers. I created the Successful Wildlife Professional to be more than just a career program – it breeds transformation at the mental and emotional level. It’s my mission to show you what is possible for you and to believe in you. 
Here is what I have accomplished over my professional career:
  • A B.A. (2003), 3 internships, a Ph.D. (2012), and 7 years of postdocs in the government, zoos, museums, academia, and alongside nonprofits
  • 20+ peer-reviewed scientific publications across topics in in animal behavior, mammal communities, predator-prey relationships, non-invasive genetics, satellite telemetry, social science, and citizen science – full CV here
  • Study species and systems across four continents (I’m an expert in forest elephants!)
  • Multiple appearances as a science expert on national television shows on the Science and History Channels.
  • A large professional network (500+ connections on LinkedIn) and social following (15K across platforms)
  • Experience on large, collaborative open access projects with prestigious organizations like the Smithsonian

Stephanie Schuttler TEDx Talk

I am also…

  • VERY down to earth and relatable even though I have worked with some of the best scientists in my field and have a Ph.D.
  • An advocate for mental health, work-life balance, and not defining yourself by your career
  • Open about my own career and personal struggles including battling depression and overcoming a severe case of impostor syndrome
  • A lover of coaching, self improvement books and courses, and am constantly working to improve myself or make things more efficient
  • Optimistic – not naturally – but through years of working on myself using practices from neuroscience
  • FUN! I love to laugh, and do not take life too seriously

What this means is…

I genuinely care about you and understand the struggles you are going through. I was never the smartest student, but I worked hard and at my core, believed in myself.  I believe anyone can become competitive for wildlife jobs once they really understand the job and themselves. 

I have helped people get real jobs in this competitive job market.

Together, we can make your dream job become a reality, transforming you from defeated job applicant to thriving wildlife professional making a genuine impact in the world.

But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Success Stories from My Students

“I GOT THE JOB. I can’t even process this; it’s a dream come true.”

“I got the first job I applied for after taking the Successful Wildlife Professional, and it’s my first full-time, permanent position! Not to mention it’s my dream job! ”

– Jaimie Simmons

Jaimie Simmons testimonial

Update from Jaimie:

“There were 120 other applicants and…it was clear that I knew what I was doing”

“First I wanted to say thank you again. I was talking to my boss and…she was saying that there were 120 other applicants and…it was clear that I knew what I was doing, had a mentor, or had somebody helping me because I did a lot of things right in the application process. Whereas a lot of other people made a lot of mistakes, or just didn’t have great resumes, cover letters, interviews, stuff like that. What you’re doing is definitely helping. Definitely helped me. ”

“I had a great interview and got offered and accepted the position today!!”

“I am very excited about it. Additionally, I had about 5 to 6 other offers as well for other positions as well. Thank you so much for this course as it’s helping me get out of my imposter syndrome mindset. ”

– Austyn Becker

“I officially accepted the position yesterday!”

“I have to thank you because I’ve used all the advice I got from you on writing cover letters and resumes…My interviewer was able to see from my resume (that improved immensely after you looked it over) that I had a strong fieldwork background…

In my first interview they began the call by stating how they really liked the way I wrote my cover letter…I was selected out of nearly 200 applicants, some of whom had years of communications experience! I’m feeling very grateful and excited about this opportunity.”

– Nicole B. (name has been changed)

“I wanted to transition into this career, but had no idea where to start, how to make this change, or if it was even possible for someone like me. I went into computer science because it was a safe career and you can make a lot of money, but my true passion is in helping the environment. The Successful Wildlife Program allowed me to focus in on the career path I wanted to take and I decided to apply to graduate school. Stephanie helped me with my personal statement and not only did I get in, but my application was ranked very highly, and I was awarded a $6,000 scholarship.”

– Melina Shak

Melina Shak The Successful Wildlife Professional

“About two weeks ago I was notified by a friend that her place of employment was hiring, so I put in my application. The director got back to me that same day and set up the interview for the next day, as I was off of work. This morning she contacted me to let me know they would like to hire me for a full-time position starting in January. I am beyond excited for this opportunity! Thank you Stephanie for helping me fix up my resume and cover letter. It helped me gain confidence in myself to apply for this job.”

– Allison P. (name has been changed)

“Stephanie’s program helped me get a job as a research assistant under a graduate student tracking tortoises. I was very happy! Since research is my first choice of job, I got to see how graduate school is from a graduate student’s perspective and I’ve been gaining skills I can use for future research.”

– Saren Perales

Saren Perales Successful Wildlife Professional

So if you are ready to…

👉    Take control of and massively up-level your career

👉   Create a step-by-step customized roadmap to your dream job

👉   Say “I quit” to the mindless jobs that have nothing to do with your degree and start saying “yes” to wildlife jobs

Then it’s time to stop hoping and start to create a strategy for your professional wildlife career.

