Dr. Huzzey’s Inspiring Journey

By Shelby Wells

Hello everyone! Today, we’re going to look at an inspiring journey that illustrates how trying new things and getting involved makes a big difference. We interviewed Dr. Julie Huzzey, an Animal Behavior Specialist, and learned about her career path and research. Her journey shows how taking opportunities can lead to some fascinating adventures!

So let’s talk about Dr. Huzzey.

Growing up in the suburbs, Dr. Huzzey dreamed of becoming a veterinarian and working with animals, a rarity in the city. She describes herself as “not really knowing what I wanted to do,” but she decided to attend college. She went to the College of British Columbia and began studying to become a veterinarian.

Shortly after coming to the university, she began to change her course. She describes her experience of coming across cow research as unplanned. By happenstance, in her senior year, she found herself without a job, so one of her mentors reached out to her.

Her mentor recommended her to a program, which was conducting dairy cow research. At first, Dr. Huzzey was hesitant. She admits, “I had never even seen a dairy cow in-person until my senior year!” Taking a leap, she said yes to the position, becoming a research intern at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Center. This experience first introduced her to the amazing science of dairy cow research. Before that, Dr. Huzzey never knew such a field existed.

Her journey presents an important lesson for us all. There might be times where we don’t know where we are going or what path we are going to take. That’s completely normal!

Life is a journey, so explore! Opportunities arise in some of the most unexpected ways. Dr. Huzzey had the bravery and curiosity to try her hand at something new. Getting out of your comfort zone can have some amazing results! In Dr. Huzzey’s case, this introduction to the field of dairy cow research led her to something she really enjoyed. So much so, that she spent more than 15 years looking at dairy cow behavior and other animal research.

Maybe there are activities at your school that you’ve thought about trying but you’re still a little hesitant. I encourage you to try them! Whether it’s a job, volunteer work, a fun activity, or a new program, engaging in something new can help you know what you’re interested in. And it’s okay not to like something too! The more we try the more we know, and the more we know, the more we grow. Rhyming aside, gaining new experiences teaches us about ourselves. It takes a long time to find our paths, but learning more about our likes and dislikes can help. And it can be a lot of fun!

Dr. Huzzey says, “Never say no to a new experience, you have no idea where it could lead you!”

Now’s the time to challenge yourself with something new, so get out there! Like Miss Frizzle once said, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

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