What Do I Do With My Degrees? Yes Plural…

When you are in High School, you dream about what you want to be when you grow up. Most of us. Most of us follow a different path. Well, I didn’t, not really.

When I was in High School, I decided I wanted to teach agricultural education. I knew I wanted my bachelors degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on Equine. I wanted to teach. I knew I didn’t want to be a vet because I HATE chemistry!!!! Once I was a junior, I realized I could not hack chemistry or algebra 2. So my mind was made up. I set off to SHSU, Huntsville, TX to get a degree in Animal Science….. did I want to go there? Not really. But being at a school with 75% being honor students, my GPA was not in the top half with A’s, B’s and a C in chemistry/algebra…. so I went to Sam Houston. It was fun and a bit too easy! I transferred out my sophomore year over to Texas A&M! WHOOP! I came in to TAMU as a junior. I had to BEG Dr. Hesby to let me in with my 2.98 GPA. (Chemistry again) but I got in! I proudly graduated on time in May of 2001 with a 3.07 GPA and a degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in Equine Science…. Now what? Whoops… I forgot to get my teacher certification while I was there 🤦🏼‍♀️. I promptly gained employment as a County Extension Agent for 4-H in Orange County, Texas! Yes, I had offers with Purina and a chicken production plant, but that wasn’t really what I wanted. I wanted to TEACH! I wanted to share my love and knowledge of animals with others!

After two years of gainful employment, I developed a health condition. It took me out of work for 13 weeks. I was working on my Masters Degree online with TAMU. My doctor told me I needed to change my environment. Sigh. I loved my kiddos and my parents in 4-H, but… my health was at risk. At this point in my life, I didn’t know what to do. So, I quit my job and went back to school to work on my Masters. I moved back to College Station, TX! It was amazing! My health condition almost instantly resolved! (Anxiety with paralyzing side effects). But, again, I had ZERO idea of what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was I loved horses, I wanted to teach and I wanted to keep learning.

While I was working on my Masters of Agricultural Education, I also worked. I worked for Tractor Supply and then a few vet clinics. Man oh man did I love working for Southwood Valley Veterinarian Clinic with Dr. Bond! I learned SO MUCH from him! In my spare time, between full time classes and two part time jobs, I continued on with Rachael’s Equine Services as an equine consultant and lesson instructor. I also barrel raced and trained a few horses. But then the time came where I had to decide to finish my thesis or graduate. If I chose to finish my thesis, I would have carried on to get my PHD and possibly taught college. But I was out of money. So I decided to graduate. I still had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with my life. I took a job at the TAMU School of Veterinary Science working with drunk sheep. Seriously! Fun job!

Moving on….. I finally married the love of my life and moved. I managed to snag a some what part time job as the Director of Distance Learning for Sabine County through Angelina College. It was a decent job. Easy. But not really for me. My heart was not in it. Then I got pregnant (on purpose because we were married and wanted a child) and had to decide what to do next.

While I was pregnant I finished my corse work for my teaching certification. Issue was, I was pregnant and could not do my student teaching 🤷🏼‍♀️. I did substitute a lot. We moved to where we are now and I concentrated on raising my child and riding my horses. Eventually, I decided to go back to substitute teaching. It’s decent pay with a Masters Degree….. but I wasn’t 100% happy.

I worked part time for a photographer, Walt Mitchell, up until he passed away. A good friend of mine said “you need to work for yourself”. Of course I ignored that and gained employment with the State Fair of Texas as the Horse Show Coordinator. Again, it was decent but I wasn’t 100%. After that short 10 months, I decided to go all in with Rachael’s Equine Services.

Someone asked me, today, how I’m using my degrees. Well, now I’m educating all ages of how to ride and properly care for horses. I do sell things and clean things. But mostly, my days consist of me educating people about horses! It’s exactly what I want to do! I pick my own hours and spend my days riding! I also get to be home for my son!

Selling Summit was a game changer! Not only do I have plenty of students, I also sell a product that helps horses, dogs, and really, all animals! How cool is that?

Looking back at my high school self and my current self, I realize that I am where I need to be. If I had a full time job teaching, I would not be able to enjoy watching my son play baseball or any of his activities. I would not have the time to keep my horses legged up for a barrel race. God had a plan. My good friend was right. Finding out how to make Rachael’s Equine Services a full time gig was the best decision I could make!

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