Right about now you may be asking yourself, What’s the investment?

If we were working together 1:1 for a year that would run you upwards of $20,000

I’m offering you The Successful Wildlife Profession for $997 paid-in-full or $97/month

This investment of $997 will get your career back on track to get wildlife jobs.

Full Program with Mentoring

Now open for enrollment until April 8th, 2024 midnight PST!

Doors won’t open up again until August

$997 or $97/month

  • The entire Successful Wildlife Professional program with the Clarity, Strategy, and Application framework (value $3,000)
  • 4 months of group mentoring and open Q&A with Dr. Stephanie Manka, wildlife biologist with 20 yrs of experience, tailored to your specific questions, and peer support (value $5,000)
  • BONUS 1: Mindset to Success ($1,000)
    BONUS 2: 21 Ways to Earn Extra Money Now eBook ($197)
    BONUS 3: Overcoming Resistance Workbook ($197)
  • Fast Acting Bonus: 2 private 1-on-1 mentoring sessions (value $500)
  • Pay-in-Full Bonus: Overcome Overwhelm: How to Make Time, Prioritize, and Finally Stop Procrastinating Workshop ($497) 

100% Risk-Free Guarantee

Refund policy: If you are not satisfied upon program completion, I will gladly return your full investment for any reason.

By purchasing this product, you are agreeing to this refund policy. 

The section on finances was very valuable – even fewer people are transparent about planning a budget than talk about how to become a wildlife biologist!

– Hannah S.

A picture of a woman in the beach

Frequently Asked Questions

Every other week I host live group mentoring sessions on Zoom for at least one hour where we can work through EXACTLY what struggle you are going through. This can be asking questions specific to your situation, personally reviewing application materials for the specific jobs or graduate schools you are applying to, or working through anything you are experiencing (“I feel stuck and don’t know what to do next”). We can review graduate school programs, courses, determine if jobs are good fits for you, and more – ANYTHING that comes up for you professionally. Over the course of an hour, we will talk about someone’s challenge until the concern is fully addressed (usually ~15 minutes), then someone else’s, and then another one until the hour is up (we frequently go over!). You can submit your questions ahead of time or show up live and ask them during the mentoring sessions. All sessions are recorded and the replays are uploaded into the course.

Even though this is group mentoring, there is often A LOT of individual attention because everyone’s schedules are so different! So even though there may be a big group, there may only be a few people live on the Zoom call.

I LOVE group mentoring because you don’t know what you don’t know! You learn so much by listening to other people’s questions and hearing the answers. You’ll find that more often than not, you’ll get your question answered by someone else asking it.

Before we start, I collect everyone’s schedule for a typical week and I build the group mentoring sessions so that everyone can attend at least some live. Depending on who joins that session, the sessions can be at any time as some people are international, but almost always at least half of them are 5-7 PM central time because that is the time that usually most people can attend. You don’t have to attend all of them or even any of them live. You can post your questions and I answer them live, but everything is recorded and you get to keep it indefinitely!

You set the pace in this program! Every week we have a new training that lasts from 30 minutes up until ~1 hour and 45 minutes. You can space them out or binge watch them all at once. You can listen to trainings during commutes, on walks, while cooking, etc – it’s just important that you start absorbing the knowledge NOW. Each training also comes with exercises to deepen your understanding of your career goals and plan.

In the group mentoring portion, you can ask questions as they come up – even if you haven’t watched any webinars at all. You can also pick and choose what content is most valuable to you. If you know for sure you don’t want a career in academia, go ahead and skip that webinar! Taking the time to figure out what you want to do now and how to get there will save you time in the long run. You will have access to the course content indefinitely so you can go back to it over and over and over again.

In 2020, I shifted my career focus from primarily research to science communication and career mentorship. I realized these were my true passions and founded the Fancy Scientist LLC as my full-time career.

Your enrollment investment allows me to create the BEST content for you to succeed and the highest quality of support. Behind the scenes, I have employees helping me run this program. Additionally, by running this program through the Fancy Scientist LLC, I am in the unique position to offer you unbiased feedback on this career and be 100% transparent about things like workplace culture, salaries, and work-life balance. I believe my job is to help you succeed in whatever dream job you choose and desire and will do everything in my ability to help you get there.

By investing in yourself, you are also making a commitment to yourself. There is “skin in the game” and you will be more likely to commit to the program and succeed.

I do offer scholarships on a very limited basis and only if your current situation prevents you from being able to earn the investment for the program. You can apply here.

