Following her childhood dream, 25- year-old Jewel Jargbah from Liberia studied animal science and health at Cuttington University, where she also participated in the VETS UNITED animal welfare training in 2019. After successfully finishing her bachelor’s degree, Jewel was awarded with a scholarship and currently pursues a professional master’s degree in China.
What made you choose a career in animal health?
My mother is a compassionate animal lover who inspired me from childhood about love and care for animals. As a single mother bringing us up, she always taught us about love, care and compassion for animals and as a result we grew up with chicken, dogs, ducks and rabbits. I watched my mother cared for those animals and provideunconditional love. I was always intrigued by how she did it and I found myself following her passion. As I learned my fundamental lessons about animals from her, I knew at that point that I wanted to know more. Before I could even graduate from high school, I knew what I wanted to study at University: Animal Science. It is a course that could enable me to continue caring for animals like I have been doing from childhood.
Did you experience any barriers in becoming successful in this field because you are a woman?
Honestly, no. There have been few hitches along the way but none of that was because of my gender. I have had great lecturers and colleagues who see me as a competent and determined person despite of my gender. What has mattered the most has always been my outcome that’s why I always put in my best to succeed in a career that is dominated by men.
Do you have any female role models in the animal health field?
I have two role models. My mom though was not a professional, who gave me the fundamental knowledge of everything that I know about caring for animals and Mrs. Comfort Gobeh, my teacher and mentor, who challenged all the males in our college and became the best instructor there. Mrs. Gobeh passion for this field is unmatched and she is an excellent animal scientist.
Based on your own experience, what is your advice for women who want to pursue a career in animal health and welfare?
To young women out there who are interested in the field, I want to encourage you all that it is possible and achievable. Once you are passionate about all forms of life and determined to challenge the odds and excel, you can definitely join the field and make an impact.
How do you see the future of woman in the animal health sector?
The field holds a lot of potential for women. Caring for animals requires a lot of passion, patience, dedication and care; for women, those things come naturally to us hence I see a lot of prospects for us in this field. Once we have more competent women on board, I can envision a field that will become second to none.