Mr. Szarek?

Yes, Justin.

I wondered if you could talk to my friend, Maureen.


Maureen has volunteered at an animal shelter for the past 2 years.  She worked at a local zoo this past summer.  She loves animals.  She makes these incredible sketches and takes great photographs of them.  She has a butterfly video on YouTube that is really cool – over 1000 views.

Wow, Maureen, that’s more views than any of my College Counseling for the Rest of Us videos.

Uh, that’s more than all of your videos put together, Mr. Szarek.

Thanks, Justin.  So, how can I help you, Maureen?

Well – since I love animals – I’m going to major in Biology, so that I can become a veterinarian.


But I hate biology, and I was wondering if you knew any schools that, well, didn’t have too much science for someone like me. 

Uh, Maureen, you love animals…


You hate biology?


What do you love about animals?

What they do, their colors, their shapes, their sizes – just how different they are.  I love taking care of them.  I love how they look and how I can show that, either through the camera lens or by drawing them.  But I don’t like scientific formulas and I don’t want to have to operate on them or give them shots.

So, uh…why are you majoring in biology?

Well, because that’s what people who like animals major in.

They can, but it’s not the law.

Uh, what else could I major in?

How about Wildlife Management, Bioresource Management, Photography, Entrepreneurship, Wildlife and Forestry Conservation, Animal Management, Animal Behavior, Equine Studies or Zoo Animal Technology?

For what it’s worth, if you want to continue your work in animal photography, here is a comment from National Geographic’s FAQs – “National Geographic photographers have college degrees in a variety of disciplines. Most did not major in photography, but all took photo courses. The most common majors have been journalism, anthropology, sociology or psychology, fine arts, and sciences.” (LINK)

I didn’t realize college offered so many choices.  But, I think my Mom wants me to go Pre-Vet, too, because it’s practical and something like “wildlife animal photography management” is way out there.

Being the worst veterinarian is a lot less practical than being the best wildlife animal photographer.

Yeah, I guess so.  So, no surgery, no shots?  

Only if your subject comes after you.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Please feel free to email me at, call or text me at 908-403-3819, join me on Facebook on “College Counseling for the Rest of Usand join me on Twitter at @MichaelCCR.   And now on YouTube at