Although I give a lot of advice away for free, in this program I go into much more detail with step-by-step instructions on how to do everything. You will get exclusive information on research, job types and work places, getting experience, networking, and on job applications that you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll receive templates for writing emails and making a resume, as well as my past successful cover letters, and questions to use for networking.

Every lesson comes with a workbook to help you integrate what you learned in the webinar and understand yourself more deeply. With group mentoring, you will receive personalized advice unique to your specific situation.

I do not believe that this career is just for the wealthy. Access my free eBook 22 Ways to Make Money Now so you can make your investment right away. This program will likely save you thousands of dollars and years of your time. By taking the time to identify what you want and making yourself competitive for it, you will get better paying jobs faster, which sets the baseline for your salary for life.

This program will also save you money by preventing you from buying programs you don’t need. Want to get a Master’s? I’ll teach you how to do it where THEY pay YOU. I’ll teach you how to evaluate programs and experiences that cost money so you only spend money on the things that will actually help you in your career.

I will also teach you how to look for money saving opportunities like scholarships and create a budget for your future career to see how much the job of your dream costs before you take it.

If you truly believe you cannot afford the program at the moment and no opportunities for making extra income work for you, then you can apply for a scholarship here.

There are many variables outside my control when it comes to how competitive jobs are including location, job type, workplace, and study species to name a few. If you try this program for one year, show up and do the work and don’t see a difference in your wildlife career, I will gladly return your full investment. 

What if I know what I want to do and where I want to work – will this program benefit me? Can I skip content? 

Yes, absolutely. Even if you do know your work title and workplace details, you are unlikely to know all of the nuances about the position or what research is like in detail. This program is customizable to you. If you don’t feel a section will be helpful, you can skip it or do the program out of order.

If you did a workout program for a week, would you see results? You might lose a pound or two, but to get long-lasting results, you need to commit long-term. Similar to a health program, I believe you will see the best results with a commitment to the program. If you commit, show up, and do the work, and do not see results, I will gladly return your full investment.

Yes! The process for applying to thesis-based Master’s and Ph.D. programs is very similar to job applications. In the Successful Wildlife Professional, we go over how to reach out to professors – something that you will have to do before applying to graduate school unless you are only applying to advertised positions.

Yes! Although the program is specifically designed for wildlife careers, there are many aspects of the program that apply to other careers (how to network, write compelling cover letters, etc.). You will also do a lot of self-reflection work and answer big life questions you probably never considered. You will know yourself better and what you want – both professionally and personally. 

The certainty you will gain from knowing wildlife careers aren’t right for you will put your mind at ease and ensure you have no regrets or ever wonder, “what if?” later in life.

I will continue to be your mentor and support you in your decision. I would still encourage you to show up to the mentoring calls and ask me questions. I am a social butterfly professionally and personally and will likely be able to direct you to someone who is in your new career field. 

Values are calculated from my time spent developing course content based on current salaries at my professional level and/or comparing this program to similar programs offered. 

There are 2 kinds of meetings – the live trainings and mentoring. The live trainings you do not have to attend live at all – but since I am recording them again (for Spring of 2024), you are invited to show up live to stay accountable/ask questions. 
I build the group mentoring schedule off of everyone’s schedules so that everyone can attend at least some live. Depending on who joins that session, the sessions can be at any time as some people are international, but almost always at least half of them are 5-7 PM central time because that is the time that usually most people go. You don’t have to attend all of them or even any of them live. You can post your questions and I answer them live, but the person with the question watches the recording. Everything is recorded and you get to keep it indefinitely!

I saved $600 several months into the program by avoiding a paid online internship that I thought would have helped my career and instead learned how to get the skills I wanted through other means online and for free.

– Savannah Page

Savannah Page Successful Wildlife Professional

“Stephanie’s program came into my life at the perfect time because I needed to ask myself the questions from the program’s worksheets. After the program, I questioned my decision on getting a PhD. Before I had just been taking the advice of my peers, professors as just the next step, but this program might save me years of my life that I could have wasted on a PhD that I didn’t need.”

– Amy B. (name has been changed)

Full Program with Mentoring

Now open for enrollment until April 8th, 2024 midnight PST!

Doors won’t open up again until August

$997 or $97/month

  • The entire Successful Wildlife Professional program with the Clarity, Strategy, and Application framework (value $3,000)
  • 4 months of group mentoring and open Q&A with Dr. Stephanie Manka, wildlife biologist with 20 yrs of experience, tailored to your specific questions, and peer support (value $5,000)
  • BONUS 1: Mindset to Success ($1,000)
    BONUS 2: 21 Ways to Earn Extra Money Now eBook ($197)
    BONUS 3: Overcoming Resistance Workbook ($197)
  • Fast Acting Bonus: 2 private 1-on-1 mentoring sessions (value $500)
  • Pay-in-Full Bonus: Overcome Overwhelm: How to Make Time, Prioritize, and Finally Stop Procrastinating Workshop ($497) 

I am so excited to welcome you inside
The Successful Wildlife Professional Program!

