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Teodora Tanase Alumnus Profile: Choosing Your Career Path Pays Off

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. 

Teodora Tanase joined my Getting a Job in Wildlife Biology Facebook group because she really wanted to work in the wildlife and conservation field, but was frustrated by the lack of opportunities where she lived in Romania. Even though Teodora had a Master’s, she was also still confused about what she wanted to do in her wildlife career, didn’t really understand her options, and was therefore unsure of her next steps.
In the Successful Wildlife Professional, we go over all of the major wildlife career types and workplaces so I knew I could help Teodora as she would learn about her options in depth and go through exercises to fully tap into what she really wanted from a career. I was inspired by her willingness to learn and do whatever it took to succeed, and my heart went out to her for not having as many opportunities in conservation as others do in different parts of the world. But I also knew that it could happen for her and even though there may not be as many opportunities, we could still figure out a way for her to work in this field, so I encouraged her to apply for a scholarship. 
Teodora Tanase
Teodora took what she learned in the Successful Wildlife Professional and applied it by networking, getting involved, and offering her services where she could. She tried to get involved in as many tasks as she could, and people saw that they could count on her and wanted to see her succeed. About a year later, I was happy to learn that Teodora is now working as an ecologist as part of a big national team working on identifying potential protected areas to expand Romania’s protected area coverage to 20%!

Meet Teodora:

All my life, I can say I have been obsessed with drawing and nature. Nothing else. I got a BSc in Fine Arts as I wanted to become a graphic designer but realized, in the last year of uni, that I actually wanted to work with wildlife more than anything else, so I got into Biodiversity Conservation. I took a break from my studies after my Master’s to decide what path I should continue on, and this year, I am going to apply for a Ph.D. I am fond of large herbivores and grasslands, and my biggest dream is to NOT die until I get to see the wild parts of Africa with my own eyes.

Teodora Tanase Featured Image

Where are you currently in your wildlife career?

I could say I am still a baby. I am doing a lot of stuff for different projects.

UPDATE: Teodora got a job!

I work with my former professors in research as an ecologist, doing desk and fieldwork. We are working on identifying potential protected areas in order to expand Romania’s protected areas to cover 20%. 

Teodora Tanase

What's your dream job?

It’s still a bit hard to give an answer, but I am very interested in restoration ecology more than in other things.

What is a hardship you have overcome in your career?

I almost overcame the hardship of deciding what my job title should be. However, being seen by other people in this field was very hard, and I am still trying to connect with more professionals.

Teodora Tanase

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

I just want to see the good results of my work and be proud of what I did for nature.

"I just want to see the good results of my work and be proud of what I did for nature."

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

My inner child couldn’t be silenced so I had to get her what she wanted.

Teodora Tanase

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

The best moment of my career was when I won my first conservation grant.

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

Networking is key to being seen. Specialize! “Jack of all trades” is not trendy anymore.

"Networking is key to being seen. Specialize! "Jack of all trades" is not trendy anymore."

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

I was in desperate need, honestly. I was confused and helpless. I felt like I was slowly but surely sinking into quicksand. Stephanie answered my call, grabbed my hand, and did not let go until I got back on solid ground.

I did not know how important networking was, and I didn’t have that much info about the possible careers you could choose in this field. I saw the benefits of creating a professional network and I now feel more confident about the path I am walking on.

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

Never refuse an opportunity to develop yourself.

"Never refuse an opportunity to develop yourself."

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. 

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Stephanie Manka, Ph.D. is a wildlife biologist with 20 years of experience in mammal ecology and conservation, education, and outreach. Read her story to find out how she went from the daughter of a jeweler to a Ph.D. in wildlife biology.

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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.

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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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