Name: Christian Capobianco
Medical Title/Credentials: Veterinary Student
School/Program: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Favorite Hobby: Volleyball, Hiking, and Scuba Diving
Why did you choose this profession?
Like most people in this field, I always had a love for animals and knew from an early age that I wanted to be an "animal doctor"; however, it wasn't until a family vacation to Walt Disney World that I discovered my true career goal. We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom as a family and were able to watch the veterinarians perform an examination on a lion in their on-show veterinary window. I remember being completely awestruck seeing a doctor that works with exotic animals! From then on, I've wanted to be a veterinarian working in zoological medicine and my path has never wavered.
Through some amazing circumstances, for the past four years, I've been working at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the Animals, Science, and Environment Department as a conservation educator. I get to empower hundreds of guests per day to take an active role in conserving natural resources and protecting threatened species. I hope that in this role, I've been able to inspire the next generation of conservationists just as I was inspired so many years prior!
My family has been my biggest inspiration throughout my life. They've made incredible sacrifices for me and continue to be an unparallelled support system. I've also had some incredible mentors throughout each stage of my veterinary journey thus far. There are far too many to name, but they know who they are and they know the immense impact that they've had on me!
Current Passion Project: I'm passionate about exploring the relationship between veterinary medicine, conservation education, and research to do my part in educating the public and saving species. I truly believe that proper communication and education within veterinary medicine is the key to success. I enjoy guiding others in developing their interpretation techniques so that they can convey a strong message and ensure understanding within their audience.
Fun Fact: I'm an avid traveler and will take any excuse to go explore the world! In fact, I just got back from a field research trip to the Galapagos Islands where I completed health assessments on some native species.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering your field?
Try not to compare yourself to others! I know it can be tough given the grueling requirements for veterinary school admission, but remember that everyone brings something unique and wonderful to the table. If you truly love this field and are doing your best, you'll get to where you want to be. It is almost never going to be the path that you envisioned, but embrace the uncertainty and enjoy the ride!
Any other piece of advice, motivational quote, or message you would like to share?
I always tell prospective veterinary students that the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. Make time for activities outside of veterinary medicine and develop a healthy work-life balance early on. You cannot give your patients, clients, or studies your best effort if you are not at your best. Take care of yourself above anything else!