You are ready to go after your wildlife dream job and finally put your degree to good use if…

    ✅  You know without a shadow of a doubt that this career is your dream and you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it your reality

    ✅ You feel stuck and lost – you don’t know what to do next and are almost ready to give up

    ✅ You are ambitious, hard-working, passionate, and willing to put in the work

    ✅  You want a strategy for your career, and don’t just want to bumble around between temp jobs and volunteer positions, leaving your future up to chance.

    ✅  You take responsibility for your actions. The confidence you need to get your dream job may take some work, but you’re willing to buckle down and do what it takes.

    ✅  You are ready to start taking control of your career and not let the pandemic or anything else that life throws at you slow you down.

    ✅ You have no problem investing on average at least 30-60 minutes per week of your time on your career.

    ✅  You feel excited knowing that in just a few months, you will have a customized roadmap to get you to your career goal, with steps you can take right now.

    ✅  You have a resume and cover letter that stands out amongst a stack of job applications

    ✅  You are ready to say yes to exciting opportunities and jobs!

 👉  If you caught yourself nodding your head to at least 4 of the 10 points above…

😀  Then I absolutely CANNOT wait to meet you inside the Successful Wildlife Professional. 

“Less than a year ago, I knew I wanted to work in wildlife or environmental conservation, but didn’t know what the next step was. I am in community college and didn’t know what university to go to and if it was affordable. I heard this career is really competitive and I wanted to prepare myself, but I was overwhelmed. I would go online to search for information and read different things. It was difficult to know if it was from a credible source. Stephanie’s mentoring taught me the big picture of what it’s important to be competitive in this career. I am now applying to schools for my Bachelor’s degree with confidence.”

–  Sarai Zarate

Sarai Zarate Successful Wildlife Professional

“I have always wanted to work with wildlife but I didn’t know how to reach that goal and had nobody to go to for advice who really knew the wildlife field. Stephanie’s mentoring has been so helpful for me in exploring different careers and forming a plan. The modules and the journaling prompts she has created are helping me to really think about what I want for my future, how I’m going to get there, and how to battle imposter syndrome. I’m leaning toward working in zookeeping and research within zoos. I am now getting volunteer experience and networking with professionals in the field to help me make better decisions about my future.”

–  Sian Erb

Sian Erb Successful Wildlife Professional

“When we had our one-on-one, I expressed concerns about not feeling good enough to TA for the…class. I had never heard of imposter syndrome before you mentioned it. What you said…changed my perspective and had such an impact on me. I actually wrote some of the things you said on a sticky note and put them on the computer to look at during the first class. Last week, as I was walking to the lab, it hit me that I hadn’t had a single negative thought about teaching the lab since the first day, and I look forward to Thursdays. I think the students like me too because they don’t rush through the labs, and several stick around afterwards to chat…(it affirms that I’m doing something right).”

– Heather Moonier

“Since taking Stephanie’s course, I’ve definitely experienced a change in perspective – I feel a lot more hopeful. I feel like I have the guidance that I very desperately needed. With my last job, I was feeling very discouraged; I didn’t know where to go from there. Going through the different career workplaces gave me the context I was lacking. Even by reading the questions in the exercises, I started internalizing it. What is it that I really want? It changed my mood for the better. I have more of a positive outlook.”

– Alan A. (Name has been changed)

My message to you:

Full Program with Mentoring

Now open for enrollment until April 8th, 2024 midnight PST!

Doors won’t open up again until August

$997 or $97/month

  • The entire Successful Wildlife Professional program with the Clarity, Strategy, and Application framework (value $3,000)
  • 4 months of group mentoring and open Q&A with Dr. Stephanie Manka, wildlife biologist with 20 yrs of experience, tailored to your specific questions, and peer support (value $5,000)
  • BONUS 1: Mindset to Success ($1,000)
    BONUS 2: 21 Ways to Earn Extra Money Now eBook ($197)
    BONUS 3: Overcoming Resistance Workbook ($197)
  • Fast Acting Bonus: 2 private 1-on-1 mentoring sessions (value $500)
  • Pay-in-Full Bonus: Overcome Overwhelm: How to Make Time, Prioritize, and Finally Stop Procrastinating Workshop ($497) 

I absolutely cannot wait to welcome you in!

Stephanie Schuttler Successful Wildlife Professional
I am sincerely so excited to mentor and empower you!

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.

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