Animal sciences graduate shares how extracurriculars led to her career path
During her time as a member of the National FFA Organization through middle and high school, Shelby Bundy learned about the variety of careers in agriculture. After showing livestock at local fairs, Shelby became interested in the animal sciences field and decided to pursue a food animal specialization in the animal sciences major, housed within the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“I’ve wanted be a UF CALS Gator since I was a senior in high school because I knew they had the best animal sciences program of any school,” Shelby said. “I was born and raised in Florida, so staying in-state was a big deal for me. When I did my research on degrees offered by UF, I knew CALS was the college for me!”
While at UF, Shelby worked for the UF Swine Unit. Some of her favorite experiences in college have been the opportunity to learn from professors “who truly care about their students and are always willing to help with anything [students] need.”
One summer, Shelby completed an internship with Smithfield in North Carolina – what she considers to be one of the greatest experiences of her life. “It gave me insight into what I wanted to do as my career and I made some lifelong friends in the process,” she said.
The biggest obstacle Shelby believes every student at UF has had to overcome this spring semester has been adjusting to classes being moved online the last two months of the semester due to coronavirus. With a lack of internet at home and no study buddies, Shelby made the new situation work. But coming to the realization that she may never see some of her friends again has been tough.
“Hopefully I will [see them some day], but you never know what is in store,” Shelby said. “The most memorable part of my undergraduate career was making true friends who made finishing my degree much easier and happier. I can’t thank UF enough for helping me make some amazing friends and memories,” Shelby said.
Shelby advises current and future CALS students to make friends at the beginning of their college experience and classes. “Trust me, college is much easier with study buddies and friends in your classes,” she said. “Take advantage of all opportunities offered to you.” For students interested in animals, Shelby encourages them to join judging teams, work at an animal unit if possible, and soak up all that UF has to offer.
After graduation, Shelby plans to apply for USDA inspector positions – her lifelong career goal. She’d like to thank all the UF/IFAS Animal Sciences Department faculty for their support as well as to her friends and study buddies.
Animal Sciences Major
Spring 2020 Bachelor’s Degree Graduate